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  • CA VC question regarding school busses

    Quick question regarding school busses and aisleways..

    I've asked a few different chippies if they happened to know what the VC was(if existant) for a school bus passenger riding or standing on the aisleways while the bus is in motion. The ones I've asked said a law did exist, but they did not know it. The closest one could get me was to look for something along the lines of "improper riding" which I have done without any success so far.

    Anyone happen to know what the VC is (if it exists)?

    Thanks in advance.
    sigpic
    Any and all statements made by this account represent my sole opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed by. Further, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

  • #2
    This is the only section in the Vehicle Code that specifically addresses passengers in a school bus and is not applicable anywhere other than in San Diego City.

    Buses Transporting School Pupils in City of San Diego

    21700.5. No person shall knowingly drive a bus within the City of San Diego which is transporting any public or private school pupil who is enrolled in kindergarten or any of grades 1 to 12, inclusive, to or from a public or private school, unless every such pupil is seated in a seat.

    Added Ch. 1124, Stats. 1972. Effective March 7, 1973.

    This is the reference you need that addresses your question. It is found in the California Administrative Code, Title 13, Division 2, Chapter 6.5, Article 3, Sections 1217(e).

    TITLE 13. MOTOR VEHICLES
    DIVISION 2. DEPARTMENT OF THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL
    CHAPTER 6.5. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY [FNA1]
    ARTICLE 3. GENERAL DRIVING REQUIREMENTS
    <<CHAPTER 6.5. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY [FNA1]>>
    [FNa1] Formerly Subchapter 6, Article 2 (Sections 1210-1230, not consecutive).

    This database is current through 10/9/09 Register 2009, No. 41
    § 1217. Transportation of Passengers.

    No driver shall drive a vehicle transporting passengers in violation of the following provisions:

    (a) Seating Capacity. Except as provided in subsection (e), the number of passengers (excluding infants in arms) shall not exceed the number of safe and adequate seating spaces, or for school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and farm labor vehicles, the number of passengers specified by the seating capacity rating set forth in the departmental Vehicle Inspection Approval Certificate.

    (b) Weight. No more passengers shall be transported than the number whose weight, in addition to the weight of any property transported, can be carried without exceeding the manufacturer's maximum gross vehicle weight rating or the combined maximum rating of the tires supporting each axle.

    (c) Step Wells. Passengers shall not be permitted in the front step well of any bus while the vehicle is in motion.

    (d) Seat Beside Driver. No more than two pupils shall be allowed to occupy the seating space beside the driver of a Type 2 school bus.

    (e) Standing Passengers. A vehicle shall not be put in motion until all passengers are seated, and all passengers must remain seated while the vehicle is in motion. Standing passengers are permitted only on a bus (except a school bus, SPAB, or youth bus) operated in regularly scheduled passenger stage service or urban and suburban service by a common carrier or publicly-owned transit system, and equipped with grab handles or other means of support for standing passengers, and constructed so that standing room in the aisle is at least 74 in. high.

    (f) Open Doors. While passengers are aboard, a vehicle shall not be put in motion until the doors are closed. The doors shall not be opened until the vehicle is stopped. The doors of a school bus shall be closed while the bus is in motion, whether or not there are passengers in the school bus.

    (g) Emergency Exits. While a passenger is aboard, no bus shall be put in motion with any emergency exit locked or otherwise secured against being opened from the inside. While a passenger is aboard, no bus, equipped with emergency exits that are designed to be opened from the outside, shall be put in motion with such emergency exits locked or otherwise secured against being opened from either the outside or the inside. This paragraph shall not apply to buses operated by or under contract to law enforcement agencies while transporting persons in police custody.

    (h) Interior Lighting. During darkness, the driver shall ensure that the interior lighting is sufficient for passengers to enter and exit safely and whenever otherwise deemed necessary.

    (i) Ejection of Pupils. The driver of a school bus, youth bus, or SPAB shall not eject any school pupil unless the pupil is given into the custody of a parent or any person designated by the parent or school.

    (j) Exemptions. The provisions of subsections (c) and (e) shall not apply to persons testing or training a driver, maintenance personnel, a sales or manufacturers' representative, or an adult acting upon a request by a school bus or SPAB driver to supervise or assist a pupil.

    <General Materials (GM) - References, Annotations, or Tables>

    Note: Authority and reference cited: Sections 31401, 34501, 34501.5 and 34508, Vehicle Code; and Section 38047, Education Code.

