Arkansas - Transportation Safety—safety equipment: Program Requirement

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Statute
Summary: 

State law addresses bus safety equipment by authorizing the use of both stop-arm cameras and the installation of school bus seat belts.

2017 Arkansas Code 6-19-125. Safety equipment grant pilot program

(a) As used in this section:

  • (1) "Electronic warning device" means a nine-inch by twenty-four-inch (9" x 24") electronic driver alert sign that uses a light-emitting diode (LED) screen and is to be mounted between the two (2) windows of the rear emergency exit door on a Type C bus or immediately below the rear emergency exit window on a Type D bus;
  • (2) "High incident route" means a school bus route that has been identified by the school district or the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation as having a history of repeated and verified incidents of operators of motor vehicles illegally passing the school bus during the loading or unloading of passengers on the school bus route in violation of § 27-51-1004; and
  • (3)
    • (A) "Video recording device" means a device that includes at least one (1) video camera and a data recording device that is installed on a school bus to capture video or digital images of a violation of § 27-51-1004.
    • (B) A video recording device that is issued under this section shall have specifications and features that allow it to capture video or digital images of at least two (2) of the following:
      • (i) The motor vehicle;
      • (ii) The operator of the motor vehicle; or
      • (iii) The license plate on the motor vehicle.

(b) The division shall create a school bus safety equipment grant pilot program, subject to the appropriation and availability of funding.

(c) The goal of the school bus safety equipment grant pilot program is to provide school districts with video recording devices or other electronic warning devices for school buses that travel on high incident routes.

(d)

  • (1) A school district may apply to the division for a grant for a video recording device or electronic warning device for the installation and use on the school district's school buses.
  • (2) The division shall award a grant of equipment to a school district to improve the safety of school bus transportation to the school district applicants that are most in need as determined by the following factors:
    • (A) The number of high incident routes;
    • (B) The number of school bus routes;
    • (C) The type of roads;
    • (D) The number of students transported on school buses; and
    • (E) The size of the school district.

(e) The grant of equipment shall be the video recording device or electronic warning device purchased by the division and does not include installation costs.

(f) The school district shall certify to the division within forty-five (45) days after receiving the equipment that the equipment was installed according to the division's specifications on a school bus that travels on a high incident route.

(g) The division may promulgate rules for the implementation and administration of this section.


2017 Arkansas Code 6-19-117. School bus safety equipment -- Definition

(a) As used in this section, "school bus" means:

  • (1) A motor vehicle designed to carry ten (10) or more passengers that is:
    • (A) Owned by a public or a governmental agency or a private school and operated for the transportation of students to or from school or school-sponsored activities; or
    • (B) Privately owned and operated for compensation for the transportation of students to or from school or school-sponsored activities; and
  • (2) A motor vehicle designed to carry more than twenty-five (25) passengers is exempt from this section if the motor vehicle is:
    • (A) Owned by a public or a governmental agency or a private school and operated for the transportation of students to or from school-sponsored activities but not used to transport students on any scheduled school bus route; or
    • (B) Privately owned and operated for compensation under contract to a school district and used for the transportation of students to or from school-sponsored activities.

(b)

  • (1) Any new school bus whose function involves the loading or discharging of students as passengers shall be equipped with a flashing white strobe light in order to provide greater visibility to drivers in approaching vehicles.
  • (2) The strobe light shall be in addition to those flasher lights required under § 27-51-1002.

(c) Any new school bus whose function involves the loading or discharging of students as passengers on a regular route shall be equipped with an electric, air, or hydraulic-operated crossing gate in order to prevent a student from crossing in front of the bus in such a way that the school bus driver is unlikely to see him or her.

(d) On and after July 1, 1997, all other school buses shall be retrofitted with a flashing white strobe light and an electric, air, or hydraulic-operated crossing gate for purposes as described in this section.

(e) No later than July 1 of each year, the superintendent of each local school district shall certify to the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation that the district is in compliance with the provisions of this section.

(f) The Director of the Division of Public School Academic Facilities and Transportation shall cause to be publicized the third week of October as School Bus Safety Week.

(g) If funding is provided as required in § 6-19-130(e), a school bus that is purchased new or leased and that is to be used in Arkansas on or after January 1, 2018, shall be equipped with a passenger restraint system as defined in § 6-19-130 in a number sufficient to allow each student who is being transported in the school bus to use a passenger restraint system.


2017 Arkansas Code 6-19-131. Automated school bus safety camera -- Definition

(a) As used in this section, "automated school bus safety camera" means a device that is affixed to a school bus and is synchronized to automatically record video or one (1) or more sequenced photographs of a motor vehicle passing a school bus in violation of § 27-51-1004.

(b) A public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school may:

  • (1) Install and operate an automated school bus safety camera on a school bus; and
  • (2) Enter into a contract with a private vendor to install and operate the automated school bus safety camera.

(c) A public school district or an open-enrollment public charter school that uses automated school bus safety cameras shall provide a video or photograph recorded by an automated school bus safety camera for use as evidence in a criminal or civil proceeding for a violation of an offense under § 27-51-1001 et seq. when requested by an investigating law enforcement agency.


2017 Arkansas Code 6-19-130. School bus passenger restraint systems -- Definitions

(a) As used in this section, a "passenger restraint system" means:

  • (1) A type 2 seat belt assembly that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 209 and with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 210 as those standards were in effect on the date the school bus was manufactured; or
  • (2) A type 2 lap and shoulder restraint system and that is in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222.

(b)

  • (1) A school district shall require a student being transported in a school bus operated by or contracted for operation by the school district to wear a passenger restraint system if the school bus is required under § 6-19-117(g) to be equipped with a passenger restraint system for each passenger on the school bus.
  • (2) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, a student being transported in a school bus that is required to be equipped with passenger restraint systems shall use a passenger restraint system at all times while the school bus is in motion.

(c) A school district may implement a disciplinary policy to enforce the use of passenger restraint systems by students being transported in a school bus.

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