Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/13/2024

Part II. General Regulations

8VAC20-70-20. Transportation of children.

The greatest care shall be exercised at all times in the transportation of school children.

Statutory Authority

Article VIII, § 4 of the Constitution of Virginia; §§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.1, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994.

8VAC20-70-30. Safe speeds.

A school bus transporting school pupils shall be operated at a safe speed as stated in § 46.2-871 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.2, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-31. Driving time.

Driving time for operators of any school bus, school activity bus, or school activity vehicle shall be pursuant to § 46.2-812 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-40. Seating.

The number of pupils who may ride a school bus shall be determined by the total number who can be seated on the seat cushion facing forward, safely seated within the seating compartment, and shall not exceed the manufacturer's capacity. Pupils may not be permitted to stand, except under unforeseen temporary emergency conditions and for short distances as identified in policy by the local school board.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.3, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-50. Written employment agreement.

A written employment agreement shall be made by the school board with all regular school bus drivers before they begin their duties. Substitute drivers shall meet the requirements prescribed for regular bus drivers and shall be approved and paid by the local school board.

Statutory Authority

Article VIII, § 4 of the Constitution of Virginia; §§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.4, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994.

8VAC20-70-60. Entrance door.

The school bus driver shall open and close the entrance door and keep it securely closed while the bus is in motion. This responsibility shall not be delegated to any other person.

Statutory Authority

Article VIII, § 4 of the Constitution of Virginia; §§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.5, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994.

8VAC20-70-70. Traffic warning devices.

Every school bus operated at public expense for the purpose of transporting school children shall be equipped with traffic warning devices as stated in §§ 46.2-1090 and 46.2-1090.1 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.6, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-80. Loading or discharging pupils.

When loading or discharging pupils on the highway, stops shall be made in the right-hand lane and shall be made only at designated points where the bus can be clearly seen for a safe distance from both directions. Pupils shall be picked up and discharged only at designated school bus stops approved by the local school division except in the case of an emergency. While stopped, the driver shall keep the school bus warning devices in operation to warn approaching traffic to stop and allow pupils to cross the highway safely. Pupils who must cross the road shall be required to cross in front of the bus. They shall be required to walk to a point 10 feet or more in front of the bus, stop before reaching a position in line with the left side of the bus, and wait for a hand signal from the bus driver before starting across the highway.

On dual highways divided by a physical barrier, unpaved area, or five lane highway with turning lane, buses shall be routed so that pupils will be picked up and discharged on the side of the road on which they live. (See §§ 46.2-893 and 46.2-918 of the Code of Virginia.)

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.7, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-90. Safety belts.

Persons operating a school bus shall wear the appropriate safety belt system while bus is in motion.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.8, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-100. Passenger restraint belts.

Pupils riding in school buses required by federal law to be equipped with passenger restraint belts shall wear them as required by state or federal law while the bus is in motion.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.9, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-110. Pupil transportation safety instruction.

Pupil transportation instruction shall be included in the school curriculum, including demonstration and practices of safety procedures.

1. At the Pre-K-1 grade levels, initial safety training shall occur during the first week of school with additional training on a periodic basis during the year.

2. Emergency exit drills shall be practiced by all pupil riders at least twice a year, the first occurring during the first 30 instructional days and the second in the second semester and shall include the school bus driver. Summer session evacuation drills should be performed as needed.

3. A copy of bus rider safety rules shall be sent to parents at the beginning of the school year. The information shall include a request that parents or their designee accompany their young children to and from the bus stop.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.10, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-120. Insurance.

Every vehicle used in transporting school pupils and personnel at public expense shall be covered by insurance that will provide financial assistance to pupils and personnel in case of injuries or deaths resulting from an accident as stated in § 22.1-190 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.11, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-130. Maintenance inspection.

All school buses and school activity buses used to transport public school pupils to and from school and school activity events shall be inspected and maintained by competent mechanics at least once every 45 school days, with "school days" as determined by the school division's approved yearly calendar or modifications in the calendar as approved by the division superintendent or designee, or every 5,000 miles. Any bus that is removed from service or deadlined so as to disrupt the scheduled maintenance shall be inspected prior to being returned to service. At no point shall any bus go without an inspection during the school semester and such inspections shall be no more than 90 school days apart excluding summer sessions. The inspections and maintenance shall be conducted in accordance with provisions of the Preventive Maintenance Manual for Virginia School Buses (September 2012) and recorded on the prescribed inspection forms or in a format approved by the Department of Education. Additional Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) inspection and maintenance recommendations should be maintained during the service life of each bus to ensure safety and warranty requirements are met. Maintenance consideration should be given to buses operated during the summer session. If the inspection and maintenance are not made in a shop operated by the school board or the local governing body, the school board shall designate one or more inspection centers to make the inspections and require a copy of the results of the inspections to be furnished to the division superintendent. School division compliance with the foregoing maintenance inspection requirements shall be subject to verification by the Department of Education.

Subject to funds being available, the Department of Education shall conduct operational assessments of school divisions' pupil transportation operations on an ongoing basis to ensure applicable statutes, regulations, and specifications are being met. The Department of Education shall establish procedures for conducting the operational assessments and shall conduct the assessments in school divisions on a periodic cycle as resources permit. As part of the operational assessments, the Department of Education shall provide technical assistance to school divisions in a manner that will assist them with achieving and maintaining compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, and specifications.

