Transportation Personnel

Adopted 6/11/03
Policy Revision:  8/6/14, 10/11/17                      

Transportation Personnel (Bus Drivers/Bus Attendants)

Philosophy—

In pupil transportation, South Sanpete School District is committed to provide children with safe transportation to and from school and to activities in the most efficient and cost-effective means possible. To ensure the safety of students, bus drivers/bus attendants must demonstrate competency by completing the initial requirements to become State-certified bus drivers/bus attendant and then annually participate in the State’s ongoing training and in-service to maintain their certification. The District will also provide drivers/attendants with new or used buses, which conform to the requirements as outlined in the “Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.”

School Bus Operators—

A school bus operator shall possess the following qualifications:

  1. Be at least 21 years of age.
  2. Meet the physical standards set forth in the Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.
  1. Provide evidence of a successfully completed physical examination in accordance with the U.S.  Department of Transportation, Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety Regulations for Drivers.  This physical examination is renewable every two years.
  2. Possess a commercial driver license (CDL) with a school bus endorsement.
  3. Complete an application form which includes a personal and occupational history.
  4. Possess a good driving record.  The candidate must not have more than 100 violation points on his or her record to be qualified and must have no more than two moving violations or two minor accidents (or combination of moving violations or accidents), or a severe preventable accident, within the past 24 months.
  5. Pass a check to determine if the applicant has a record of criminal offenses.  In general, the District shall determine whether a prior conviction or charge precludes an offer of employment.   However, the District shall employ no person as a school bus operator who has been convicted of any of the following offenses (The applicant should be informed of these checks before being asked to complete the application for employment):
    1. Any felony.
    2. Any offense resulting in a sentence to a term of imprisonment or correctional detention.
    3. Driving while under the influence (within the prior 10 years).
    4. Any conviction involving child abuse, neglect, or endangerment.
    5. Any conviction for possession or distribution of an illegal substance.
    6. Any conviction involving violence, or any sex-related offense.
  1. Not have any positive result or refusal to take a drug or alcohol test.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to follow detailed, written instructions and be able to accurately record and report data in terms of specific instruction.
  3. Complete, prior to transporting pupils, adequate classroom and in-bus training to enable the applicant to handle the bus in a safe and efficient manner.
  4. Complete an annual in-service training course.

Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations, p. 66-67 (2004)
Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations, p. 29 (2010)

Traffic Violation Reporting—

Bus drivers must report any charge, citation, or conviction of any traffic violation to the District with 30 days, with the exception of parking violations.  (This applies to any such matters whether those occur in the course of work responsibilities or on personal time and with private vehicles.)

Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations, Appendix, pg. 66 (2010)

Misconduct: Violation of Regulations—Officers and Employees—

Any officer or employee of any District who violates any of the regulations established under Utah Code Section 41-6a-1304 (the Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations) or fails to comply with said regulations in any contract executed by that person on behalf of a District shall be guilty of misconduct and subject to removal from office or employment.

Utah Code § 41-6a-1305(1) (2005)

Misconduct: Violation of Regulations—Contractees—

Any person operating a school bus under contract with a District who fails to comply with any regulations contained in the Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations shall be guilty of breach of contract and such contract shall be canceled after notice and hearing by the responsible officers of such District.

Utah Code § 41-6a-1305(2) (2005)

Electronic and Telecommunications Devices

Prohibited Use of Electronic and Telecommunications Devices—

The safety of passengers and of the public is a school bus operator’s primary responsibility at all times, consistent with training and policy.

While the school bus is in motion and not appropriately parked or secured, a school bus operator shall not use a cell phone, wireless electronic device, or any headset, earpiece, earphones or other equipment that might distract a driver from his responsibilities, whether hand held or not. (However, operators may use two-way radios or mounted GPS systems if done in a safe and appropriate manner.)

Utah Admin. Rules R277-601-3(1)(a), (b) (June 9, 2014)

Permitted Use of Electronic and Telecommunications Devices—

After the bus is stopped and safely parked, a school bus operator may use an electronic device for emergencies, to assist special needs students, for behavior management, for appropriate assistance for field/activity trips, or for other issues related to the operator’s work responsibilities.

