Trans 300.61   Signs and lettering.
Trans 300.62   Steering.
Trans 300.63   Steps.
Trans 300.64   Stop signal arm.
Trans 300.65   Sunshield.
Trans 300.66   Suspension system.
Trans 300.67   Tires.
Trans 300.68   Wheels.
Trans 300.69   Windows.
Trans 300.70   Windshield.
Trans 300.71   Windshield washer.
Trans 300.72   Windshield wipers.
Trans 300.73   Wiring.
Subchapter III—Special Additional Requirements
Trans 300.75   Special service opening.
Trans 300.76   Power lift or ramps.
Trans 300.77   Wheelchair fasteners.
Trans 300.78   Seats and restraints.
Trans 300.79   Communications.
Trans 300.80   Optional equipment.
Trans 300.81   Authorized optional equipment.
Subchapter IV—General Requirements
Trans 300.85   Replacement equipment.
Trans 300.86   Enforcement policy.
Trans 300.87   Inspection procedures.
Trans 300.88   Applicability.
Trans 300.89   Penalties.
Ch. Trans 300 Note Note: Chapter Trans 300 was renumbered from chapter MVD 17 and revised by emergency rule effective September 8, 1982; chapter MVD 17 as it existed on February 28, 1983 was repealed and a new chapter Trans 300 was created effective March 1, 1983.
Trans 300.01 Trans 300.01Purpose and scope.
Trans 300.01(1) (1) The purpose of this chapter is to promote the safe transportation of pupils and other authorized persons in school buses as defined in s. 340.01 (56), Stats.
Trans 300.01(2) (2) This chapter is intended to provide specific safety-related standards regarding the design, construction, inspection, and operation of school buses.
Trans 300.01(3) (3) The chapter provides for differing standards for vehicles of varying size and configuration.
Trans 300.01 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83.
Trans 300.02 Trans 300.02Definitions. In this chapter:
Trans 300.02(1) (1) “Attended" means the driver is in the immediate area of the school bus service door or, in the case of a bus equipped with a power lift, the driver is assisting a disabled person to board or exit the bus operating the power lift controls.
Trans 300.02(1m) (1m) “Department" means the department of transportation.
Trans 300.02(2) (2) “Driver's compartment" means the area forward of the rearmost portion of the driver's seat across the entire width of the bus.
Trans 300.02(2m) (2m) “FMVSS" means federal motor vehicle safety standard.
Trans 300.02(3) (3) “GAWR" means the gross axle weight rating.
Trans 300.02(4) (4) “GVWR" means the gross vehicle weight rating.
Trans 300.02(4g) (4g) “Lights" or “lamps" mean devices that emit light, either to illuminate roads, license plates and similar items, or to warn motorists and the public of the presence of a school bus and the need for due care. In this chapter, both terms have the same meaning and may be used interchangeably.
Trans 300.02(4m) (4m) “Rebody" means the placing of a new or replacement school bus body on a previously-licensed school bus chassis.
Trans 300.02(5) (5) “SAE" means the society of automotive engineers.
Trans 300.02(6)(a)(a) “School bus" or “bus" means a passenger motor vehicle which is designed to carry 10 or more passengers in addition to the driver, is painted in accordance with s. 347.44 (1), Stats., and transports persons as described in s. 340.01 (56) (a) and (am), Stats. A school bus may be classed as one of the following types:
Trans 300.02(6)(a)1. 1. A type “A" school bus is a conversion or body constructed upon a van-type or cutaway front-section vehicle with a left side driver's door, designed for carrying more than 10 persons. This definition shall include the following 2 classifications:
Trans 300.02(6)(a)1.a. a. Type A-I, with a GVWR over 10,000 pounds.
Trans 300.02(6)(a)1.b. b. Type A-II, with a GVWR of 10,000 pounds and under.
Trans 300.02(6)(a)2. 2. A type “B" school bus is a conversion or body constructed and installed upon a van or front-section vehicle chassis, or stripped chassis, with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, designed for carrying more than 10 persons. Part of the engine is beneath or behind, or both, the windshield and beside the driver's seat. The entrance door is behind the front wheels.
