Review school bus driver rules

Five precious little children were killed last week in a school bus crash in Chattanooga, Tenn. A dozen others were injured badly.

Police said the bus driver was driving far in excess of the 30 mph speed limit where the accident occurred. He was arrested.

How was it that the young man allegedly responsible for the accident was behind the wheel of a vehicle carrying the most precious cargo millions of American parents part with every school-day morning?

Chattanooga school officials will have to answer that question in their community.

School administrators in our area should be taking new, hard looks at who drives buses here, so that they never have to react to a question to which there can be no acceptable answer.

This is not to accuse area school superintendents and transportation directors of not making students’ safety their top priority. Far from it. We know many of the officials. We know they care and tolerate no risk of which they become aware. We have heard of  many bus drivers in Eastern Ohio and the Northern Panhandle who have been fired, too — sometimes for their very first mistake.

In truth, irresponsible drivers who pass stopped school buses are a much greater threat to children.

Still, it may be a good thing for local officials to review procedures for ensuring school buses are driven only by drivers who take no chances. If even more strict rules are needed, they should be put in place — now.