Current through Register 2022 Notice Reg. No. 16, April 25, 2022
or before the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year and continuously
thereafter, unless otherwise excepted, all school buses, school pupil activity
buses, youth buses, and child care vehicles subject to this chapter shall be
equipped with a child safety alert system meeting the requirements of this
section. The beginning of the school year shall be determined by the county
superintendent of schools, the superintendent of any school district, or the
owner or operator of any private school. The requirement is applicable to any
vehicle transporting pupils to or from school or a school activity, based on
the school year of the school attended by the pupils transported.
(b) Upon movement of the vehicle, the child
safety alert system shall be automatically activated. The device need not
activate for the first three minutes of vehicle movement or prior to the time
the vehicle reaches a speed of 10 miles per hour, whichever occurs first. When
not more than three minutes have elapsed or the vehicle reaches a speed of not
more than 10 miles per hour, the child safety alert system shall be
automatically activated and require the driver to manually contact or scan the
device prior to exiting the vehicle. The device shall not be equipped with any
method to deactivate the device except as provided within this
of the child safety alert system as required by (b), within not more than three
minutes of the time the vehicle is stopped, the parking brakes are applied, the
ignition is in the off position, and all floor level doors are closed, the
child safety alert system shall cause a tone, a flashing light, or both to be
emitted from the vehicle. The tone or flashing light shall be audible or
visible at least 50 feet from the vehicle with all doors and windows in the
closed and locked position. Notwithstanding any permitted time delay, an
activated child safety alert system shall immediately cause the required
audible or visible warning, or both to be emitted when any floor level door is
opened. The device shall cause continuous emission of the required audible or
visible warning, or both, for not less than 30 continuous minutes. Driver
manual contact with or scanning of the device shall deactivate the device and
cause the audible and visible warning to cease. Once active, the device shall
not deactivate under any circumstance unless the vehicle is stopped, the
parking brakes are applied, the ignition is in the off position, and all floor
level doors are closed.
(c)(1) The device may
be connected to a flashing red light signal system required by Section 25257
CVC, or other required or permitted device to preclude the emission of warning
tones or flashing lights while the driver is actively engaged in loading,
unloading, or escorting pupils as required by law. The device shall remain
activated as required by this section unless and until the driver manually
contacts or scans the device. Following manual contact or scanning of the
device, the device shall again be activated upon subsequent movement of the
(c)(2) Child safety alert
systems may be designed in a manner which delays the audible or visible warning
for not more than three minutes from the time the vehicle is stopped, the
parking brakes are applied, the ignition is set to the off position, and all
floor level doors are closed, until the time the tone, flashing lights, or both
begin to be emitted. The tone, flashing lights, or both shall cease upon manual
contact or scanning of the device by the driver.
(c)(3) When the device is configured with
only flashing lights, the light shall be visible from any location within the
interior of the vehicle and for 360 degrees around the exterior of the vehicle.
Vehicle headlamps, tail lamps, or other required exterior lighting devices may
be used in fulfilling the exterior visibility requirement. The vehicle horn
required by Section 27000 CVC may be used to fulfill the tone emitting
safety alert system shall be designed so that when the device is activated, the
vehicle is stopped, the parking brakes are applied, the ignition is in the off
position, and all floor level doors are closed, sufficient lighting is
immediately provided within the interior of the vehicle to facilitate a full
and thorough inspection of the interior of the vehicle, including but not
limited to interior package carrying areas, under all seats, and throughout the
driver compartment. The required interior lighting shall remain illuminated for
not less than one minute following deactivation of the device and shall be
extinguished automatically. Interior lights required by Section
of this chapter may be used
in fulfilling this requirement.