Subject to other District policies regarding use of personal electronic devices, a school bus operator may use an electronic device for personal reasons only after the school bus is safely parked and appropriately secured and all passengers are safely off and at a safe distance from the bus.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-601-3(1)(c), (d) (June 9, 2014)

Disciplinary Action for Violation—

Violation of the prohibitions regarding use of electronic devices by school bus operators may subject the violator to disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.  Violations of the prohibitions for emergency or compelling reasons may require documentation and will be considered on an individual basis by the District.

Utah Admin. Rules R277-601-3(1)(e), (f) (June 9, 2014)

Job Vacancies—

  1. When a job opening occurs (morning and/or afternoon run), the Transportation Director will review existing drivers and applications that are on file for qualified candidates.  The Administration (District office personnel, and/or School Board) together will determine whether to advertise the job opening within the District, outside the District, or both.
  2. Oncethatdeterminationismadetoadvertise,theDistrictpersonnelwillberesponsibleto generateaJobAnnouncementandwilladvertisethepositinforaminimumftwo weeks(iftimepermi.
  3. A Selection Committee recommended to be a minimum of three people will be selected by the District administration to screen applications and interview the finalists.  The Selection Committee may consist of, but not limited to, Transportation Director, principal, teacher, community person.
  4. The interview process will proceed as follows:
    1. The Selection Committee will meet prior to the interviews to review the questions each applicant will be asked during the interview.  They will review proper interviewing protocol governing the process, discuss how the final selection will be made, review the candidates’ job applications/files, and discuss other interviewing items.
    2. A rating sheet will be used to evaluate each applicant during the interview.
    3. Because of possible litigation, the Selection Committee will be advised not to discuss the results of this selection process with anyone, and it is recommended that these rating sheets be kept for a period of three years.
  5. The number one applicant will be contacted and recommended to the Superintendent and School Board.  No hiring is final until the School Board approves the recommendation.
  6. The District reserves the right to assign a single morning or afternoon run to any qualified bus drivers employed in the District, based on proximity to the route, availability, driving record, ability to manage students, and/or years of experience.

Physical Assessment Standard for Utah School Bus Drivers and Bus Attendants (New 8/10/11)

Applicability—

This standard applies to all school bus drivers and bus attendants in the State of Utah.

Rationale—

School bus drivers/bus attendants must be physically capable to drive a school bus and evacuate students in an emergency. A performance assessment test is required to evaluate the physical ability of each driver/bus attendant to perform the essential functions of his/her job and to safely evacuate students in an emergency.

Purpose—

The purpose of the physical assessment test is to help ensure the safety of children by requiring all drivers/bus attendants to meet or exceed the State of Utah Physical Assessment Standard for Utah School Bus Drivers/Attendants.

Procedures—

All physical assessments will be conducted by certified District Level Instructors.

  1. Bus drivers/bus attendants are required to pass the physical assessment annually.
  2. If a driver/bus attendant passes the physical assessment on the first attempt, they have completed the requirement. If a bus driver/bus attendant cannot pass one or more of the standards, the following sequence should occur:
    1. District Level Instructor will give the driver/bus attendant seven days to prepare for a second attempt at all required standards.
    2. If the driver/bus attendant passes the second attempt,they are cleared for duty If the driver/bus attendant cannot pass the second attempt, the District Transportation Director will schedule an appointment with the District’s contracted Occupational Therapist .The Therapist will administer the physical assessment, and the driver/bus attendant must perform all the required standards under the OT direction.
    3. If the driver/bus attendant cannot complete one or more of the physical assessment standards, the bus driver/bus attendant will be terminated.

* Any policies and standards not currently reflected in South Sanpete School District’s Transportation Policies shall be observed as listed in the State’s guide on “Standards for Utah School Buses and Operations.”

 

Accident Procedures

Philosophy—  

The purpose of this policy is to establish orderly procedures for reporting, investigating, and documenting all accidents/collisions/incidents involving District buses and/or vehicles. Accident records may also function as a database for implementation of accident prevention programs.

