Driver says Tennessee school bus was traveling 80 mph on interstate

CLARKSVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – You trust them to carry your precious cargo to and from school each day, but a local man says he witnessed a bus driver breaking the law on a Tennessee interstate.

Friday evening, Johnny Barnes and his wife were driving on Interstate 24 in Clarksville where the posted speed limit is 70 mph.

Barnes was behind a school bus from Houston County.

“I told my wife I can tell he’s driving too fast. He was passing cars and was accelerating too much,” said Barnes.

That’s when Barnes’ wife pulled out a cell phone and began recording.

“I could not keep pace with him at 70 mph, so by the time I caught up with him, I looked at my speedometer and said, we’re going 80. This is ridiculous,” Barnes told News 2. “I could tell there were students or young adults on the bus.”

Barnes, who drove a school bus in Indiana for nine years, contacted police, Houston County Schools and News 2.

“It was unsafe to drive an automobile at 70 in rainy weather with slick roads. For a school bus to be driving that fast is just uncalled for,” said Barnes.

Barnes sent the video to Houston County Schools Director Cathy Harvey.

News 2 contacted Harvey who said, “It’s under investigation.”

The Tennessee Highway Patrol said many school buses are equipped with a governor, a device that regulates speed.

However, not all school buses have them and that it’s up to the individual school district.

THP said it is up to school bus drivers, like all drivers, to follow the posted speed limit.

News 2 spoke with a bus driver in another district whose bus does have a governor.

That driver said the bus cannot exceed 70 mph.

News 2 also spoke with Metro Schools spokesman Joe Bass who said all Metro school buses have governors. Some of those devices are set to 60 mph but the new buses are set to 65 mph.

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