Minnesota - Transportation Safety—safety training: Program Requirement

Program Requirement
Policy Type: 

State law requires districts to establish transportation plans or policies addressing bus driver safety training.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Education Code, Chapter 123B School district powers and duties 123B. 90 School bus safety training.

Subd. 2.  Student training.
(a) Each district must provide public school pupils enrolled in kindergarten through grade 10 with age-appropriate school bus safety training, as described in this section, of the following concepts:

  • (1) transportation by school bus is a privilege and not a right
  • (2) district policies for student conduct and school bus safety;
  • (3) appropriate conduct while on the school bus;
  • (4) the danger zones surrounding a school bus;
  • (5) procedures for safely boarding and leaving a school bus;
  • (6) procedures for safe street or road crossing; and
  • (7) school bus evacuation.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Education Code, Chapter 123B School district powers and duties 123B. 91 School district bus safety responsibilities.

Subdivision 1.  Comprehensive policy. Each district shall develop and implement a comprehensive, written policy governing pupil transportation safety, including transportation of nonpublic school students, when applicable. The policy, at minimum, must contain:

  • (1) provisions for appropriate student bus safety training under section 123B.90;
  • (2) rules governing student conduct on school buses and in school bus loading and unloading areas;
  • (3) a statement of parent or guardian responsibilities relating to school bus safety;
  • (4) an intradistrict system for reporting school bus accidents or misconduct and a system for dealing with local law enforcement officials in cases of criminal conduct on a school bus;
  • (5) a discipline policy to address violations of school bus safety rules, including procedures for revoking a student’s bus riding privileges in cases of serious or repeated misconduct;
  • (6) a system for integrating school bus misconduct records with other discipline records;
  • (7) where applicable, provisions governing bus monitor qualifications, training, and duties;
  • (8) rules governing the use and maintenance of type III vehicles, drivers of type III vehicles, qualifications to drive a type III vehicle, qualifications for a type III vehicle, and the circumstances under which a student may be transported in a type III vehicle;
  • (9) operating rules and procedures;
  • (10) emergency procedures;
  • (11) a system for maintaining and inspecting equipment; and
  • (12) any other requirements of the school district.

Subd. 1a.  Compliance by nonpublic and charter school students. A nonpublic or charter school student transported by a public school district shall comply with student bus conduct and student bus discipline policies of the transporting public school district.

Subd. 2.  School transportation safety director. Each board shall designate a school transportation safety director to oversee and implement pupil transportation safety policies. The director shall have day-to-day responsibility for pupil transportation safety within the district, including transportation of nonpublic school children when provided by the district.

Minnesota Statutes 2018 Transportation, Chapter 171 Drivers' licenses and training schools, 171.321 Qualifications of school bus and type III vehicle drivers

Subd. 4.  Training.
(a) No person shall drive a class A, B, C, or D school bus when transporting school children to or from school or upon a school-related trip or activity without having demonstrated sufficient skills and knowledge to transport students in a safe and legal manner.

(b) A bus driver must have training or experience that allows the driver to meet at least the following competencies:

  • (1) safely operate the type of school bus the driver will be driving;
  • (2) understand student behavior, including issues relating to students with disabilities;
  • (3) encourage orderly conduct of students on the bus and handle incidents of misconduct appropriately;
  • (4) know and understand relevant laws, rules of the road, and local school bus safety policies;
  • (5) handle emergency situations; and
  • (6) safely load and unload students.

(c) The commissioner of public safety shall develop a comprehensive model school bus driver training program and model assessments for school bus driver training competencies, which are not subject to chapter 14. A school district, nonpublic school, or private contractor may use alternative assessments for bus driver training competencies with the approval of the commissioner of public safety. A driver may receive at least eight hours of school bus in-service training any year, as an alternative to being assessed for bus driver competencies after the initial year of being assessed for bus driver competencies. The employer shall keep the assessment or a record of the in-service training for the current period available for inspection by representatives of the commissioner.

(d) A school district, nonpublic school, or private contractor shall provide in-service training annually to each school bus driver.

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