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public safety

courtesy WCS

Williamson County Schools is making new student drivers sit through a safety course with their parents. It's a response to the six students killed in car accidents last year.

U.S. House of Representatives via YouTube

A West Tennessee congressman is urging federal authorities to start requiring seat belts on school buses, rather than waiting for districts and states to take action.

Memphis Democrat Steve Cohen pressed the leaders of the National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at a hearing this week to explain why they hadn't acted on its own recommendation that school buses have restraints. Cohen says accidents like last year's fatal rollover crash in Chattanooga show that the need for seat belts is urgent.

Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Summer usually means an uptick in crime. But across Nashville, shootings and homicides have already been going up for months. In one precinct, in East Nashville, murders are on pace to double.

Nashville building boom
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Towering construction cranes may draw a lot of attention in Nashville’s building boom, but work being done underground has also greatly increased. And with that, there’s been a surge in damages caused by digging — due in part to homeowners and work crews who ignore the state’s 811 “call before your dig” hotline.

TN Photo Services

After last week's school bus crash in Chattanooga, Governor Bill Haslam says Tennessee's leaders need to reassess how to use private companies to operate buses.

Emails show administrators were warned about the driver of the bus months ago.

The accident has claimed six lives, and Haslam says it appears to be a sign of deeper problems.

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville will convene leaders of about 100 organizations next week to discuss racial justice issues in the African-American community.

Nashville 911
Emergency Communications Center

Nashville’s 911 phone line scored a lower level of satisfaction among callers last year, according to the annual report for the Emergency Communications Center, or ECC.

Nashville skyline photo
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville takes an official step Wednesday to get ready for even more population growth and to keep people safe when disaster strikes. Mayor Megan Barry has traveled to Washington D.C. so that the city can join an international group that’s getting ready for an increasingly urban future.

Governor's Highway Safety Office

A state agency that came under fire last year for an anti-DUI campaign that was called sexist is being put under new management.

The Governor's Highway Safety Office is being transferred to the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. It's also getting a new name — the Tennessee Highway Safety Office.

The agency had been under the state Department of Transportation. It was set up 50 years ago to work with the federal government on safety campaigns. It's perhaps best known for producing anti-drunk driving commercials.

Elvert Barnes / via Flickr

Drivers who veer into a bike lane could soon face a $50 fine.

The Tennessee Senate approved the penalty Monday afternoon. The measure is meant to discourage drivers from swerving into bike lanes to pass other cars, says state Sen. Becky Duncan Massey, R-Knoxville, one of the proposal's sponsors.

"This is about safety," says Massey. She notes 120 people were killed in Tennessee while walking or biking last year, a 20-year high.

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