Trans 300.02(6)(a)3. 3. A type “C" school bus is a body installed upon a flat back cowl chassis, with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, designed for carrying more than 10 persons. All of the engine is in front of the windshield and the entrance door is behind the front wheels.
Trans 300.02(6)(a)4. 4. A type “D" school bus is a body installed upon a chassis, with the engine mounted in the front, midships, or rear, with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds, designed for carrying more than 10 persons. The engine may be behind the windshield and beside the driver's seat, or it may be at the rear of the bus, behind the rear wheels, or midships between the front and rear axles. The entrance door is ahead of the front wheels.
Trans 300.02(6)(b) (b) “School bus" does not include an alternative vehicle, a human service vehicle, a motor bus or a motor vehicle operated as part of an urban mass transit system, in accordance with s. 340.01 (56) (b), Stats.
Trans 300.02(7) (7) “Secretary" means the secretary of the department of transportation.
Trans 300.02(7m) (7m) “Vehicular hazard warning lamps" means utilization of all turn signal lights simultaneously by actuating the vehicular hazard warning switch.
Trans 300.02(8) (8) “Wheelchair" means any specially constructed wheeled device used exclusively for the movement of physically disabled persons.
Trans 300.02 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; renum. (1) to (1m), cr. (1), (2m), (4m), (7m), am. (8), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; r and recr. (6), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 1-1-98; CR 15-069: cr. (7r) Register April 2016 No. 724, eff. 5-1-16; renum. (7r) to (4g) under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 1., Stats., Register April 2016 No. 724.
subch. I of ch. Trans 300 Subchapter I—Purchasing and Operating Requirements
Trans 300.10 Trans 300.10Manufacturer. It is the vehicle manufacturer and the school bus body manufacturer's responsibility to manufacture a school bus in compliance with all federal and state standards applicable to the manufacturer of school buses. The vehicle manufacturer shall provide copies of all equipment recalls to the administrator, Wisconsin division of state patrol, to assure appropriate repairs are made.
Trans 300.10 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95.
Trans 300.11 Trans 300.11Dealer.
Trans 300.11(1) (1) It is the chassis dealer's responsibility to furnish a motor vehicle chassis that is to be combined with a school bus body which meets the applicable state standards that relate to chassis components. The chassis dealer is the statutory owner of the school bus.
Trans 300.11(2) (2) General practice through the years has made the school bus body distributor the person who actually delivers the school bus to the purchaser. The presale inspection shall be the responsibility of the dealer or the distributor delivering the school bus to the purchaser.
Trans 300.11(3) (3) The dealer or distributor that is required to secure the presale inspection shall be clearly indicated on the purchase order.
Trans 300.11(4) (4) The dealer shall assure that copies of all equipment recalls are provided to the division of state patrol.
Trans 300.11 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. (2), (3), cr. (4), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95.
Trans 300.12 Trans 300.12Distributor. The school bus body distributor acts as an agent of the final assembler of the school bus. The distributor is the agent that may arrange for the presale inspection of the school bus. If the purchaser wishes to arrange for the presale inspection, this shall clearly be stated on the purchase order. The distributor shall furnish a school bus body which meets the applicable state standards that relate to body components. The distributor or owner who furnishes a rebody shall arrange for the initial inspection prior to its use as a school bus.
Trans 300.12 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95.
Trans 300.13 Trans 300.13Purchaser.
Trans 300.13(1) (1) Any person intending to purchase a motor vehicle to be used as a school bus shall provide the seller with a written notice of such intent prior to the signing of the purchase order. A notation on the purchase order shall fulfill this requirement.
Trans 300.13(2) (2) Any person intending to purchase a school bus body to be combined with a motor vehicle chassis to form a body-on-chassis type school bus shall provide the seller or distributor with a written notice of such intent prior to the signing of the purchase order. A notation on the purchase order shall fulfill this requirement.
Trans 300.13(3) (3) Any person purchasing a school bus may not use the vehicle for any pupil transportation unless the bus has been inspected by the department and approved for use as a school bus in Wisconsin. This may not preclude such use if items needing correction or alteration after the initial inspection are of a nature that would not affect safe transportation of students. The inspecting officer shall advise the owner if a new bus may be used while the items not in compliance are being corrected.
