THE PLAINS, Va. — A state-by-state survey on the use of 12- and 15-passenger vans to transport students to and from school or on school-related activity trips has been released by the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services (NASDPTS).
The survey, which is an update of an earlier study done in 1999, found that 29 states have laws or regulations that prohibit the use of vans for transporting public school students to and from school and school-related activities.
Meanwhile, 12 states have laws and regulations that prohibit the use of vans for transporting public school students to and from school, but allow the use of vans for activity trips.
In many states, the laws that apply to public schools may not apply to private and church-sponsored schools.
The association believes states are in the best position to ensure that vans, both new and used, are not used in lieu of school buses. “This action can be accomplished by establishing strict requirements on the types of motor vehicles that can be used within a state for transporting children to and from school and school-related activities, and enforcing those requirements,” the survey says.
The full survey, including the state-by-state breakdown on van use, can be accessed at the NASDPTS Web site at www.nasdpts.org.