§ 31-22-11.6 Child care vehicles and school extra-curricular vehicles.
(a)(1) Pursuant to § 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 § 31-1-3(z), 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 §§ 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 day care center as defined in subdivisions 42-72.1-2(6) and 42-72.1-2(11), 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 or other activities of the child day care center. Two (2) door sedans shall not be considered child care vehicles or school extra-curricular vehicles.
(iv) For the purposes of this section, a "Family child care home vehicle" is defined as a motor vehicle owned or leased by a family day care home provider as defined in subdivision 42-72.1-2(10) or an assistant to that licensed provider, that does not exceed fifteen (15) passengers and is used to transport children from schools to the family child care home and/or from the child care home to schools or to other activities of the child care home.
(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 revenue, 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 revenue, 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 revenue 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. Family child care home vehicles shall be exempt from the vehicle identification requirements of this section.
(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) BThe operating mechanism shall be sealed with a type of seal that will not interfere with use of the fire extinguisher.
(8) First-aid, airway, and bodily fluid spill kits. Every child care vehicle, family child care home 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. In addition, every child care vehicle, family child care home vehicle and school extra-curricular vehicle shall be equipped with a bodily fluid spill kit and every child care vehicle and school extracurricular vehicle shall be equipped with an approved emergency airway kit.
(9) Each child care center vehicle and school extracurricular vehicle shall also have an audible door alarm and an audible back up alarm.
(10) All persons operating a pupil transportation vehicle to convey children shall hold a Rhode Island chauffeur's license and shall have passed a written test as may be prescribed by the department of motor vehicles. In addition, all such persons who operate a pupil transportation vehicle to convey children shall submit to a national and statewide criminal and driving record background check by the hiring agency.
(11) 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.
(P.L. 1989, ch. 188, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 424, § 1; P.L. 1999, ch. 514, § 1; P.L. 2004, ch. 6, § 16; P.L. 2007, ch. 185, § 2; P.L. 2007, ch. 207, § 2; P.L. 2008, ch. 98, § 18; P.L. 2008, ch. 145, § 18; P.L. 2011, ch. 151, art. 10, § 4; P.L. 2013, ch. 280, § 1; P.L. 2013, ch. 345, § 1.)