§ 31-23-53. School bus public address sound system.
(a) Every school bus placed in service shall be equipped with a public address sound system which shall be audible from a distance of not less than fifty feet (50') and shall have a minimum of one speaker mounted outside the bus and a minimum of one speaker mounted inside the bus. The public address system and the method of installation shall be approved and certified by the division of motor vehicles. This system shall be inspected at all regularly scheduled inspections.
(b) When the driver of the school bus has picked up students, the bus will remain stopped, with red lights flashing, until all students are seated. Prior to any student being permitted to disembark from the bus, the driver shall look to see that all approaching traffic has stopped and observed the flashing red signal. After students have disembarked from the bus, the driver shall allow ample time for the students to clear the bus area before closing the doors and then, after remaining stopped for approximately ten (10) seconds, the driver shall announce through the public address system that the bus will proceed.
(c) The department of elementary and secondary education shall require a demonstration of the operation of the public address system at each school. The demonstration shall take place at least two (2) times per year, one of which shall take place during the month of September.
(d) The provisions of this section shall not apply to school buses used exclusively for the transportation of students receiving special education pursuant to chapter 24 of title 16; provided, the school buses without the inside and outside speakers may not be used for students not receiving special education, except for transportation before or after normal school hours. This provision shall be limited to secondary education students.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 329, § 1; P.L. 1987, ch. 311, § 1; P.L. 1994, ch. 70, art. 23, § 1; P.L. 2000, ch. 109, § 68.)