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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  05:25:39 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Reading on the thread about the Iowa fire, I found it interesting how different some states are with school bus requirements. I think it is probably a bit disrespectful to go off of the topic of the other thread. So, I thought this might be a good discussion to have separately.

What are some of the more unique requirements you have in your state? I know sometimes we don't think of things as being unique. For example; on the other thread someone said their province requires the backup lights to come on when the rear door is open. Another said that any bus over a certain size requires air brakes. I'll start.

*In Illinois, you are not required to have a child check system but if you do the dome lights have to come on when you turn off the bus after your run.

*A noisy heater motor will get you written up by DOT.

*You are not allowed to have anything on the dash. No papers, radio mount, notes, nothing.

Sherm
Top Member

USA
621 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  05:48:38 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
When I worked in Illinois, it seemed that more verbiage was required to be posted on the inside bulkhead of the bus than there was room to do so. I never understood the need for the little yellow reflectors on the front bumper and the weight posted on the side, either.
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Sherm
Top Member

USA
621 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  05:50:40 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Ohio, bus ID numbers get reflectorized. I haven't seen this anywhere else.
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RonF
Top Member

864 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  06:40:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Georgia,
Walk gates are mandatory. Child check is, Heated mirrors are. The bottom rub rail has to be black. The spec committee is trying to make all Type a buses have dual rear wheels.

We are the same as for as items on the dash as well as anything on any windows or mirrors, including the inside mirror.

I believe Florida and California buses have to have yellow wheels.


US Army retired CMBT
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krmvcs
Advanced Member

362 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  07:24:46 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
CA here. ive got one bus with black rims and the CHP never said anything about it.
Crossover lights must have visors over them. Which meant that Thomas had to make an option for the C2's sold here.
Driver sun visors must be dark enough that you cant see through them.
Oh yeah, and 3 point seat belts...

-Ken-
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torque
Advanced Member

Canada
358 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  08:01:51 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ontario, Canada
Hood, anything visible to the driver must be flat black to minimize reflection.
Mirror brackets etc cant be other than black
All rub rails must be black
Crossing gate required but not an out of service if not working, must be fixed in reasonable time.
Sun visor, must be tinted but able to see through
No dash clutter, but that is any vehicle not just school buses, although no fines I have heard of.
Since ~2007, cant have interior luggage racks.
Since ~2006, we must have 8 lamp warning system, BUT, they are all red, no inside amber. They work the same as systems with amber, inside come on first then outside come on when door opens.
My only speculation on that, have not been able to confirm with anyone, I think they are waiting until all buses on the road have the 8 lamp system, then they will require the change to inside lights to amber, but that is pure speculation.
Our 2018, and 19's must have the back up lights come on with rear exit opened, anytime. To me that would have made sense to also have interior lights come on also as someone else mentioned.
Not sure what goes on in the minds of the regulators, why such different laws when all our goals are the same, get the children to and from school safely.
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  08:44:04 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by torque


Not sure what goes on in the minds of the regulators, why such different laws when all our goals are the same, get the children to and from school safely.




It's called Lobbyists. If a product is made in some high powered representative's district, he's/ she's going to try to get it in as a law that you have to have that on your bus.

Bryan
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RonF
Top Member

864 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  09:41:03 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Oh, also in Georgia all bus must have the "Caution stopping and do not pass" sign on the back door.

US Army retired CMBT
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4507 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  12:42:01 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ohio obsesses over things that are of no consequence and it drives me nuts.

Examples...

It was OK to have black window posts (think C2's) for a couple of years, then it was evil and had to go away.

Aluminum rims are evil, you need steel ones that rust. You must not have rusty-looking rims. Refinish, repeat, bang head on table.

Cup holders are evil on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and every 3rd Friday.

