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S.81

AN ACT RELATING TO SCHOOL BUSES

The House proposes to the Senate to amend the bill by striking all after the enacting clause and inserting in lieu thereof the following:

Sec. 1.  23 V.S.A. § 4(34) is amended to read:

(34)(A)  “School bus” means any motor vehicle with a manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of 11 or more passengers, including the operator, used to transport children to or from school or in connection with school activities, except:

(i)  buses operated by common carriers who incidentally accept school children as passengers;

(ii)  private motor vehicles used to carry members of the owner’s household.  For the purposes of this section, private motor vehicle means a vehicle neither owned nor leased by a public school or an approved independent school;

(iii)  private motor vehicles used to transport children without compensation.  For the purposes of this section, compensation means payment in any form except reimbursement for mileage or the normal salary paid to a person otherwise employed by the school;

(iv)  motor vehicles with a manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of fewer than 11 persons, including the operator, which are owned, leased, or hired by a school, or for which services are reimbursed by a school.  However, if used to transport students, these shall be considered a Type II school bus for purposes of licensure, shall display an identification sign as prescribed in subdivision 1283(a)(1) of this title, and shall be equipped with a simple system of at least two red alternating warning lights;

(v)  motor coaches provided with a driver to a school on a single-trip or multi-trip contract basis to provide transportation to or from, or to and from, athletic or other special events.  A motor coach is a vehicle at least 35 feet in length which carries more than 30 passengers and is designed for long distance transportation of passengers, characterized by integral construction with an elevated passenger deck located over a baggage compartment.  Pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 255, a superintendent or headmaster shall request criminal record information for a driver of a motor coach if the driver may be in unsupervised contact with schoolchildren;

(vi)  multifunction school activity buses, as defined in section 1287 of this title, provided with a driver to a school on a single-trip or multi-trip contract basis to provide transportation to or from, or to and from, athletic or other special events.  Pursuant to 16 V.S.A. § 255, a superintendent or headmaster shall request criminal record information for a driver of a motor coach if the driver may be in unsupervised contact with schoolchildren;

(vii)  other multifunction school activity buses as defined in section 1287 of this title

(B)  “Type I school bus” means a school bus designed to transport with a manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of more than 15 passengers, including the operator.

(C)  “Type II school bus” means a school bus designed to transport with a manufacturer’s rated seating capacity of more than 10 and less than 16 passengers, including the operator.

(D)  A private motor vehicle designed to transport more than 10  and fewer than 16 passengers, including the operator, for compensation, including vehicles leased or otherwise provided to a school on a single trip basis to provide transportation to or from an athletic event or special field trip or provided to the school for 10 days or fewer, shall be subject to all Type I school bus safety and equipment standards, except:

(i)  The requirements of subdivisions (a)(2) and (3) of section 1283 of this title;

(ii)  The aisle or door requirement of subdivision (8)(A) of section 1281 of this title; and

(iii)  The rear door requirement of subdivision (1) of section 1281 of this title.  If no rear door is present, there shall be one additional door, operable from inside the vehicle, located to the rear of the operator.

(E)  A private motor vehicle designed to transport fewer than 11 persons, including the operator, for compensation shall be considered a Type II school bus and need only display an identification sign as prescribed in section 1283(a)(1) of this title, and be equipped with a simple system of at least two red alternating warning lights;.

(F)  A school bus, other than a Type I school bus owned or leased by a school and not being used on a fixed route to transport students to and from home and school, may be a color other than national school bus yellow; however, it must meet the other identification and equipment requirements specified in section 1283 of this title.

Sec. 2.  23 V.S.A. § 1287 is added to read:

§ 1287.  MULTIFUNCTION SCHOOL ACTIVITY BUS

(a)  A “multifunction school activity bus” is a vehicle which is used to transport students on trips other than on a fixed route between home and school, and which meets the construction and safety standards for a “multifunction school activity bus” adopted by rule by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

(b)  If a school owns a multifunction school activity bus or leases one other than as provided in subdivision 4(34)(A)(vi) of this title, the driver shall be required to hold a license which includes a school bus driver’s endorsement.  The endorsement shall be a Type I or Type II endorsement as appropriate to the size of the vehicle.

(c)  A multifunction school activity bus may be a color other than national school bus yellow. 

Sec. 3.  TRANSITIONAL PROVISIONS

(a)  This section refers to a motor vehicle, other than a multifunction school activity bus, which is designed to transport more than 10 and fewer than 16 passengers, including the operator, and which is provided to a school for compensation on a single‑trip basis to transport students to or from an athletic event or special field trip or provided to the school for 10 days or fewer.  These vehicles shall be subject to all Type I school bus safety and equipment standards, except:

(1)  The requirements of subdivisions 1283(a)(2) and (3) of Title 23;

(2)  The aisle or door requirement of subdivision 1281(8)(A) of Title 23; and

(3)  The rear door requirement of subdivision 1281(1) of Title 23.  If no rear door is present, there shall be one additional door, operable from inside the vehicle located to the rear of the operator.

(b)  This section is repealed on July 1, 2007.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us