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.
Trans 300.16(6) (6) Drivers operating a school bus not meeting the definition of a commercial motor vehicle shall comply with the following:
Trans 300.16(6)(a) (a) A driver may not consume an intoxicating beverage regardless of its alcoholic content within 4 hours before going on duty, or operating, or having physical control of, a school bus.
Trans 300.16(6)(b) (b) A driver may not consume an intoxicating beverage regardless of its alcoholic content while on duty, or operating, or in physical control of, a school bus.
Trans 300.16(6)(c) (c) A driver may not have in his or her possession any alcoholic beverage regardless of its alcoholic content while on duty or operating a school bus.
Trans 300.16(6)(d) (d) A driver may not operate a school bus while having any measured alcohol concentration above 0.0.
Trans 300.16(7) (7) The driver shall maintain order among passengers being transported and shall promptly report any misconduct to the proper authority. The driver may assign a seating order.
Trans 300.16(8) (8) Loading stations or points shall be selected with due regard for traffic and pedestrian safety and shall be approved by school authorities. Flashing warning lights shall be used as required by s. 346.48 (2), Stats. The stop arm shall be used in conjunction with the flashing red warning lights and shall be extended only after the bus comes to a stop. Except where there are special loading zones where the bus is entirely off the traveled portion of the highway, the bus shall be stopped on the traveled portion of the highway in the lane farthest to the right which is improved, designed or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, excluding the berm or shoulder. The flashing red warning lights may not be extinguished until loading or unloading is completed and persons who must cross the highway are safely across. The stop arm shall be retracted before putting the bus in motion.
Trans 300.16(9) (9) A school bus may not be stopped on any portion of a highway for the loading or discharge of pupils or other persons unless the bus is painted the yellow and black school bus color combination, is equipped with a stop signal arm and alternating flashing red or flashing red and amber lights and is identified by a school bus sign. This subsection does not apply to a vehicle which is operating within a municipality and which is not readily identifiable as a school bus. When loading or discharging pupils in a rural area, a vehicle not identifiable as a school bus shall do so off the highway and in such a manner that the pupils do not have to cross the highway.
Trans 300.16(10) (10) The driver shall make sure that there is no traffic danger before allowing pupils to cross the highway. Pupils obliged to cross the highway shall be required to cross from a point at least 10 feet forward of the standing bus only after receiving a signal from the driver. When discharging passengers the driver may not proceed until all persons are at a safe distance away from the bus or, if crossing the roadways, they are safely across the street or highway. This subsection applies only where alternating flashing red or flashing red and amber lights are required by s. 346.48, Stats., or authorized by s. 349.21, Stats.
Trans 300.16(11) (11) A driver may not leave the bus unattended with the engine running or the key in the ignition when pupils are in the bus or in the immediate area of the bus.
Trans 300.16(12) (12) Except as provided in sub. (15), the doors of a bus shall be closed securely before starting and shall remain closed while the bus is in motion. Abrupt starts and stops or sudden maneuvers are prohibited, except in an emergency.
Trans 300.16(13) (13) The driver may not require nor permit any passenger to stand while the vehicle is in motion except while a passenger is going to a door or seat just prior to stopping or immediately after loading. This does not apply to chaperones or monitors in the performance of their duties. The driver may not permit any passenger to sit anywhere on the bus except in seats provided.
Trans 300.16(14) (14) The driver may not operate a school bus beyond the legal posted speed limits on any town, county, municipal, state or federal highway.
Trans 300.16(15) (15) The driver of a school bus required to stop at a railroad crossing by s. 346.45, Stats., shall come to a full stop at a distance of not less than 15 feet nor more than 50 feet before crossing at grade any track of a railroad. The vehicle hazard warning lamps shall be used when the bus is slowing for the stop and shall remain on until the bus has resumed normal speed. While the bus is so stopped, the driver shall open the service door and listen and look in both directions along the track for any approaching train and for signals indicating the approach of a train. After stopping and upon proceeding when it is safe to do so, the driver of the bus shall cross only in the gear of the bus that will make it unnecessary to manually shift gears while traversing the crossing, and the driver may not shift gears while traversing the crossing. The service door shall remain open until the front wheels of the bus have cleared the first set of tracks for each required stop, but shall be closed before shifting.
