Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 46.2. Motor Vehicles
Chapter 10. Motor Vehicle and Equipment Safety

Article 11. Paint, Lettering, and Special Equipment for School Buses.

§ 46.2-1089. Paint and lettering on school bus.

School buses shall be painted yellow with the words "School Bus" on the front and rear in letters at least eight inches high. All school buses shall be equipped with warning devices prescribed in § 46.2-1090. Only school buses as defined in § 46.2-100 may be painted yellow, identified by lettering as provided in this section, and equipped with the specified warning devices. A vehicle which merely transports pupils or residents at a school from one point to another without intermittent stops for the purpose of picking up or discharging pupils need not comply with the requirements of this section.

1968, c. 653, § 46.1-286.1; 1974, c. 455; 1989, c. 727.

§ 46.2-1089.1. Signs and markings on school buses using alternative fuels.

The State Board of Education may provide by regulation for the display of appropriate signs or other markings on school buses using alternative fuels. Such signs or markings shall conspicuously identify the vehicle as an alternatively fueled vehicle and indicate the type of alternative fuel used. No such sign or marking shall be more than 4 3/4 inches long or more than 3 1/4 inches high.

For the purposes of this section: (i) "alternative fuel" means a motor fuel used as an alternative to gasoline or diesel fuel; (ii) alcohol/gasoline blended fuels which contain less than eighty-five percent ethanol or methanol shall not be considered alternative fuels; and (iii) dual-fuel and bi-fuel vehicles equipped to operate on both a conventional fuel and an alternative fuel shall be considered alternatively fueled vehicles.

Signs and markings provided for under this section shall be in addition to other markings permitted or required by this title.

1993, c. 172.

§ 46.2-1090. Warning devices on school buses; other buses; use thereof; penalties.

Every bus used for the principal purpose of transporting school children shall be equipped with a warning device of such type as may be prescribed by the State Board of Education after consultation with the Superintendent of State Police. Such a warning device shall indicate when such bus is either (i) stopped or about to stop to take on or discharge children, elderly individuals, or individuals with mental or physical disabilities or (ii) stopped or about to stop for another such bus, when approaching from any direction, that is stopped or about to stop to take on or discharge any such individual. Such warning device shall be used and in operation for at least 100 feet before any proposed stop of such bus if the lawful speed limit is less than 35 miles per hour, and for at least 200 feet before any proposed stop of such bus if the lawful speed limit is 35 miles per hour or more.

For any new bus placed into service on or after July 1, 2007, such warning devices, at a minimum, shall include a nonsequential system of red traffic warning lights, a warning sign with flashing lights, and a crossing control arm such that when the bus door is opened, the red warning lights, warning sign with flashing lights, and crossing control arm are automatically activated.

Failure of a warning device to function on any school bus shall not relieve any person operating a motor vehicle from his duty to stop as provided in §§ 46.2-844 and 46.2-859.

Any person operating such bus who fails or refuses to equip such vehicle being driven by him with such equipment, or who fails to use such warning devices in the operation of such vehicle is guilty of a Class 3 misdemeanor.

Transit buses used to transport school children in the City of Hampton may be equipped with an advisory sign that extends from the left side of the bus and displays the words: "CAUTION-STUDENTS." Such sign may be equipped with not more than two warning lights of a type approved for use by the Superintendent of State Police.

Code 1950, § 22-280; 1956, c. 213; 1958, c. 541, § 46.1-287; 1960, c. 156; 1970, c. 521; 1975, c. 633; 1982, c. 681; 1989, c. 727; 1995, c. 106; 1996, c. 512; 2007, c. 421; 2023, cc. 148, 149.

§ 46.2-1090.1. Warning lights on school buses.

In addition to other lights authorized by law, school buses may be equipped with flashing white or amber warning lights of types authorized by the Board of Education after consultation with the Superintendent of State Police. These warning lights shall be installed in a manner authorized by the Board after consultation with the Superintendent and shall be lighted while the bus is transporting school children during periods of reduced visibility caused by atmospheric conditions other than darkness. These warning lights may also be lighted at other times while the bus is transporting school children. Drivers of motor vehicles approaching school buses displaying lighted warning lights authorized in this section shall not be required to stop except as required in §§ 46.2-844 and 46.2-859.

1992, c. 159; 1997, c. 65.