Trans 300.13 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; cr. (intro.), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; am. (3), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 1-1-98; 2017 Wis. Act 49: r. (intro.) Register August 2017 No. 740, eff. 8-4-17.
Trans 300.15 Trans 300.15Employer requirements.
Trans 300.15(1) (1) Each employer of school bus drivers shall be responsible to determine that only qualified personnel operate school buses according to safe practices and that each bus is qualified for pupil transportation.
Trans 300.15(2) (2) The operator or owner of a school bus shall have a maintenance record file for each school bus. The maintenance record file shall be kept at the principal repair facility used for the bus. If the bus owner does not operate a repair facility, the record file shall be kept current at another location accessible for inspection. The record file shall be maintained for the life of the bus and shall contain:
Trans 300.15(2)(a) (a) Identification of the bus including make, model, vehicle identification number, and fleet number.
Trans 300.15(2)(b) (b) A record of repairs performed including the date and nature of repair.
Trans 300.15(2)(c) (c) A record of the lubrication and preventive maintenance performed including date and nature of maintenance.
Trans 300.15(2)(d) (d) The initial pre-sale inspection and a copy of the latest inspection performed by state employees.
Trans 300.15(3) (3) All required records shall be open for inspection and presented to the secretary or designee upon demand. The secretary may periodically authorize deletion or destruction of material contained in the record file.
Trans 300.15(4) (4) A driver's report indicating a school bus defect or unsafe condition, in either written or electronic form, shall be maintained for a period of 7 calendar days after repair.
Trans 300.15 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. (2) (a), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; am. (3), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 1-1-98; CR 03-116: am. (2) (d) Register April 2004 No. 580, eff. 5-1-04; CR 15-069: am. (2) (d), r. and recr. (4) Register April 2016 No. 724, eff. 5-1-16.
Trans 300.16 Trans 300.16Driver requirements.
Trans 300.16(1) (1) Prior to the start of any trip, the driver, or employer designee, shall check the condition of the bus, giving particular attention to brakes, tires, lights, emergency equipment, mirrors, windows, and interior cleanliness of the bus. Defects shall be reported in writing, or electronic file, to the person in charge of bus maintenance by completing a pre-trip report. In addition to completing a pre-trip report when a defect or unsafe condition is found, an inspection log indicating the date, time, and identification of who completed the inspection must be completed prior to the start of any trip. It is the driver's responsibility to ensure that the pre-trip inspection has been completed prior to the start of any trip. The driver shall be responsible for the cleanliness of the interior of the bus and shall ensure that the windshield and mirrors are clean before each school bus operation and that the strobe light is actuated whenever the bus is in operation on a highway for purposes specified in s. 340.01 (56) (a) and (am), Stats.
Trans 300.16(2) (2) Articles may not be transported within the bus body if there is or may be interference with the safe transportation of pupils or with the driver or if the articles obstruct the aisle, stepwell, or steps. No animal, firearm, or other weapon of any sort, or articles not associated with school activity shall be permitted on a bus without the express, written authorization of the appropriate school administrator. The bus driver shall refuse admittance to any student not presenting the required written authorization. The driver shall designate where all such articles shall be carried in the bus. The provisions of this subsection do not apply to animals specially trained to aid disabled persons which may be permitted in accord with s. 106.52 (3) (am), Stats.
Trans 300.16(3) (3) The driver may not smoke or permit smoking aboard the school bus.
Trans 300.16(4) (4) A driver may not operate a school bus while under the influence of alcohol or a controlled substance or a combination of alcohol and a controlled substance or permit the use of alcohol or a controlled substance on any school bus. The driver may not operate a school bus if he or she is under any medication, or combination of medication and alcohol, which may affect the safe operation of the bus.
Trans 300.16(5) (5) Drivers operating a school bus that meets the definition of a commercial motor vehicle shall comply with ss. 346.63 (5) and 346.63 (7) (a), Stats.
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Published under s. 35.93, Stats. Updated on the first day of each month. Entire code is always current. The Register date on each page is the date the chapter was last published.