    HISTORY

    1. New subsection (i) filed 4-3-80; designated effective 7-1-80 (Register 80,
    No. 14).

    2. Amendment of subsection (i) filed 6-9-82; effective thirtieth day
    thereafter (Register 82, No. 24).

    3. Amendment of subsections (a), (e) and (h) filed 10-28-82; effective
    thirtieth day thereafter (Register 82, No. 44).

    4. New subsection (g) and subsection relettering filed 4-22-93; operative 5-24-
    93 (Register 93, No. 17).

    5. Editorial correction of printing error in subsection (g) (Register 93,
    No. 22).

    6. Amendment of subsection (f) and Note filed 4-15-98; operative 5-15-98
    (Register 98, No. 16).

    13 CCR § 1217, 13 CA ADC § 1217
    1CAC

    13 CA ADC § 1217
    Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

    [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
      This is the reference you need that addresses your question. It is found in the California Administrative Code, Title 13, Division 2, Chapter 6.5, Article 3, Sections 1217(e).
      Thank you for looking into that, I had a feeling it would be you that would find it

      If I am not mistaken, that only addresses people standing on the bus. More specifically I was looking for a law that would regulate or prohibit anyone physically in an aisleway (seated or standing whichever the case may be) on a school bus.

      With more detail as to why I am requesting this: I am researching a school district which is mandating (as a punishment to students) that these students must sit three to a seat. While that in itself would not be illegal, I am looking more at the larger high-school students who when forced to sit three to one seat are extending a large portion of their body in the middle aisleway.. which in the event of a collision they would undoubedly be tossed forward down the aisleway toward the front windshield. The district does not see a problem with this; thus my inquery into anything that would prohibit that.
      sigpic
      Any and all statements made by this account represent my sole opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed by. Further, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

      Comment


      • #4
        Read subsection (a)........

        (a) Seating Capacity. Except as provided in subsection (e), the number of passengers (excluding infants in arms) shall not exceed the number of safe and adequate seating spaces, or for school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and farm labor vehicles, the number of passengers specified by the seating capacity rating set forth in the departmental Vehicle Inspection Approval Certificate.
        Additionally, there is a requirement for the MINIMUM seating space per passenger........13 CCR § 1278, 13 CA ADC § 1278 (a)

        TITLE 13. MOTOR VEHICLES
        DIVISION 2. DEPARTMENT OF THE CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL
        CHAPTER 6.5. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY [FNA1]
        ARTICLE 9. ADDITIONAL EQUIPMENT REQUIREMENTS FOR SCHOOL BUSES

        <<CHAPTER 6.5. MOTOR CARRIER SAFETY [FNA1]>>

        [FNa1] Formerly Subchapter 6, Article 2 (Sections 1210-1230, not consecutive).

        This database is current through 10/9/09 Register 2009, No. 41
        § 1278. Pupils' Seats.


        The following regulations apply to seating in school buses:

        (a) Capacity and Weight Estimates. For the sole purpose of indicating the maximum capacity of a school bus, the manufacturer and purchaser shall allow a seating space 13 in. wide per pupil and shall estimate minimum weights of 120 lbs per pupil and 150 lbs for the driver. However, for Type 1 buses built before January 1, 1960, the weight of each elementary pupil may be estimated at a minimum of 80 lbs, although the estimated weights of high school students remain at the minimum of 130 lbs each.

        (b) Placement. Seats shall be positioned across the bus, not lengthwise. In Type 1 school buses, no pupil's seat shall be placed ahead of a line drawn across the bus and immediately behind the driver's seat. In Type 1 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1968, there shall not be less than 25 in. between the front of the back of each seat and the rear of the back of the seat immediately ahead. In Type 2 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1970, there shall not be less than 24 in. between the front of the back of each seat and the rear of the back of the seat immediately ahead. The foregoing measurements refer to the level plane parallel to the centerline of the vehicle immediately above the highest portion of the seat cushion. The measured distance shall not include any indentation or depression.

        (c) Securement. Pupils' seats shall be securely fastened, as follows:

        (1) Frames. Legs of all seat frames shall be secured to the floor with bolts or self-tapping screws. Bolts shall be of at least 1/4 -in. diameter and of Society of Automotive Engineers Grade 3 designation or equivalent strength. Bolts shall be secured by a flat washer of at least 11/4 -in. diameter, or equivalent securement, and a lock washer and nut or self-locking nut. Self-tapping screws shall be at least 5/16 in. in diameter and threaded through 12- gauge steel plating.