Policy—

In the event of an accident/collision/incident or mechanical breakdown, in which a District school bus and/or vehicle is involved, the driver should do following:

  1. Remain at the scene, and do not move the bus/vehicle from the place of accident unless directed by the police officer in charge of the investigation and/or a District supervisor. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, safely try to park the bus/vehicle off the roadway and activate four-way flashersand/or other warning devices as needed.
  2. As soon as possible, notify police, medical personnel (if needed), and one of the following Districtofficials:Superintendent, Transportation Director, Transportation Secretary, or Business Manager. District personnel will then contact Risk Management and will give the driver further directives concerning the accident.
  3. Check immediately for injuries and give reasonable first aid. Assessthe situation to determine the safest place to keep students.
  4. The driver should not discuss the accident in any manner or the cause of the accident or any contributing factors with any person other than the police officer and/or District personnel. Drivers are required to furnish only the following information to parties involved in the accident: driver’sname, driver’slicense, bus license number, and the name of the Transportation Director.
  5. Regardless of the damage sustainedin a bus accident, the bus driver must be drug and alcohol tested within 8 hours of the accident.
  6. When involved in an accident, collect the following information:
    1. Obtain name of driver(s)and license numbers of other vehicle(s).
    2. Obtain names of witnesses if possible.
    3. Make a list of names of students on the bus/vehicle.
  7. Make a list of students injured, their home addresses, phone numbers, the extent of their injuries, and appropriate explanations.
  8. Post-AccidentData: The driver shall include a signed statement and a written report of the accident (no matter how minor). Regardless of the amount of damage sustained, the driver shall include in this report property damage, personal injury, citations issued, etc. For insurance and liability purposes, the District shall also provide a Risk Management Accident Report Form for the driver to complete.
  9. Each bus accident will be reviewed by the District’s“Bus Safety Committee” and determined if the accident was “preventable” or “non-preventable,” as outlined in the “Bus Driver Accident Guidelines” Policy.

Point System for Bus Accidents

Philosophy—

The Transportation Department shall establish orderly procedures for reporting, investigating, and documenting all accidents, collisions, and incidents involving school buses.

Policy—                     

In all accidents/collisions/incidents (herein collectively referred to as “accidents”) involving school buses, regardless of the amount of damages sustained to the bus, other vehicles, property, or personal injuries sustained, the driver shall:

  1. Remain at the scene and report the accident to District Administration and police.
  2. Have a drug and alcohol test within 8 hours of an accident.
  3. Complete an Accident Report Form. This form shall include: description of accident, property damage, personal injury, vandalism, citations, etc.
  4. Have the Bus Safety Committee review each accident. The committee shall consist of the Transportation Director and/or Superintendent, a District Bus Trainer, Business Manager, another bus driver, and, if needed, a law enforcement officer.

         Following the accident, the committee shall:

  1. Hold a fact-finding meeting to determine if the accident was “preventable” or “non-Preventable.” The driver involved will be present to explain the accident and to answer questions.
  2. Communicate to the driver the decision reached through the BusSafetyCommitteeNotificationLetter.
  3. Give the driver an opportunity to appeal the decision to the School Board.

5.  Administrative action shall be taken based upon the findings and recommendation of the Bus Safety Committee.

    1. If the accident was “non-preventable,” a statement to that effect shall be included in the driver’s personnel file.  “Non-preventable” is defined as an accident/collision/incident where driver negligence was not found and the circumstances were unforeseen.  It is when a reasonable person (bus driver) would have acted in a similar way.
    2. If the accident was “preventable,” procedures for remediation and disciplinary action shall be implemented according to the degree of culpability, severity of the accident, and service record of the employee.  “Preventable” is defined as when a reasonable person (bus driver) would have been able to avoid the accident/collision/incident or driver negligence was found.  In the event that the accident is determined to be “preventable,” then disciplinary action may include, but is not limited to, any one or more of the following:
      1. Meet with the Bus Safety Committee to review the accident.
      2. Further training by the Driver Trainer.
      3. A verbal warning and/or reprimand
      4. A written letter of warning and/or reprimand.
      5. Attend a six-hour defensive driving course.
      6. Probation (Incident/Accident Free to 30-90 Days)
      7. Suspension of employment.
      8. Termination of employment.
      9. When disciplinary action is imposed, the driver shall be afforded due process rights during appeal.

