2007 -- H 6371 SUBSTITUTE A
A N A C T
RELATING TO MOTOR AND OTHER VEHICLES
Introduced By: Representatives Gablinske, and Picard
Date Introduced: May 08, 2007
VEHICLES" is hereby amended by adding thereto the following chapter:
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-
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
(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
(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
(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
(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.