        (2) Cushions. In Type 1 school buses constructed after January 1, 1957, and Type 2 school buses constructed after January 1, 1968, each seat cushion shall be fastened to the seat frame with a positive locking device at not less than two points on the front or rear of the cushion.

        (d) Padding. All seats and seat backs shall be covered with padding. In addition, all school buses constructed after January 1, 1973, shall be equipped with interior protective padding capable of minimizing injuries from impacts, as follows:

        (1) All exposed passenger seat rails, except the rearmost seats, shall be padded down to seat-cushion level, and the top rail of the driver's seat shall be padded unless separated from passenger seating by a padded restraining barrier.

        (2) Stanchions shall be padded to within 3 in. of the ceiling and the floor.

        (3) Guard rails shall be padded from the bus wall to the farthest support.

        (e) Modification. No modification of factory seating shall be permitted on Type 2 school buses purchased on or after July 1, 1966, and manufactured before July 1, 1970, except as follows:

        (1) A Type 2 school bus constructed before July 1, 1970, shall not transport more than 12 passengers and the driver unless it meets all regulations relating to Type 2 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1970.

        (2) Modifications to increase the seating capacity to 12 passengers shall be allowed only upon the approval of the department. Such approval shall be contingent upon the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating.

        (f) Exception. This section does not apply to seats consisting of wheelchairs used in accordance with the provisions for wheelchair school buses in this title.

        (g) Federal Requirements. School buses manufactured and maintained in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 shall be deemed in compliance with the seating requirements of this section.

        <General Materials (GM) - References, Annotations, or Tables>

        Note: Authority cited: Sections 34501.5 and 34508, Vehicle Code. Reference: Sections 34501.5 and 34508, Vehicle Code.

        HISTORY

        1. Change without regulatory effect amending subsection (b) and adding new Note
        filed 5-11-95 pursuant to
        section 100, title 1, California Code ofRegulations (Register 95, No. 19).

        2. Amendment of subsection (a) filed 4-2-98; operative 5-2-98 (Register 98,
        No. 14).

        13 CCR § 1278, 13 CA ADC § 1278
        Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

        [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
          subsection (a)........
          (a) Seating Capacity. Except as provided in subsection (e), the number of passengers (excluding infants in arms) shall not exceed the number of safe and adequate seating spaces, or for school buses, school pupil activity buses, youth buses, and farm labor vehicles, the number of passengers specified by the seating capacity rating set forth in the departmental Vehicle Inspection Approval Certificate.
          I read that part; however it is not a problem of overloading. Apparently there are several rows of seats behind the pupils which are empty, they are only sitting three to a seat for disiplinary reasons. The seats of course meet specifications provided by the law, and three pupils (if they were actually only 13inches wide in real-life application) would fit. However most of these high school students cannot physically fit within the seats without extending into the aisleway(sitting partially on the seat, partially in the aisle).

          Unless I am mistaken, based on what you provided there is nothing illegal or illegitimate to this district's mandate (forcing the students to sit in this configuration, given the ultimatum of written disiplinary action for failure to follow instruction) which seems contrary to what I was told by the two CHP's(given, they could not cite the law prohibiting it other than mentioning it would be something to the effect of "improper riding") that I mention in the OP.

          I will continue to search for the law, thank you again SgtCHP for your assistance. If I am misinterpreting what you've provided me and what I am looking for is actually in what you've quoted, please let me know.
          sigpic
          Any and all statements made by this account represent my sole opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed by. Further, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

          Comment


          • #6
            May I suggest that you contact the CHP office nearest you and ask to talk with the School Bus officer. He/she should be able to adequately attend to your query. Otherwise, contact the Motor Carrier Divisin at Headquarters in Sacramento. Those folks deal with these types of issues.
            Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence!

            [George Washington (1732 - 1799)]

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by SgtCHP View Post
              May I suggest that you contact the CHP office nearest you and ask to talk with the School Bus officer. He/she should be able to adequately attend to your query. Otherwise, contact the Motor Carrier Divisin at Headquarters in Sacramento. Those folks deal with these types of issues.
              Sounds like a way to go, I'll do that. Whenever I do I will post back here with what they told me. Thanks again.
              sigpic
              Any and all statements made by this account represent my sole opinion and do not reflect an official opinion, belief, or policy of any department or agency to which I am employed by. Further, I am in no way authorized to speak on behalf of any department or agency.

              Comment

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