The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has proposed a new category of small school buses for transporting children in trips other than to and from school.
By creating this new class of school bus, NHTSA intends to provide schools, childcare centers and other institutions with a safer alternative to 15-passenger vans.
NHTSA’s proposed subcategory of school buses, the multifunctional school activity bus (MFSAB), would be defined as a school bus with a gross vehicle weight rating of 15,000 pounds or less sold for purposes that do not include transportation between home and school.
These buses would be exempt from traffic control requirements and thus would not be required to have stop arms or eight-way lighting systems.
They would qualify as “alternate allowable vehicles” under Head Start transportation regulations.