          3. Preventable Accidents Point System

All Preventable Accidents shall be assigned a point value as listed below:

Total Amount of Damages Per Incident (Bus, Other Vehicles & Property) 1st Incident 2nd Incident 3rd Incident
$0 to $400 15 30 60
$401-$1000 35 70 100
$1001-$5000 50 100 200
$5001 or Higher 75 200 250

Recommendations and Point Assessment Criteria:

First-Year Drivers:

Substitute or Regular with 45 or More Points

Meet with the Bus Safety Committee. First-year drivers (substitute or regular) will be required within 30 days to re-train with a Driver Trainer for 6 hours with no pay. Retraining is mandatory for continued employment.
15-99 Points Meet with the Bus Safety Committee and receive a verbal or written warning and/or reprimand or probation.
100-199 Meet with the Bus Safety Committee. A driver may choose to retrain with the Driver Trainer for six hours with no pay to remove 50 points. Drivers may take this class only one time to remove points. The driver will receive a written warning and/or reprimand or probation.
200-299 Meet with the Bus Safety Committee. Complete the six hour Defensive Driving class within 30 days at the driver’s expense. Completion of the class will reduce a driver’s total points by 75. Drivers may take this class only one time to remove points. The driver will receive a written warning and/or reprimand or probation.
300-399 Meet with the Bus Safety Committee. The driver will receive a written reprimand and will be suspended without pay from his/her employment for a period of time to be determined by the administration of the District.

Over 400 Points or

4th Accident in a

3-Year Period

Meet with the Safety Committee. The driver will either:
  1. receive a written reprimand and will be suspended without pay from his/her employment for a period of time to be determined by the administration of the District.
  2. have his/her employment terminated as determined by the administration of the District.

 

Points are accumulated until a “preventable” accident-free year (August to August) has been accomplished. When a driver with points has an accident-free year, 1/3 of his/her points would be deducted. Another 1/3 would be deducted for a second accident-free year, and the final 1/3 would be deducted for the third accident-free year.

For example:

If you start the new year with 75 points, at the end of the first preventable accident free year, your points would be reduced 1/3 to 50 points. At the end of the second preventable accident free year, your points would be reduced by 1/3 to 25 points. And finally, at the end of the third preventable accident free year, your points would be 0.

However, points will accumulate and will be added to the present total if a driver has a “preventable” accident during this three-year cycle.

Example:  If during a second accident-free year, a driver who has 50 points has a “preventable” accident and is assessed an additional 35 points for the accident; that driver would now have 85 points and would begin a new three-year cycle.

Any driver who does not follow District Policy and procedures when involved in an accident (no matter how minor) will be assessed 25 points and may also receive further disciplinary action.

The total numbers of accidents/collisions/incidents are documented for 3 years. At the beginning of the 4th year, the accident(s) during the oldest year will be dropped. The accident/collision/incident will remain on the record for 3 years even though the points may be gone.

Accidents involving personal injury and/or fatality will be evaluated independently of this Accident Point System. In such cases, the School District shall impose appropriate points and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment of the driver.

This Point System is in addition to other applicable policies, procedures, laws, and guidelines of the District and the State involving transportation personnel. This includes, but not limited to: Board Policies, the District’s Transportation Handbook, the State Handbook on Pupil Transportation, and Drug and Alcohol Testing Policies and Procedures. Accordingly, all transportation personnel of the District shall comply with all applicable policies, procedures, and guidelines, and are subject to appropriate disciplinary action for the violation thereof. When a driver receives a disciplinary action, he/she will be entitled to due process.

At the end of each school year, drivers who have had an accident-free year will be recognized for their safe driving records.

EAE_Transportation_Personnel_Policy__17.pdf

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