The Paul Lee School Bus Safety LawWhat you need to know to ensure compliance
What does the bill require?
The California child check bill—known as the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law”—requires all buses to be equipped with a “child safety alert system,” which is a device located at the interior rear of the bus. The driver must manually contact the device before exiting to ensure all seats were checked for children at the end of every shift. The bill also requires drivers to complete inspection training each year before receiving their school bus driver safety certificate.
To whom is it applicable?
The bill is applicable to county superintendents of schools, superintendents of a school district or owner/operators of a private school that provides transportation to students in the State of California. This includes transportation to and from school and for school activities—school buses, activity buses or youth buses.
When does the bill go into effect?
An approved child safety alert system and inspection procedures must be in place on or before the start of the 2018-2019 school year.
What are the consequences of non-compliance?
If a student is left unattended onboard a bus, school officials must notify the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. This authorizes the department to refuse to issue or renew, and to revoke or suspend, a bus driver certificate on these grounds. The bill also imposes penalties for bus drivers, school districts or contractors who knowingly transport students in a bus without an operable child safety alert system.
Is funding available to meet requirements of the bill?
No. State funding or reimbursement is not available.
What should school transportation officials outside of California know?
The enactment of new legislation in reaction to the need for increased student safety is a good impetus to review current safety procedures, access exposure, and plan for future enhancements as needed.
Who can I contact to find out more?
Zonar has a dedicated team of safety and compliance experts with decades of experience in the pupil transportation industry. If you have any questions about current or proposed legislation within your state, please don't hesitate to contact us for a complimentary consultation.
- Zonar's Electronic Verified Inspection Reporting (EVIR®) system is fully compliant with the “child safety alert system” requirement required by the Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law.
- Zonar, in partnerships with both the NAPT and NSTA, also offers an up to $50,000 grant opportunity to offset the costs of purchasing and installing an EVIR system.
- Zonar is already line-installed on most Thomas Built Bus models. You may need to simply work with a Zonar rep to activate services and get equipped with EVIR.
How does the EVIR system work?
Tag: Small and durable RFID tags are placed at the back of the bus interior and any other pre-determined general maintenance points (i.e. pre- and post-trip inspections).
Inspect: The driver performing the inspection must physically scan each tag on the vehicle, including a tag placed at the rear interior of the bus. The device must be within two inches of the point of inspection, which verifies that a manual check was performed by the driver.
Transmit: Data from each inspection is electronically transmitted to administrative staff and school transportation officials. This provides an electronic, verifiable log to prove that inspections are being performed accurately and consistently, and communicates any notable defects in real-time.