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Vista USD |  AR  3542  Business and Noninstructional Operations

School Bus Drivers   

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Authority

Students transported in a school bus or in a student activity bus shall be under the authority of, and responsible directly to, the driver of the bus. The driver shall be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the students while they are on the bus or being escorted across a street, highway or road. (5 CCR 14103)

A bus driver shall have the authority to discontinue the operation of a school bus whenever he/she determines that it is unsafe to continue.

Administrative regulations related to bus driver authority shall be made available to parents/guardians, students, teachers and other interested parties. (5 CCR 14103)

Qualifications, Training and Monitoring

All drivers employed to operate school buses or student activity buses shall possess, at a minimum, all of the following documents issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles: (Education Code 39830.1; Vehicle Code 12517)

1. A valid driver's license for the appropriate class of vehicle to be driven

2. A certificate which permits the driver to operate either school buses or student activity buses, as applicable

3. A DMV Medical Examiners Certificate (DL51)

The Superintendent or designee may use an electronic fingerprinting system, managed by the California Department of Justice, to fingerprint an applicant for an original certificate to drive a school bus or student activity bus. (Vehicle Code 12517.3)

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that school bus drivers receive training which includes:

1. First aid practices (Vehicle Code 12522)

2. The proper actions to be taken in the event that a school bus is hijacked (Education Code 39831)

3. The proper installation of mobile seating devices in the bus securement systems (Education Code 56195.8)

School bus drivers shall be subject to drug and alcohol testing in accordance with Board of Trustees policy and the requirements of federal law.

The Superintendent or designee shall notify the Department of Motor Vehicles within five days whenever any school bus driver has tested positive for drugs or alcohol, is dismissed for a cause related to student transportation safety, or whenever a driver so dismissed has been reinstated. (Vehicle Code 1808.8, 13376)

Responsibilities

The school bus driver's primary responsibility is to safely transport students to and from school and school activities. He/she shall follow procedures contained in the District's transportation safety plan.

The driver shall not require any student to leave the bus en route between home and school or other destinations. (5 CCR 14103)

The driver shall stop to load or unload students only at school bus stops designated by the Superintendent or designee, or authorized by the Superintendent or designee for school activity trips. (Vehicle Code 22112)

The driver shall activate the amber warning light system, flashing red signal lights and stop arm signal and shall escort students in accordance with Vehicle Code 22112.

In the event of a school bus accident, the driver shall immediately notify or cause to be notified the California Highway Patrol, the Superintendent or designee, and the driver's employer. (13 CCR 1219)

The driver also shall report the following to the Superintendent or designee:

1. Recurring and serious student misbehavior

2. Parental and student complaints

3. Traffic violations

4. Consistently late school dismissals which cause transportation delays

5. Overload runs

6. Mechanical or other problems with buses and equipment

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

39800.5 Qualifications of driver of 15-passenger van

39830-39842 School buses

40080-40090.5 Training required to obtain or renew bus driver certificate

45125.1 Criminal background checks for contractors

56195.8 Training in installation of mobile seating devices

HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE

39640-39642 Vehicle idling, penalties

PENAL CODE

241.3 Assault against school bus driver

243.3 Battery against school bus driver

VEHICLE CODE

415 Definition of motor vehicle

545 Definition of school bus

546 Definition of student activity bus

1808.8 Dismissal for safety-related cause

2570-2574 Contracts with private school bus contractors

12516-12517.4 Certification requirements

12522 First aid training for school bus drivers

13370-13371 Suspension or revocation of bus driver certificate

13376 Driver certificates; revocation or suspension; sex offense prosecution

22112 School bus signals; roadway crossings

23123-23125 Prohibitions against use of wireless telephone and text communications while driving; exceptions

25257-25257.7 School bus equipment

34501.6 School buses; reduced visibility

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 5

14103 Authority of the driver

14104 School bus driver instructor

CODE OF REGULATIONS, TITLE 13

1200-1202.2 Motor carrier safety

1212-1228 School bus driver requirements

1234 Reports regarding school buses and bus drivers

2480 Vehicle idling

CODE OF FEDERAL REGULATIONS, TITLE 49

40.1-40.413 Transportation drug and alcohol testing programs

382.101-382.605 Controlled substance and alcohol use and testing

571.222 Federal motor vehicle safety standard #222

Management Resources:

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES PUBLICATIONS

California Commercial Driver Handbook

NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION PUBLICATIONS

School Bus Driver In-Service Safety Series, October 2011

WEB SITES

California Air Resources Board: http://www.arb.ca.gov

California Department of Education, Office of School Transportation: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ls/tn

California Highway Patrol: http://www.chp.ca.gov

California Department of Motor Vehicles: http://www.dmv.ca.gov

California Department of Justice: http://oag.ca.gov

National Transportation Safety Board: http://www.ntsb.gov

U.S. Department of Transportation, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov

Regulation VISTA UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

approved: September 9, 2010 Vista, California