Maintenance and service personnel shall be encouraged to attend approved workshops or training institutes and shall receive all necessary service and maintenance publications for equipment serviced.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.12, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-140. Crash reporting.

A report, on forms or in a format furnished by the Department of Education, of any crashes involving school buses, pupils, and personnel who ride school or activity buses (including injury or death while crossing the road, waiting at bus stops, etc.) shall be sent to the Pupil Transportation Service, Department of Education by the division superintendent or designee at least once a month. The report shall give the apparent cause of the crash and the extent of injuries to pupils or others. The division superintendent or designee shall notify the Pupil Transportation Service of any school bus crash involving serious injuries, requiring professional medical treatment, or death within the next working day from the date of the crash.

A vehicle crash occurs when property damage is $1,500 or more or when persons are injured.

The Department of Education shall publish on its website an annual report of the number of crashes involving school buses, pupils, and personnel who ride school or activity buses (including incidents of injury or death while crossing the road, waiting at bus stops, etc.) in each division.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.13, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-150. Route schedule.

All school buses in operation shall be scheduled to maximize safety and efficiency. The schedule shall show the time the bus starts in the morning, the time it leaves each point at which pupils are picked up, the time of arrival at school, and the time of drop off at home in the afternoon. One copy of such schedule shall be kept in the bus, and one copy shall be kept in the office of the division superintendent or designee and shall meet student records and information security requirements as stated in federal, state, and local policy.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.14, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-160. Review of routes.

School bus routes, school sites, and safety of pupils at designated school bus stops shall be reviewed at least once a year and as changes occur. Routes shall be reviewed for safety hazards, fuel conservation, and to assure the most efficient use of buses. Local school administrators shall evaluate the safety of pupils at bus stops periodically and shall at the request of the local school board report the results annually to the school board. Hazardous or unusual situations, to include railway crossings, shall be marked on the route sheet and made available to drivers and substitutes.

A written vehicular and pedestrian traffic control plan for each existing school site shall be reviewed annually for safety hazards. All new school site plans shall include provisions that promote vehicular and pedestrian safety.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.15, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-170. Railway crossings.

School buses shall stop, as required by law, at railway grade crossings. School buses equipped with a nonsequential lighting system must have these lighting systems deactivated when approaching a railroad grade crossing and the 4-way hazard lights shall be activated when approaching the railway grade crossing and shall be deactivated before crossing the track. The bus driver shall turn off all noisy equipment, open the entrance door of the bus and determine when it is safe for the vehicle to cross the railroad tracks. The entrance door shall be closed when the bus is in motion. No stop need be made at any grade crossing where traffic is directed by a law-enforcement officer or a traffic-control signal as stated in § 46.2-886 of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.16, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-180. Ridership and miles report.

School boards shall require that a report on the number of pupils transported and miles traveled be submitted to designated school officials.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.  

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.17, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-190. Policies.

Local school boards shall adopt policies, consistent with provisions of the Code of Virginia, before establishing a practice of collecting transportation fees from pupils or receiving contributions from other sources for activities sponsored by schools under their authority. No pupil whose parent or guardian is financially unable to pay the pro rata cost of the trip may be denied the opportunity to participate. See § 22.1-176 of the Code of Virginia. Each disabled child enrolled in and attending a special education program provided by the school division shall be entitled to transportation at no cost if such transportation is necessary to enable such child to obtain the benefit of educational programs and opportunities. See § 22.1-221 A of the Code of Virginia.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.18, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-200. Identification and lights covering.

The lettered identification and traffic warning lights on the front and rear of school buses shall be covered with opaque detachable material when school buses are used for purposes other than to transport pupils on regular routes to and from school, on special trips to participate in contests of various kinds, or for supplementary education purposes as required by § 22.1-183 of the Code of Virginia. This does not apply when the bus is being used to transport elderly or mentally or physically handicapped persons.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.19, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-210. Advertising material.

The use of posters, stickers, or advertising material of any kind is prohibited in or on school buses unless permitted by law.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.20, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-220. Passage restriction.

No object shall be placed on any bus carrying passengers that will restrict the access to any exit or restrict the freedom of motion of the driver for proper operation of the vehicle. Drivers shall be observant of any objects that may cause injury.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.21, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-230. Required materials.

All vehicles used primarily to transport students to and from school or school-related activities shall carry reflective triangles, first aid kit, body fluid clean-up kit and fire extinguisher.

Statutory Authority

§§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 2.22, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-235. Funding for pupil transportation.

Funding for pupil transportation shall be pursuant to the provisions of the appropriation act.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-177, and 22.1-178 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-240. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 §§ 3.1 to 3.4, eff. February 18, 1987; amended, Virginia Register Volume 4, Issue 14, eff. June 1, 1988; Volume 6, Issue 4, eff. January 1, 1990; Volume 10, Issue 16, eff. July 1, 1994; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-271. Records retention.

School division documents related to pupil transportation shall be retained in accordance with local policy and guidelines from the Virginia State Library.

Statutory Authority

§§ 22.1-16, 22.1-176, and 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

Historical Notes

Derived from Virginia Register Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

Website addresses provided in the Virginia Administrative Code to documents incorporated by reference are for the reader's convenience only, may not necessarily be active or current, and should not be relied upon. To ensure the information incorporated by reference is accurate, the reader is encouraged to use the source document described in the regulation.

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