Special Needs Transportation

Update: New Jersey bill on service animals approved

Thomas McMahon
Posted on April 1, 2015

TRENTON, N.J. — State legislation that officially allows service animals on school buses was signed into law last week.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie approved A-3690, which adds school buses to the list of school locations in which students’ service animals are allowed.

Although state law didn’t previously specify it, service animals have technically already been permitted on school buses in New Jersey. A state Department of Education bulletin on bus driver and aide training requirements, citing federal laws, says that “students classified with special needs have a right to bring their service dogs to school with them and also on the school bus.”

A spokesperson for the New Jersey Department of Education confirmed that service animals were already allowed on school buses in the state. The goal of the bill, he said, was to codify that in state statute.

The law permits a school official to inquire about whether the service animal is required due to a disability and what task the animal has been trained to perform — unless the disability and the animal's purpose are readily apparent.

A school official may require:

• Certification from a veterinarian that the service animal is properly vaccinated and does not have a contagious disease that may harm students or staff.

• Documentation proving that the student has obtained any license that his or her municipality requires for the service animal.

The law also requires the animal to be under a handler's control via a leash, tether or other suitable means at all times.

State Assemblyman Vincent Mazzeo, a sponsor of the legislation, said that it “will ensure that New Jersey aligns with what federal law prescribes. What's more important, however, is our commitment to ensuring that students with disabilities can have the highest quality of life possible and access the same opportunities as their peers."

Related Topics: New Jersey, service animals

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 0 )
More Stories
School Bus Fleet ConneX (SBFX) will convene in Scottsdale, Ariz., from April 22 to 24, 2020. Shown here is a roundtable discussion at the inaugural edition of SBFX, which was held in Miami, Fla., in April 2019.

School Bus Fleet ConneX to Return in 2020

Next year’s event will bring school bus operators and suppliers to Scottsdale, Ariz., for roundtable discussions, one-on-one meetings, and other networking activities.

Zonar's downloadable list is designed to help California pupil transporters ensure full compliance with a law requiring child-check reminder alarm systems on school buses. Shown here is a child check being conducted with the Zonar EVIR system.

Zonar Releases Child-Check Alarm System Checklist

The smart fleet management technology supplier’s downloadable list is designed to help California pupil transporters ensure full compliance with a law requiring child-check reminder alarm systems on school buses.

Micro Bird has expanded the capacity in its G5 bus with wheelchair lifts from five passengers with wheelchairs to six with wheelchairs and three additional riders.

Micro Bird Expands Capacity in New G5 Bus

The Type A school bus manufacturer's G5 can now accommodate 36 passengers. Those equipped with wheelchair lifts have room for six passengers with wheelchairs and three additional passengers. 

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!