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Engrossed Senate Bill (H)

DIGEST

School bus safety. Requires a school bus to be equipped with black reflective tape mounted on certain areas of the school bus. Provides that if a school bus is in operation and transporting passengers, the driver of the school bus shall have the daytime running lights illuminated at all times. Increases the penalty, from a Class A infraction to a Class C misdemeanor, for an individual who fails to stop when a school bus's stop arm is extended on a roadway or a private road. Provides that the court may suspend the person's driving privileges: (1) for 90 days; or School bus safety. Requires a school bus to be equipped with black reflective tape mounted on certain areas of the school bus. Provides that if a school bus is in operation and transporting passengers, the driver of the school bus shall have the daytime running lights illuminated at all times. Increases the penalty, from a Class A infraction to a Class C misdemeanor, for an individual who fails to stop when a school bus's stop arm is extended on a roadway or a private road. Provides that the court may suspend the person's driving privileges: (1) for 90 days; or (2) if the person has committed at least one previous school bus arm offense, for one year. Increases the penalty, from a Class B misdemeanor to a Class A misdemeanor, for an individual who recklessly passes a school bus when its stop arm is extended on a roadway or a private road. Increases the penalty, from a Class A misdemeanor to a Level 6 felony, for an individual who recklessly passes a school bus when its stop arm is extended if the action results in injury, and a Level 5 felony, for an individual who recklessly passes a school bus when its stop arm is extended if the action results in death. Provides that the court may suspend the driving privileges of a person who recklessly passes a school bus when its stop arm is extended: (1) for 90 days; or (2) if the person has committed at least one previous school bus arm offense, for one year. Provides that a person who has the person's license suspended may not obtain specialized driving privileges. Requires a school bus driver to: (1) use an arm signal device, which must be extended while the bus is stopped, whenever a school bus is stopped on a roadway or a private road to load or unload a student; and (2) use flashing lights to give adequate warning that the school bus is stopped or about to stop on the roadway or the private road to load or unload a student. Provides that on or before September 1, 2019, and each September 1 thereafter, each school corporation, charter school, or accredited nonpublic school that provides transportation for students must review each school's school bus routes and school bus safety policies to improve the safety of students and adults. Provides that the state school bus committee, in consultation with the department of education (department), shall develop and post on the department's Internet web site school bus safety guidelines or best practices. Provides that the department, in consultation with the department of transportation, shall include on the department's Internet web site information on how an individual or school may petition to reduce maximum speed limits in areas necessary to ensure that students are safely loaded onto or unloaded from a school bus. Provides that, with certain exceptions, when a school bus is operated on a: (1) U.S. route or state route, the driver may not load or unload a student at a location that requires the student to cross a roadway unless no other safe alternatives are available; and (2) street or highway other than a U.S. route or state route, the driver shall load and unload a student as close to the right-hand curb or edge of the roadway as practicable. Provides that, if a school bus driver must load or unload an elementary school student at a location on a U.S. or state route, the superintendent or superintendent's designee must present the school bus route to the school board for approval. Adds school bus safety to the topics required to be on an examination for a learner's permit or driver's license. Provides that the governing body of a school corporation may allow, in certain situations, the use of a school bus or special purpose bus for the transportation of adults with physical or intellectual disabilities. Provides that the governing body of a school corporation may allow, by written authorization, the use of a school bus owned in whole or in part by the school corporation for the transportation needs of a nonprofit organization exempt from certain provisions related to federal taxation under the Internal Revenue Code. Expands the list of purposes for a which a school corporation may use a special purpose bus to provide transportation and makes a corresponding change to the requirements for an operator of a special purpose bus. ... View more