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Policy 8121 - Driver Training and Responsibility

Policy 8121


Driver Training and ResponsibilityBus operators shall observe all state statutes and administrative rules governing traffic safety and school bus operation.  The district shall, at the beginning of employment of each school bus driver, provide them with a copy of the School Bus Driver Handbook (SPI).  At the beginning of each school year, the district shall also provide any additional laws and/or rules which have been recently enacted and which apply to school bus drivers and the district’s written rules for student conduct on buses.

Each bus driver must have a Type 1 school bus driver’s authorization issued by the superintendent of public instruction, a passenger endorsement and a Class B commercial driver’s license.  The bus driver shall also hold a valid and current first aid card.  An air brake endorsement is required for a driver who is assigned to a bus with air brakes.  A bus driver is required to pass a pre-employment drug test.  In addition, a bus driver is required to pass a department of transportation and superintendent of public instruction physical examination every two (2) years.

Any district employee, other than a bus driver, who transports students for school activities in a district or private vehicle must have a valid driver’s license issued by the state department of licensing or state of residence and proof of insurance.  Such drivers may only operate vehicles with seating capacity of ten (10) or less, including the driver, and may not drive students on scheduled routes between home and school.

Prior to driving students or at least once per school year, each driver must submit to his or her principal or supervisor a photocopy of his or her license and proof of insurance plus written assurance of the physical health necessary to safety transport children, that he or she has not had a driving license privilege suspended or revoked in the preceding three (3) years, that he or she has not had three (3) or more speeding tickets in excess of ten (10) miles per hour over the speed limit within any twelve (12) month period in the preceding three (3) years, and that he or she has not been convicted or undergone a deferred prosecution for any misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony that is related to the duty of driving students.  Such offenses include but are not limited to those in WAC 180-20-101 (1) (j).  Employees are responsible for reporting any potentially disqualifying offenses.

In addition, for any employee whose job assignment or supplemental contract requires the regularly-scheduled transportation of students in vehicles with seating capacities of ten (10) or fewer, the district shall obtain a certified abstract of the driving record of the employee before the employee transports students.

Prior authorization is not necessary for persons transporting students in an emergency affecting health and/or safety.

When a teacher, coach or other certificated staff member is assigned to accompany students on a bus, such person shall be primarily responsible for the behavior of the students in his or her charge.  The bus driver shall have final authority and responsibility.  When the district utilizes charter buses or excursion carriers, the driver shall not have unsupervised access to children and children shall be supervised by a responsible employee of the district.  Every contract between a school district and charter bus or excursion carrier shall contain a carrier profile from the Washington utilities and transportation commission.



Legal References:       RCW   28A.160.210               School bus drivers, training and
                                                                                                qualifications – Rules and
                                                                                                regulations for
                                      RCW   46.25                           Uniform Commercial Drivers Act


                                    WAC   180-20                         School Bus Transportation
                                    WAC   392-145-015               General operating regulations
                                    WAC   392-145-020               Rules for school bus drivers –
                                    through 030                                         Rules for students riding
                                                                                                school buses



Adoption Date:           July 15, 1997