C2's from the beginning to about 2 years ago had a red door switch. Then it was evil and had to be changed. Yes...Carling had to create a switch just for us... https://www.tacbusparts.com/sections/catalog/catalog.asp?cat_id=1401 about halfway down the page

I could go on, but it just makes me mad.
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ICBUS07-30
Senior Member

USA
59 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  1:57:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
In Michigan you have to have numbers above the service door/drivers window in the front and above last passenger windows on the sides. School name on the hood and back emergency door.

Formally ICBUS0730
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  2:53:34 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24


C2's from the beginning to about 2 years ago had a red door switch. Then it was evil and had to be changed. Yes...Carling had to create a switch just for us... https://www.tacbusparts.com/sections/catalog/catalog.asp?cat_id=1401 about halfway down the page

I could go on, but it just makes me mad.



What is up with that?! It's hard to fathom what could the problem with red vs. black. Are they thinking distraction? If so, I'd be more inclined to say that the distraction is not knowing which switch to hit. If I'm a new driver or the bus is new to me, I think I'd probably have to put a small piece of tape on that switch to set it apart from the others.

Bryan
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Thomasbus24
Administrator

USA
4507 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  3:37:36 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The all-knowing believe that we pathetic bus people can't figure out what to do if we have 2 red switches. We have an override for the 8-ways that's required to be red and we are too stupid to understand that the red door switch isn't the override.

Just like they think that the motorists are too stupid to drive a car and if the window posts are black they will be distacted or not realize it is a school bus.

I kid you not....these are the reasons.
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Kodie
Top Member

United States
2028 Posts

Posted - 12/15/2017 :  8:58:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Some of the items that make NY unique... and misconceptions/random information.

Misconception: Rub rails must be yellow. Rub rails may be ANY color or combination of colors.
Misconception: Cross arm gates are required. They are optional, ordered based on preference (Or commitment to safety)
Misconception: All large buses must be equipped with air brakes. It is strongly encouraged, but not required. I don't know of any district in the state running hydraulic brakes on large buses, STA however is running a handful of them.
Misconception: (More for fun) All of NYS is a city. We have a very large, beautiful, lush, green state full of beautiful nature.

-Warning light surround may be NSBC or black in color.
-Rims may be any color, black, NSBC, white, gray, etc.
-Warning light visors are optional
-Bumpers may use reflective striping, but it must be placed at a 45 degree angle to the roadway surface. Bumper must be NSBC or black in color. No longer are any other colors permitted.
-Cup holders are supposed to be forbidden, but there are many thousands of buses that exist with them... primarily type A's and First Student buses that are purchased on some bulk order that seems to satisfy all requirements.
- Type A's are not required to have side exit windows
- Supplemental warning lights are now available for use on school buses
- Combination brake/plate lights are illegal on school buses in NY. 4" brake lights with a separate plate light must be used.
- Side body turn signals are not required (though they should be in my opinion)

Required: Illuminated school bus sign, front lit or rear lit.
Required: Dual stop signs on all school buses over "x" capacity after 2002. (Can't think of the exact number)
Required: All exit doors must utilize a 3 point door latch.
Required: Wheelchair lift equipped buses may not utilize a cloth driver seat and must be only fire block vinyl.
Required: 3 point lap belts on all school buses.
Required: All buses over "x" capacity must have at least one side exit door. (Can't think of the exact number here either)
Required: All buses over 66 passenger capacity must be equipped with an exit door on both sides.
Required: Phone number on the back of all school buses, minimum 2" font, highly contrasting to the background color.
Required: All lettering must be minimum 2" font, highly contrasting to the background color and may be reflective.
Required: A fire alarm light or suppression system on all wheelchair lift equipped buses powered by anything other than diesel fuel to activate when the engine bay reaches 330 degrees.
Required: Wig wag low air pressure warning device
Required: White standee line (Though there are some out there without for whatever reason)
Required: 1" reflective striping around all emergency exits
Required: Minimum 2" reflective striping down the body surface, and outlining the rear of the bus.
Required: All buses (school, coach, transit) must display in a minimum 2" font, the bus number on the forward bulk head.


