The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 014 : Equipment(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 1282)
§ 1282. Operator, equipment, and inspection
(a) Before an individual may assume the duty of transporting school pupils in either a Type I or Type II school bus, he or she shall as a minimum:
(1) For Type I, have a valid State of Vermont commercial driver license with a passenger endorsement and a school bus driver's endorsement or, for Type II, have a valid State of Vermont license with a school bus driver's endorsement or have a license from another jurisdiction valid for the class or type of vehicle to be driven.
(2) Furnish the Department of Motor Vehicles or, in the case of an individual licensed in another jurisdiction, furnish his or her employer a certificate signed by a licensed physician, or a certified physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner in accordance with written protocols, that he or she is, as far as can be determined by reasonable inquiry and examination, mentally and physically competent to perform his or her duties. Any newly diagnosed diabetic or established diabetic must be stabilized and must be certified by his or her personal physician that he or she has not had a hypoglycemic reaction (loss of consciousness or near loss of consciousness) for the last two years or since his or her last physical, whichever is longer. Any diabetic must be recertified every six months by his or her personal physician who must state that the patient has not had a hypoglycemic reaction during that time.
(3) Have completed training in school bus operation, including evacuation and emergency procedures, as the Commissioner deems necessary.
(4) Be licensed for Type I or Type II, or both, Type I being an automatic qualification for a Type II operator.
(5) Furnish to his or her employer, prior to the first date of employment as a school bus driver, a copy of his or her three-year operating record.
(b) A school bus shall not be operated in the transportation of children to and from school unless and until it is inspected at an inspection station designated as such by the Department of Motor Vehicles. The inspection shall thoroughly cover mechanical conditions, standard equipment, extra equipment, and safety and comfort conditions all as provided in section 1281 of this title and, if the inspected vehicle meets all of these requirements, the inspection station shall give the owner or operator of the inspected vehicle a signed certificate so stating. This certificate shall be shown as soon as possible by the owner or operator to a school director in the town in which this vehicle is to be operated and shall thereafter be carried in some easily accessible place in the vehicle. Thereafter, so long as this bus remains in this service, it must be reinspected as provided in this section during each of the following periods: January to April, May to August, and September to December. School buses of the pleasure car type, if regularly used in this service, shall display signs required in subdivision 1283(a)(1) of this title when transporting schoolchildren.
(c)(1) A school bus shall not regularly transport more passengers than seating space of 13 inches for each child will permit.
(2) Bus routing and seating plans shall be coordinated so as to eliminate standees when a school bus is in motion, and standees shall be permitted only in emergency situations.
(3) There shall be no auxiliary seating accommodations such as temporary or folding jump seats in school buses.
(d)(1) Not less often than every two years, and before the start of a school year, an individual licensed by the Department of Motor Vehicles to assume the duty of transporting school pupils in either a Type I or Type II school bus shall furnish the employer who employs him or her as a school bus driver the following:
(A) a certificate signed by a licensed physician, a certified physician assistant, or a nurse practitioner in accordance with written protocols, certifying that the licensee is, as far as can be determined by reasonable inquiry and examination, mentally and physically competent to perform his or her duties and that he or she meets or exceeds the minimum hearing standards, based on voice testing, as prescribed by the Commissioner; and
(B) a certificate signed by a properly registered and authorized medical doctor, ophthalmologist, optometrist, or nurse practitioner certifying that he or she meets or exceeds the minimum vision standards as prescribed by the Commissioner.
(2) Upon receipt of a certificate required by this subsection that indicates that the school bus driver is not mentally or physically competent or does not meet the minimum hearing or vision standards, the employer shall immediately notify the Commissioner.
(3) The certificates required under this subsection may be valid for up to two years from the examination.
(e) In the event the school bus driver is subject to 49 C.F.R. Part 391, Subpart E, the provisions of those regulations rather than the standards of this section shall apply.
(f) Subject to State Board of Education rules, which may provide for limited idling, the operator of a school bus shall not idle the engine while waiting for children to board or to exit the vehicle at a school and shall not start the engine until ready to leave the school premises. The Board, in consultation with the Agency of Natural Resources, the Department of Health, and the Department of Motor Vehicles, shall adopt rules to implement this subsection. The rules shall set forth periods or circumstances that reasonably require the idling of the engine, including periods when it is necessary to operate defrosting, heating, or cooling equipment to ensure the health or safety of the driver or passengers or to operate auxiliary equipment; and periods when the engine is undergoing maintenance or inspection. (Amended 1961, No. 137, § 2; 1971, No. 228 (Adj. Sess.), § 32; 1975, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 6, 7; 1985, No. 119 (Adj. Sess.); 1987, No. 209 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 1, 2; 1989, No. 33, § 1; 1989, No. 127 (Adj. Sess.), § 5, eff. March 15, 1990; 1989, No. 239 (Adj. Sess.), §§ 4, 5; 2003, No. 160 (Adj. Sess.), § 39, eff. June 9, 2004; 2007, No. 48, § 1, eff. May 25, 2007; 2015, No. 47, § 29; 2015, No. 158 (Adj. Sess.), § 71; 2019, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 11, eff. Sept. 1, 2020.)