Chapter 185

2007 -- H 6371 SUBSTITUTE A

Enacted 07/02/07

 

A N A C T

RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES

          

     Introduced By: Representatives Gablinske, and Picard

     Date Introduced: May 08, 2007

 

     It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:

 

     SECTION 1. Title 31 of the General Laws entitled "MOTOR AND OTHER

VEHICLES" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:

 

     CHAPTER 22.1

 

PUPIL TRANSPORTATION VEHICLES

 

     31-22.1-1. Pupil transportation vehicle -- Definition. A pupil transportation vehicle is

a motor vehicle designed and constructed to seat not more than eight (8) passengers in addition to

the operator, used by a school committee to provide the transportation services required by law or

regulation to students being conveyed along a fixed school transportation route. In particular,

such vehicles may be used to provide the transportation services required by section 16-21-1,

section 16-21.1-1, et seq. and section 16-24-4 on routes in which only small numbers of students

are being conveyed.

 

     31-22.1-2. Pupil transportation vehicle -- Vehicle standards. Vans, sport utility

vehicles, and heavy automobiles as defined by applicable federal regulations may be used as

pupil transportation vehicles provided that these vehicles meet the highest federal

crashworthiness standards for these categories of vehicles. Unless otherwise specifically provided

for herein, the provisions of section 31-20-4, et seq. (Special Stops Required) shall be applicable

to pupil transportation vehicles. The provisions of section 31-23-42 (First aid kit and heating

equipment), section 31-23-42.2 (Power equipment on school buses), section 31-23-54 (Fire

extinguishers), section 31-23-55 (Speedometer and odometer) and section 31-23-56 (Stop arm)

shall be applicable to pupil transportation vehicles. A pupil transportation vehicle shall not be

required to be painted school bus yellow provided it carries a sign in school bus yellow visible

from forward and from in back of the vehicle containing the lettering required by section 31-20-

11.

 

     31-22.1-3. Equipment and operation of pupil transportation vehicles. No person

shall operate any student transportation vehicle, and the owner or custodian of a student

transportation vehicle shall not permit the same to be operated to convey students unless the

following requirements are complied with:

     (1) The operator of a pupil transportation vehicle shall not allow the number of school

students riding in the pupil transportation vehicle at any one time to exceed the number of

adequate seats therein nor shall the operator drive said bus until each student is seated.

     (2) No person shall operate a pupil transportation vehicle referred to in this section, nor

knowingly allow any passenger to ride in such vehicle unless the operator and all passengers are

wearing a safety belt which is properly adjusted and fastened.

     (3) All doors shall be kept closed while the pupil transportation vehicle is in motion.

     (4) No fueling shall take place while any pupil transportation vehicle is occupied by

students.

     (5) Each pupil transportation vehicle shall be equipped with Type I Class A turn signal

lamps, which shall have a four-way hazard warning signal switch to cause simultaneous flashing

of the turn signal lamps which may be activated when a pupil transportation vehicle is

approaching a stop to load or discharge school students and when needed as a vehicular traffic

hazard warning. Each pupil transportation vehicle shall also be equipped with front and rear

alternating flashing school bus red signal lamps, which shall remain flashing when school pupils

are entering or leaving the pupil transportation vehicle. All aforementioned lamps shall comply

with applicable Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and any applicable rules and regulations

promulgated by the department of motor vehicles. The operator of a pupil transportation vehicle

shall cause its headlamps to be illuminated while such bus is in operation.

     (6) Any person who operates such a pupil transportation vehicle shall not permit the

boarding or discharging of school students therefrom unless the pupil transportation vehicle is

stopped as close as is practicable to the right-hand side or edge of the ways and shall announce

when discharging passengers there from that all persons who wish to cross to the other side of

the way shall do so by passing in front of the pupil transportation vehicle immediately upon

alighting therefrom. No person shall operate a pupil transportation vehicle on a way after

discharging passengers therefrom unless all persons who wish to cross to the other side have done

so. The monitor requirement of section 16-21-1 shall not apply to pupil transportation vehicles.

     (7) Each pupil transportation vehicle shall be required to be equipped with one pair of

adequate chock blocks and three (3) flares in compliance with United States Motor Vehicle

D.O.T. Safety Standard No. 125, which shall be placed upon the roadway in conformance with

section 14 B of chapter 85 when such vehicle becomes disabled upon the traveled portion of any

way, and seat belts for each permanent seating accommodation designed and installed in

compliance with applicable United States Motor Vehicle Safety Standards.

     (8) All pupil transportation vehicles used to transport school students under the

provisions of this section shall display sticker as authorized by the department of motor vehicles

for a reasonable fee established by the department of motor vehicles.

     (9) Only the holder of a Rhode Island chauffeurs license shall operate a pupil

transportation vehicle when the vehicle is being used to convey students, who has passed a

written test as may be prescribed by the department of motor vehicles.