When the design of a vehicle precludes configuration of the device to ensure
illumination of the interior of the vehicle as required, the driver shall be
responsible to ensure sufficient illumination is provided. Any design
preclusion shall be certified by the vehicle manufacturer or an independent
engineer, in writing. A legible copy of the certification shall be carried on
the vehicle. The original certification shall be retained by the vehicle
operator or motor carrier for the duration of time the vehicle is in their
possession and transferred to the next operator upon sale or change of
possession of the vehicle. The legible copy or the original shall be made
available for inspection by any authorized employee of the department, a
parent, or guardian of a pupil transported on the vehicle, or any interested
member of the public.
(d) The child safety alert system shall be
permanently mounted at the rearmost portion of the interior of the vehicle in a
manner which ensures the device remains secure during all normal modes of
vehicle operation. The device and mounting shall be secure, resistant to
tampering, and of sufficient strength and durability to withstand normal and
anticipated movement of the vehicle without detriment to the device or mounting
(e) A child safety alert
system shall be capable of operation under all reasonably anticipated
conditions of temperature, time, vehicle loading, or vehicle status. Any such
device may be powered by mechanical, electrical, or electro-mechanical means of
sufficient measure to ensure the device and all required warning tones and
lamps function as required and remain in operation for the duration required by
this section. The device may be connected to the vehicle electrical system for
power or functionality, but shall not require any item or element of design
required by the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, any requirement of law,
or any regulation to be disabled, removed, or rendered ineffective.
Any malfunction of the child safety alert
system shall be documented and retained by the motor carrier or operator of the
vehicle for not less than two years. Documentation shall include a description
of the malfunction, any repairs or adjustments made to restore correct
functionality, and be made available for inspection upon request of any
authorized employee of the California Highway Patrol.
A driver who encounters any device
malfunction shall immediately report the malfunction to the motor carrier or
operator of the vehicle. The report may be made initially via radio or other
electronic communication. When verbal or other electronic notification is made,
the driver shall also note the malfunction on the driver's vehicle condition
report required by Section
, or other document submitted
to the motor carrier or operator of the vehicle, to ensure proper
Definitions. For the purpose of the section, the following definitions apply.
(g)(1) Child safety alert system is an
electronic, mechanical, or electro-mechanical device, installed at the rearmost
portion of the interior of the vehicle which requires the driver to manually,
electronically, or a combination of manually and electronically contact the
device prior to exiting the vehicle. The term electronically contact means
swipe or scan as defined in (g)(3) of this section.
(g)(2) Manually contact means the driver
makes physical contact with the device for the purpose of interacting with it.
This contact may take the form of pushing a button, entering a unique personal
identification code, or other means of ensuring the driver contacts the device
in a manner which is recognized by the device.
(g)(3) Swipe or scan the device means the
driver interacts with the device by means of a card or other electronic or
electro-mechanical device, or the device conducts biometric identification of
an individual person in a manner which is recognized by the device. Swiping or
scanning the device must require the driver, card, or other device to be within
not more than six inches of the device and prohibits the use of any device
which permits deactivation of the device in any manner not permitted or
required by this section.
Prior to exiting the vehicle means the vehicle is stopped, the parking brakes
are applied, the ignition is in the off position, all floor level doors are
closed, and prior to the time the driver exits the vehicle by means of a floor
level door. A driver loading or unloading pupils, or escorting pupils pursuant
to Section 22112 CVC, is not deemed to have exited the vehicle for the purpose
of this section.
activate, or activated means the child safety alert system is armed and will
cause a tone, a flashing light, or both to be emitted from the vehicle under
the conditions and in the manner required by this section. Any device so
activated shall require the driver to manually contact or scan the device prior
to exiting the vehicle.
Audible or visible warning means the tone, flashing lights, or both required by
(g)(7) Flashing lights
means lighting devices which operate at a rate of 60 to 120 flashes per minute,
with a 40 to 60 percent on-time under all operating conditions.
(g)(8) Tone means an audible sound which is
readily recognizable as a warning. The tone may be unvarying, variable, or
discontinuous sound which repeats at a rate lower than 90 cycles per minute.
The sound frequency including any harmonics shall be lower than 100 hz or
higher than 5,000 hz.