Introduced by Senator Collins of Franklin District and Senator Starr of Essex‑Orleans District
Subject: Motor vehicles; school buses; motor coaches
Statement of purpose: This bill proposes to amend the definition of school bus in the motor vehicle statutes to allow for the limited use of motor coaches for school activities and to address a new type of vehicle, the multifunction school activity bus.
AN ACT RELATING TO SCHOOL BUSES
It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:
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 coaches leased or otherwise provided to a school on a single trip basis to provide transportation to or from, or to and from, an athletic or other special event.
(B) “Type I school bus” means a school bus designed to transport more than 15 passengers, including the operator.
(C) “Type II school bus” means a school bus designed to transport 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 subdivision 1283(a)(1) of this title,
and be equipped with a simple system of at least two red alternating warning
(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.
(G) A multifunction school activity 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 and must meet all applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards.
The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street