 

     31-22.1-4. Operation of pupil transportation vehicles. No pupil transportation

vehicle shall be operated, under the provisions of this chapter, for purposes of transporting

students prior to September 1, 2007.

 

     SECTION 2. Section 31-22-11.6 of the General Laws in Chapter 31-22 entitled

"Miscellaneous Rules" is hereby amended to read as follows:

 

     31-22-11.6. Child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles. -- (a) (1)

Pursuant to section 31-22-10, the division of motor vehicles is authorized to promulgate rules and

regulations concerning the type, construction, and equipment of motor vehicles used for the

transportation of children to and from child care facilities and to and from school sponsored

activities including athletics and extra-curricular activities.

      (2) (i) For the purposes of this section, "school bus", as referred to in section 31-1-3(v),

is defined as a vehicle which is used to carry children to or from school on school bound routes at

the outset of the children's school day and/or on home bound routes at the end of the children's

school day. For these routes, a school bus or a pupil transportation vehicle as set forth in sections

31-22.1-1 and 31-22.1-2 must be used regardless of the number of students being transported.

      (ii) For purposes of this section, "school extra-curricular vehicles" is defined as vehicles

designed to transport fewer than fifteen (15) students to and from school sponsored activities

including athletics, internships, work experiences, and extra-curricular activities where school

buses are not used because of the small number of students being transported.

      (iii) For the purpose of this section, "child care vehicle" is defined as a motor vehicle

owned or leased by a licensed child care agency that does not exceed fifteen (15) passengers and

is being used to transport children from schools to child care facilities and/or from child care

facilities to schools. Two (2) door sedans shall not be considered child care vehicles or school

extra-curricular vehicles.

      (b) The division of motor vehicles shall have the authority to suspend the registration of

any vehicle used for child care transportation or school extra-curricular transportation that does

not meet the following requirements:

      (1) Seating. - Adequate seating space for all passengers shall be provided. The maximum

seating capacity of a child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall be fifteen (15)

persons, including the driver. No standing shall be permitted while the vehicle is in operation.

      (2) Safety belts. - Safety belts shall be required for all passengers riding in the child care

vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle.

      (3) Vehicle registration. - All child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles

shall be registered as public vehicles.

      (4) Vehicle inspection. - All child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles shall

be inspected for excessive emissions and/or safety items according to a staggered appointment

schedule as determined by the director of administration, or his or her designee, and from time to

time thereafter as may be required, and the vehicle owner shall display upon the vehicle the

certificate of inspection and approval issued to the vehicle until the certificate shall expire.

      (5) Inspector's rejection notice. - The director of administration, or his or her designee,

may affix a notice of rejection to any vehicle that fails to pass the required inspection

requirements. The rejection notice shall not be destroyed or removed from the vehicle until the

vehicle has passed the inspection requirements, or its removal has been authorized by the director

of administration or his or her designee.

      (6) (i) Vehicle identification. - Any and all child care vehicles and school extra-

curricular vehicles must have the name of the child care organization conspicuously placed on the

side of the vehicle. The identification shall be required to possess two inch (2") letters, and be

permanently affixed on the side of the vehicle.

      (ii) Should any child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle be a leased vehicle,

the vehicle shall forego the requirement of having the name of the child care facility or school

permanently affixed to the side of the vehicle, but instead may satisfy the identification

requirement by placing a magnetized sign naming the child care facility or school or any other

temporarily affixed apparatus; provided, that the temporary identification sign not be

interchanged, replaced, or modified to change the purpose or function of the child care vehicle

and school extra-curricular vehicle.

      (7) (i) Fire extinguisher. - The child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall

be equipped with at least one pressurized, potassium bicarbonate base dry chemical-type fire

extinguisher, mounted in the manufacturer's extinguisher bracket, and located in the driver's

compartment in full view of and readily accessible to the driver. A pressure gauge shall be

mounted on the extinguisher so as to be easily read without removing the extinguisher from its

mounted position.

      (ii) The fire extinguisher shall have a minimum capacity of not less than two and a half

pounds (2 1/2 lbs.) and be of a type approved by the Underwriters Laboratories, Inc., with a rating

of not less than ten (10) B:C. The operating mechanism shall be sealed with a type of seal that

will not interfere with use of the fire extinguisher.

      (8) First-Aid kits. - Every child care vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall be

equipped with a first-aid kit mounted in an area accessible to the operator which consists of

bandages, sterile pads, adhesive tape, and Band-Aids for use in the administration of first-aid

treatment.

      (9) School extra-curricular vehicles purchased after January 1, 2000 shall further comply

with regulations which the division of motor vehicles is authorized to promulgate which require

these vehicles to meet appropriate safety standards. The additional safety requirements of this

subsection shall, effective January 1, 2008, also apply to school extra-curricular vehicles in

service prior to January 1, 2000, which are still in service after January 1, 2008.

 

     SECTION 3. This act shall take effect upon passage.

     

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LC03006/SUB A/4

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