§ 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. The vehicle shall have an audible open door warning alarm and an audible back up warning alarm.
(4) No fueling shall take place while any pupil transportation vehicle is occupied by passengers.
(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 away from the point of boarding until it is safe for all discharged passengers who wish to cross to the other side have done so. The monitor requirement of § 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 shall include an approved emergency airway and bodily fluid spill kits.
(9) 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.
(10) All persons operating a pupil transportation vehicle to convey students shall hold a Rhode Island chauffeurs license and shall have passed a written test as may be prescribed by the division of motor vehicles. In addition, all persons who operate a pupil transportation vehicle to convey students shall submit to a national and statewide criminal and driving record background check by the hiring agency.
(P.L. 2007, ch. 185, § 1; P.L. 2007, ch. 207, § 1; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 10, § 3.)