RULE 203.00.05-014 - AFT 006: Rules Governing Maintenance and Operations of Arkansas Public School Buses and Physical Examinations of School Bus Drivers

RULE 203.00.05-014. AFT 006: Rules Governing Maintenance and Operations of Arkansas Public School Buses and Physical Examinations of School Bus Drivers

1.0 Regulatory Authority

1.01 These Rules shall be known as the Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation Rules Governing Maintenance and Operations of Arkansas Public School Buses and Physical Examinations of School Bus Drivers.

1.02 These regulations are enacted pursuant to the authority of the State Board of Education under Arkansas Code Annotated §§ 6-11-105, 6-19-101, et. seq., Act 1327 of 2005, and Act 1979 of 2005.

2.0 Purpose of Regulations

2.01 The purpose of this Rule is to ensure the safe and efficient operation of public school buses in Arkansas and to prescribe the requirements for the physical examination of school bus drivers.

3.0 Definitions

3.01 The term "licensed physician" as used in these Rules shall mean a natural person licensed to practice medicine as a physician in the State of Arkansas pursuant to the Rules and Regulations of the Arkansas State Medical Board.

3.02 The Term "Out of Service" as used in these rules shall mean out of compliance with the safety requirements of this Rule and the Arkansas School Bus Inspection Handbook.

3.03 The Term "School Bus Driver" as used in these rules shall mean any person transporting students in a vehicle that requires the person to hold a commercial drivers license.

4.0 Written Policies

All public school districts shall establish written policies concerning transportation by a school districts, including, but not limited to:

4.01 Transportation eligibility;

4.02 Student behavior while being transported; and

4.03 Emergency procedures while being transported.

4.03.1 All students who are transported in a school bus shall be instructed in safe riding practices and shall participate in emergency evacuation drills at least twice each school year. Each evacuation drill shall be documented and kept on file.

5.0 School Bus Drivers

5.01 Each school district shall establish a training program for school bus drivers. The training program must be developed and administered to assure that each driver attains a high degree of competence in and knowledge of his or her duties and responsibilities as a school bus driver.

5.02 Every newly hired school bus driver shall receive a minimum of twenty-four (24) hours of pre-service training for the type or types of school buses that he or she will be driving prior to driving any school bus.

5.03 Every school bus driver shall receive an additional three (3) hours of in-service training annually provided by the Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation.

5.04 Each driver shall be issued a school bus driver certificate upon documentation that he/she has successfully completed his or her pre-service driver training. Certification shall be renewed upon completion of the annual three (3) hour in-service.

5.05 School bus driver files shall contain at a minimum:

5.05.1 Copy of current Commercial Driver's License;

5.05.2 Physical Examination;

5.05.3 Proof of state and federal background check clearance;

5.05.4 Semi-annual driver record check;

5.05.5 Proof of negative tuberculosis skin test;

5.05.6 Documentation of pre-employment and random drug and alcohol testing.

6.0 Physical Examinations for Bus Drivers

6.01 Each school district shall require all school bus drivers to undergo a physical examination by a licensed physician upon a conditional offer of employment and before they are allowed to drive a school bus. The purpose of such physical examination is to ensure that the employee can perform the job-related duties of a bus driver and to determine if any reasonable accommodations are required. The results of the physical examination shall be reported on a U.S. Department of Transportation Form (DOT) or the "School Bus Driver Physical Examination Form" (Form) promulgated by the Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation, as evidenced by Exhibit A to these rules and which is hereby incorporated by reference into these rules as if fully set forth herein. The results of all physical examinations shall be used in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

6.02 Each school district shall require all currently employed school bus drivers to undergo and pass a physical examination by a licensed physician at least every two (2) years.

6.03 The physical examination described in §§ 6.01 and 6.02 of these rules, above, shall require the licensed physician performing the examination to make the following determinations:

6.03.1 The visual acuity of each eye (must be at least 20/40 with or without corrective lenses);

6.03.2 The fit of the driver's glasses, if applicable;

6.03.3 The percentage of field of vision possessed by the driver (with a minimum of 70% necessary to qualify as a "yes" response on the Form);

6.03.4 Absence of color blindness, with the specific colors to be tested being red, green and amber;

6.03.5 Hearing (with a demonstrated ability to perceive a forced whispered voice from at least five (5) feet away with or without the use of a hearing aid, or average hearing loss in the better ear of less than or equal to forty (40) decibels needed to successfully pass this portion of the physical examination;

6.03.6 Indications of cardiovascular disease of such a nature that would interfere with driving a school bus;

6.03.7 Abnormalities of the lung that would interfere with driving a school bus;

6.03.8 Blood pressure (within normal limits);

6.03.9 Amputation of member (arm, hand, leg, or foot)

6.03.10 Evidence of epilepsy or seizures;

6.03.11 Use of drugs other than those prescribed by a physician; and

6.03.12 Diabetes (insulin dependent).

6.04 Upon conclusion of the physical examination, the licensed physician shall indicate on the Form, based upon the determinations made on the areas listed in § 6.03 above and the guidelines listed on the Form, whether the driver is physically qualified to drive a school bus. The licensed physician shall date and sign his or her name to the Form.