That's about the bulk of what I can think of right now spec wise. Otherwise:

All school buses must be inspected at intervals not to exceed 6 months. (Every 6 months they're done)

Each operation must have "x" number of 19-A Certified Examiners based on fleet size. Certified Examiners are individuals certified through the state to conduct testing on transit, ambulette, coach, and school bus drivers. These individuals have the ability to pass or fail a driver based on the results of a test. Certified Examiners are different than MVI (Motor Vehicle Examiners) who administrate the initial road test. It's quite a lengthy process to become certified as there are many requirements prior to obtaining certification.

SBDI: Each operation must have a School Bus Driver Instructor as per the State Education Department to conduct all required refresher courses and conduct the Physical Performance Test.

Each driver prior to hire, and annually thereafter must complete a Physical Performance Test (PPT) to insure the ability to respond in an emergency. This tests reaction time to commands, time to travel up and down bus steps, exiting the bus through the back door, dragging a 125lb bag 30 feet to simulate pulling a student. Regs here for anyone interested: http://www.ptsi.org/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/NYS-PPT-Guidelines.pdf
Every operation you enter will have a bag weight and aisle strip somewhere in the building for this reason. It's nice because it eliminates personal judgement on physical fitness based on perceived driver health. This gives an honest, timed, consistent comparison.

All school bus drivers must complete a 30 hour course on all things school bus and student management within one year of initial employment as a school bus driver taught or supervised by an SBDI.

Drivers must attend 2 refreshers per year, taught or supervised by an SBDI covering information as specified by the state.

Yearly physicals under article-19A for SCHOOL bus drivers, bi-annual for BUS drivers.

School bus driver abstract of driving must be pulled annually and accompanied by a form DS-872, which is the annual review of record that the driver must sign.

School bus drivers must be followed or ridden with by a 19A Examiner once yearly (not to exceed a year) as a review of driving and student management techniques. This is form DS-873 and cannot be failed, but should be used as a coaching tool, or a tool for praise.

School bus drivers must be re-tested every 2 years by a 19A Examiner. This consists of a full road test including parallel parking, maneuvering, on the road observation skills, etc. Accompanying this test is a written test containing 20 questions in 2 sections. You may miss no more than 4/15 questions in section one, and no more than 1/5 in section 2. If you fail either test, you are forbidden from driving for 2 full business days, and may retest to return to work following that.

All 19A files and forms must be kept in an order specified by the state, and each document retained for a specified period of time.

Safety drills must be conducted and documented at least twice yearly following the format outlined by the state. They MAY be conducted by a teacher, it does not have to be a school bus driver, which is STRONGLY discouraged.


This is a very basic overview of day to day life in an NY school bus operation. There are many more fine details under Article 19-A as far as forms that must be filed every 3,6,12 months for medical reasons, how one goes about adding and dropping a new driver to the roster, regular audits by DMV.. etc.

Edited by - Kodie on 12/15/2017 9:02:21 PM
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bwest
Administrator

United States
3820 Posts

Posted - 12/18/2017 :  05:40:18 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Thomasbus24

The all-knowing believe that we pathetic bus people can't figure out what to do if we have 2 red switches. We have an override for the 8-ways that's required to be red and we are too stupid to understand that the red door switch isn't the override.

Just like they think that the motorists are too stupid to drive a car and if the window posts are black they will be distacted or not realize it is a school bus.

I kid you not....these are the reasons.



I don't doubt you. Sometimes the "powers that be" over think things. I trust they are genuinely trying to make things safer though.

Bryan
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bfaulkner
Senior Member

168 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2017 :  10:56:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit bfaulkner's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Michigan,

Bumpers must be solid black. No Numbers, Logos, Flags, Plates, or even Manufacture Logos. We had to paint the rear bumpers of the IC and BB logos and Removed the bus number from the front.
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Sherm
Top Member

USA
621 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2017 :  12:16:45 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Did any other state besides Ohio have the Backing sign in the 70's? The only other place I've ever seen those was on local trash trucks back in the 80's. I remember wig wags on buses built in the 60's, too, like NY.
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