Administrative Code

Virginia Administrative Code
7/24/2024

Part IV. General Requirements for School Buses in Virginia

8VAC20-70-460. Specifications.

It is the intent of the Board of Education to accommodate new equipment and technology that will better facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of students. When a new technology, piece of equipment, or component is desired to be applied to a school bus, it must have the approval of the Department of Education and must meet the following criteria:

1. The technology, equipment, or component shall not compromise the effectiveness or integrity of any major safety system.

2. The technology, equipment, or component shall not diminish the safety of the interior of the bus.

3. The technology, equipment, or component shall not create additional risk to students who are boarding or exiting the bus or are in or near the school bus loading zone.

4. The technology, equipment, or component shall not require undue additional activity or responsibility for the driver.

5. The technology, equipment, or component shall generally increase efficiency or safety, or both, of the bus, generally provide for a safer or more pleasant experience for the occupants and pedestrians in the vicinity of the bus, or shall generally assist the driver and make his many tasks easier to perform.

School buses and school activity buses purchased new must conform to the specifications relative to construction and design effective on the date of the initial procurement. Any variation from the specifications, in the form of additional equipment or changes in style of equipment, without prior approval of the Department of Education, is prohibited. The Department of Education shall issue specifications and standards for public school buses to reflect desired technology or safety improvements for the then current model year.

A local school board may sell or transfer any of its school buses or school activity buses to another school division or purchase a used bus from another school division or a school bus dealer as long as the school bus or school activity bus conforms to the specifications relating to construction and design in effect on the date of manufacture. The bus must also have a valid Virginia State Police inspection and may not be older than 15 model years at the time of sale, transfer, or purchase.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.3, 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; Volume 32, Issue 23, eff. August 10, 2016.

8VAC20-70-470. Adjustments.

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is authorized to make such adjustments from time to time in technical specifications as are deemed necessary in the interest of safety and efficiency in school bus operation. This includes the issuance of chassis specifications by size, type and model year. Authority is also granted for conducting investigations and field tests of certain pertinent vehicle components.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.4, 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; Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

8VAC20-70-480. Bus identification.

All publicly owned, part publicly owned, or contract school buses, transporting pupils to and from public school, shall be painted a uniform color, national school bus yellow, and shall be identified and equipped as outlined in the specifications.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.5, 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; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-490. Purchase.

The responsibility for purchasing school buses and school activity buses which meet state and federal requirements rests with division superintendents and local school boards.

A schedule for the replacement of buses on a continuing basis shall be developed and implemented by each school 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 § 5.6, 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 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-500. Sale of surplus school buses.

A. Before a surplus school bus is sold or released for nonschool transportation purposes, the bus shall have the traffic warning signal system and crossing control arm removed and all school bus lettering shall be covered by an opaque paint. A written notice shall be attached to the Certificate of Title stating that the vehicle does not meet the requirements of §§ 46.2-100 and 46.2-1089 and that its operation on the highway would be in violation of § 46.2-917 of the Code of Virginia.

B. In the event that the bus is sold to a private school or a licensed dealer, the written notice shall contain a reminder that the bus shall be painted a different color, and shall have the bus signal systems and lettering removed before release for nonschool transportation purposes.

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 § 5.7, 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.

8VAC20-70-510. Vehicles powered by alternative fuels.

A. The Board of Education will continue to promote the use of alternative fuels for school buses. Any vehicle powered by alternative fuels will be subject to inspection and approval by the Virginia Department of Education.

B. Local school divisions, in consultation with the Department of Education, may purchase and use school buses using alternative fuels as covered in § 22.1-177 of the Code of Virginia.

C. Installation of alternative fuel tanks and fuel systems shall comply with all applicable Federal Motor Vehicles Safety Standards (FMVSS) 301, 49 CFR Part 571, and all applicable fire codes.

Statutory Authority

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

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.8, 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; Volume 28, Issue 26, eff. September 28, 2012.

8VAC20-70-520. (Repealed.)

Historical Notes

Derived from VR270-01-0006 § 5.9, 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; repealed, Virginia Register Volume 20, Issue 7, eff. January 14, 2004.

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