Trans 300.16(16) (16) In case of an accident or a breakdown, when practicable, the driver shall remain with the bus and may send 2 responsible pupils or other passengers to the nearest place for help unless aid has been secured by means of 2-way communication.
Trans 300.16(17) (17) The use of audio headsets by drivers shall be prohibited.
Trans 300.16(18) (18) Drivers shall check the entire interior of the school bus following each trip to assure all passengers are off the bus.
Trans 300.16(19) (19) Drivers, school boards, transportation supervisors, and bus owners shall cooperate at all times with authorized division of state patrol personnel in carrying out the inspection of school buses and equipment.
Trans 300.16(20) (20) No persons except pupils, school employees, chaperones and other persons approved by the school or department authorities shall be permitted to ride in a school bus subject to this chapter, provided that school board members or an authorized department official conducting an inspection of the vehicle or examination of the driver's ability shall be given such privilege. Transportation of passengers in excess of the number posted in the bus is prohibited.
Trans 300.16 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. (2), (3), renum. (5) to (15) to be (7) to (16) and (19) and am. (7) to (10), (12), (14) to (16), cr. (5), (6), (17), (18), (20), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; am. (2) to (4), (6) (a) to (d), (8) to (11), (13) and (15), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 1-1-98; am. (1), Register, April, 1999, No. 520, eff. 5-1-99; correction in (2) made under s. 13.92 (4) (b) 7., Stats., Register March 2012 No. 675; CR 15-069: am. (1), (8) to (10) Register April 2016 No. 724, eff. 5-1-16.
Trans 300.17 Trans 300.17Passengers. School bus passengers shall comply with any lawful order given by the driver in carrying out the driver's responsibility of transporting passengers safely.
Trans 300.17 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83.
Trans 300.18 Trans 300.18Out of service.
Trans 300.18(1) (1) Any bus that is found to be in such condition that it is unsafe for use as a school bus shall have an “out of service" sticker attached to the lower right corner of the windshield, and the vehicle may not be used as a school bus while the sticker is displayed.
Trans 300.18(2) (2) A vehicle with an “out of service" sticker displayed shall be reinspected by and shall have the sticker removed by an employee of the division of state patrol or authorized agent of the carrier at the direction of the division of state patrol employee prior to reuse as a school bus.
Trans 300.18(3) (3) It shall be illegal for any person other than an agent of the department to remove, conceal or obstruct an “out of service" sticker unless the vehicle:
Trans 300.18(3)(a) (a) Has the base school bus registration removed.
Trans 300.18(3)(b) (b) Is re-registered in such a manner as to prohibit its use as a school bus.
Trans 300.18(3)(c) (c) Is converted to meet the requirements of s. Trans 300.19.
Trans 300.18 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. (1), (2), Register, February, 1995, No. 470, eff. 3-1-95; am. (1), (2) and (3) (a) and (b), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 1-1-98.
Trans 300.19 Trans 300.19Requirements to convert a school bus. The owner of every vehicle identified as a school bus by color, signs, and lights which is converted from a school bus to some other type of vehicle shall comply with the following requirements:
Trans 300.19(1) (1) Repaint the entire vehicle to a color other than glossy yellow or any color commonly referred to as yellow.
Trans 300.19(2) (2) Physically remove the flashing red lights from the vehicle; the mere disconnection, covering or repainting of the flashing red lights does not comply with this requirement.
Trans 300.19(3) (3) Remove the stop signal arm.
Trans 300.19(4) (4) Remove any sign identifying the vehicle as a school bus.
Trans 300.19(5) (5) Remove the crossing gate.
Trans 300.19 History History: Cr. Register, February, 1983, No. 326, eff. 3-1-83; am. (2), Register, December, 1997, No. 504, eff. 11-98; CR 03-116: cr. (5) Register April 2004 No. 580, eff. 5-1-04.
Trans 300.20 Trans 300.20Adoption of standards.
Trans 300.20(1) (1) Pursuant to s. 227.21, Stats., the attorney general and the legislative reference bureau have consented to the incorporation by reference of the following standards.
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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.