6.05 Results of physical examinations shall be maintained under strict confidentiality by each district's central administrative office. Only the following persons shall be allowed access to the results of these physical examinations: supervisors and managers to determine necessary restrictions and accommodations in an employee's job duties; first aid and safety personnel should an employee's disability require emergency treatment; and government officials upon request who are investigating compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

7.0 Preventive Maintenance Inspections

7.01 The Preventive Maintenance Inspection (PMI) control system is designed to give shop management an improved method for scheduling and controlling the necessary cycles of maintenance inspection performed in local school districts.

7.02 Using the PMI control system will enable the school system to certify, at least once each month, that each school bus used during that month has received the proper safety inspection. Preventive maintenance inspections will be scheduled as follows:

7.02.1 Inspection A - Safety Equipment Inspection with Air Brake Adjustment 1,000 miles or monthly.

7.02.2 Inspection B - Inspection A plus Oil Change - Gasoline (3,000 miles) or Diesel (6,000 miles or service manual recommendation)

7.02.3 Inspection C - Inspection A plus B plus Tune-up (gasoline only) 12,000 miles.

7.02.4 Inspection D - Inspection A, B, and C plus Transmission 24,000 miles.

7.03 Completed inspection results shall be kept on file by the school district as long as the district owns the bus.

7.04 Repair Procedure. Each day, the bus driver will complete a Driver Inspection Report to be turned in to the director or designee at the end of each day so that a work order can be generated if necessary. All repairs will be performed and documented by the signature of the mechanic completing the repair. After repairs are completed, a copy of the work order will be furnished to the driver for verification and a copy will be filed in the individual vehicle file folder.

7.05 Each school district shall maintain a maintenance file on all school buses owned or operated.

7.05.1 Maintenance files shall contain a written record of all mechanical work, service performed, and all parts (which are removed or replaced at periodic preventive maintenance intervals or for any emergency service). Maintenance shall meet or exceed manufacturer's recommended service interval for each body or chassis component and for all repairs.

7.05.2 A maintenance record shall also contain at a minimum the year, make, model, vehicle identification number, mileage, bus number and district, nature and due date of the various inspection and maintenance operations to be performed, a record of all inspections, repairs and maintenance including date and nature.

7.06 The individual school bus files shall be readily accessible to the Arkansas Department of Education and/or the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation, and the authorized inspector.

8.0 Annual School Bus Inspections by the Division

8.01 Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation inspectors shall inspect all buses and audit school district transportation systems annually, in compliance with the criteria contained in the "Arkansas School Bus Inspection Handbook" (Handbook), as evidenced by Exhibit B to these rules and which is hereby incorporated by reference into these rules as if fully set forth herein.

8.02 School districts shall self-inspect all of their buses on a semi-annual basis, utilizing the criteria found in the Handbook.

8.03 Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation inspectors shall have the authority to take any school bus out of service that is determined to be out of compliance with established safety criteria, and to issue an "Out of Service" notice.

8.04 Each bus shall be issued an inspection sticker upon successfully passing inspection.

8.05 No school district shall operate any school bus declared "Out of Service" until all repairs required by the out of service notice has been completed and the bus is re-inspected by an Arkansas Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation school bus inspector.

9.0 Replacement Cycle for School Buses

9.01 Effective July 1, 2010, no Arkansas public school district shall operate any school bus which is more than twenty (20) years old.

Exhibit A

SCHOOL BUS DRIVER PHYSICAL EXAMINATION FORM

Exhibit B

INTRODUCTION

This school bus inspection handbook is a guide for local systems to use when inspecting their buses semi-annually. The guidelines are minimal conditions for the safe operation of school buses. If the buses do not meet these conditions then the vehicle is considered unsafe and will not be operated.

The yearly inspection conducted by the AR Division of Academic Facilities and Transportation uses these same guidelines to determine the condition of each bus. You are encouraged to make copies of the SDOE Inspection Form and use it for your semiannual inspection form.

Special attention at the local level should be placed on:

1. Preventive maintenance program

2. Bus driver daily inspections

3. Documentation of gas, oil, daily and monthly inspections, etc.

4. Communication between parents, students, bus driver, transportation supervisors, principals, superintendents and local board members on local board policies concerning transportation.

There may be other circumstances which may arise to cause a bus to be taken off the road until repaired.

(12/12/2005)

The following state regulations pages link to this page.