SALT LAKE CITY — In an interesting turn of events, Gov. Gary Herbert signed into law on Friday a bill that will allow local school boards and charter school governing boards throughout the state to sell advertising space on the exterior of school buses.

In January, SBF reported that a bill on the topic introduced by Rep. Jim Bird was rejected in a 27-44 House vote.

However, the bill was brought back under a motion for the House to reconsider it, and an amended version was eventually approved by the House and Senate and sent to the governor.

Under HB 199, local school boards or charter school governing boards that sell advertising space on the exterior of a school bus must adopt guidelines for the type of advertising that will be permitted.

The advertisements must be age appropriate and must not promote any substance or activity that is illegal for minors, such as alcohol, tobacco, drugs or gambling. Moreover, the ads must not promote any political party, candidate or issue, or contain sexual material and resemble a traffic-control device.

The state’s Department of Transportation will be required to enforce rules regarding the placement and size of advertisements on school buses. Under the bill, an ad cannot be placed on the back or front of a school bus, and it can occupy no more than 35 percent of the side of a school bus. 

A commercial advertiser that contracts with a school district for the use of space for an advertisement will be required to pay the cost of placing the advertisement on a school bus, and for the removal of the advertisement after the term of the contract has expired.

Revenue from the sale of advertising space on a school bus must be used for pupil transportation expenditures.

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