3542 – Business – Transportation – School Bus Drivers

Policy –
Regulation – x
Exhibit –

Adopted – 7/16/1998
Revised – 5/21/2002


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, both of the following documents issued by the state Department of Motor Vehicles:  (Vehicle Code 12517)

1.    A valid driver’s license for the appropriate class of vehicle to be driven
2.    A certificate that permits the driver to operate either school buses or student activity buses

A driver who possesses a valid certificate to drive a student activity bus shall not be entitled to drive a school bus unless he/she obtains the  license and certificate required for that position.  (Education Code 39830.1)

The District’s electronic fingerprinting system, managed by the California Department of Justice, may be used 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.     Necessary 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 Governing Board 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)


The school bus driver’s major 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.

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

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

Drivers shall activate the flashing amber light warning system, if the bus is so equipped, beginning 200 feet before any bus stop where students are loading or unloading. They shall operate the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm at all times when the bus is stopped to load or unload students. The flashing amber warning lights, flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm shall not be operated at any other time, or at any place where traffic is controlled by a traffic officer.  (Vehicle Code 22112)

When the bus is stopped on a highway or private road to load or unload students and traffic is not controlled by a traffic officer, the driver shall:  (Vehicle Code 22112)

1.    Check for approaching traffic in all directions and activate the flashing red light signal system and, if the bus is so equipped, the stop signal arm.
2.    Before opening the door, ensure that the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm are activated and that it is safe to exit the bus.
3.    Escort all students in grades pre-kindergarten through 6 who need to cross the highway or private road, using an approved hand-held “STOP” sign while so doing.
4.    Require all students to walk in front of the bus as they cross the road or highway.
5.    Ensure that all students who need to cross the road or highway have crossed safely and that all other unloaded students and pedestrians are a safe distance from the bus before setting the bus in motion.

Except when loading or unloading students at a location where students must cross a highway or private road upon which the bus is stopped, the flashing red signal lights and stop signal arm requirements do not apply at any of the following locations:  (Vehicle Code 22112)

1.    School bus loading zones on or adjacent to school grounds or during an activity trip, if the school bus is lawfully parked
2.    Where the school bus is disabled due to mechanical breakdown
3.    Where students require assistance to board or leave the school bus
4.    Where the roadway surface on which the bus is stopped is partially or completely covered by snow or ice and requiring traffic to stop would pose a safety hazard
5.    On a state highway with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or higher where the school bus is completely off the main traveled portion of the highway
6.    Any location determined by the Superintendent or designee, with the approval of the California Highway Patrol, to present a traffic or safety hazard

Drivers shall immediately report all school bus accidents to the California Highway Patrol, the Superintendent or designee, and the driver’s employer.  (13 CCR 1219)

School bus drivers 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:
39830.1  Drivers of school pupil activity buses
39831  Training in proper actions in event of hijacking
39831.5  Student instruction in bus safety
39833 Operating bus in violation of order or regulation or without operator’s qualification
39842 School bus; unauthorized entry
40080-40090.5  Training required to obtain or renew bus driver certificate
45125.1 Criminal background checks for contractors
56195.8 Adoption of policies
241.3  Assault against school bus driver
243.3  Battery against school bus driver
1808.8  Dismissal for safety-related cause
2570-2575 Transportation of students
12517-12517.4  Certification requirements
12522  First aid training for school bus drivers
13376  Driver certificates; revocation or suspension; sex offense prosecution
22112  School bus signals; roadway crossings
25257  School bus; flashing light signal system
25257.2  School bus used for transportation of developmentally disabled person
34501.6  School buses; reduced visibility
34508.5  Investigation of accidents
14103  Authority of the driver
14104  School bus driver instructor
1200-1228 General provisions, school bus regulations
571.222  Federal motor vehicle safety standard #222

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