702R-A - School Bus Safety and Driver Responsibilities

I. Bus Safety Action Program

      • Frederick County Public Schools is committed to providing safe, efficient transportation to all eligible students. 
      • Parents or their designees are strongly encouraged to provide supervision for their children while at the bus stop, both morning and afternoon.
      • Two in-service bus driver training programs are scheduled per year.
      • School buses may contain video monitoring systems to ensure student safety.
      • Buses are inspected by the State Department of Education and throughout the year by technicians with the Transportation Department.
      • All new drivers undergo a criminal background check and a search of the Virginia Department of Social Services Central Registry for child abuse/neglect cases.
      • All new drivers complete a training program that meets or exceeds Department of Education and Division of Motor Vehicles requirements.
      • All drivers participate in a Driver Recertification Program as necessary.
      • All drivers are required to complete a physical examination each year.  In addition, driving records are checked with the Division of Motor Vehicles.
      • All drivers are subject to drug and alcohol testing in accordance with federal requirements and school board policy.

II. Driver Responsibilities

The final responsibility for safe and efficient operation of the school bus rests on the driver who is a paid employee of the school board, which implies this responsibility.  

The school bus driver must: 

1. Bring the bus to a complete stop before dealing with emergencies that may arise regarding student conduct and other conditions affecting the safe operation of the bus. 

2. Not permit students to enter buses with glass bottles, other unnecessary objects or any objects that could impact the safety of students. 

3. Make sure that the bus is always in safe and proper operating condition with the emergency door conditioned for use in case of an emergency. 

4. Make all required reports on time. 

5. Observe the law in crossing railroads. 

6. Exercise sound driving habits and practice safety at all times. 

7. Not use the two-way radio system, whether handheld or otherwise, while operating a school bus, except in the event of an emergency or to report critical information regarding transportation department operations. 

8. Not use a cellphone or other wireless telecommunications device, whether handheld or otherwise, while operating a school bus except when the vehicle is lawfully parked.

9. Obey all state traffic laws, as well as state board of education regulations and school board policies pertaining to transportation of students. 

10. Not permit outsiders to ride the bus. 

11. Not permit students to get on or off the bus in Winchester, unless instructed to do so by the Director of Transportation or designee.

12. Not permit anyone else to drive bus at any time without permission from the Director of Transportation or designee.

13. See that the bus is taken to the Transportation Department to be serviced and inspected following the requirements of the Director of Transportation or designee.

14. Maintain discipline and report all cases of disobedience to the principal as soon as possible.

15. Make every effort to observe a strict daily schedule. 

16. Activate the traffic warning system no less than 200 feet before making a stop to pickup or drop off students. 

17. Never pass another school bus moving in the same direction. The bus should pull over, when it is safe to do so, and stop before completing a pass. 

18. Keep the bus clean and see that lettering is visible and the lights are clean and operating before starting a route.

III. Maximum Speed Limit for School Buses

      The maximum speed limit for school buses shall be 45 miles per hour or the minimum speed allowable, whichever is greater, on any highway where the maximum speed limit is 55 miles per hour or less, and 60 miles per hour on       all interstate highways and on other highways where the maximum speed limit is more than 55 miles per hour.

     Legal Reference:

     Code of Virginia, 1950 as amended, § 46.2-871, 46.2-919.1 
     8 VAC 20-70-130 
     8 VAC 20-70-140

     Approved: April 7, 1970
     Amended: September 5, 1978
     Amended: July 3, 1979
     Amended: August 3, 1982
     Amended: January 15, 1985
     Amended: June 4, 1985
     Amended: November 5, 1985
     Amended: September 6, 1994
     Amended: August 9, 1995
     Amended: July 12, 1999
     Amended: July 7, 2004
     Amended: July 11, 2005
     Amended: June 11, 2007
     Amended: June 25, 2008
     Amended: June 7, 2011
     Amended: June 14, 2011
     Amended: April 19, 2013
     Amended: July 1, 2014
     Amended: July 29, 2014
     Amended: June 15, 2017