General Requirements for School Buses in Virginia
It is the intent of the Board of Education to accommodate new equipment and technology that will better facilitate the safe and efficient transportation of students. When a new technology, piece of equipment, or component is desired to be applied to a school bus, it must have the approval of the Department of Education and must meet the following criteria:
1. The technology, equipment, or component shall not compromise the effectiveness or integrity of any major safety system.
2. The technology, equipment, or component shall not diminish the safety of the interior of the bus.
3. The technology, equipment, or component shall not create additional risk to students who are boarding or exiting the bus or are in or near the school bus loading zone.
4. The technology, equipment, or component shall not require undue additional activity or responsibility for the driver.
5. The technology, equipment, or component shall generally increase efficiency or safety, or both, of the bus, generally provide for a safer or more pleasant experience for the occupants and pedestrians in the vicinity of the bus, or shall generally assist the driver and make his many tasks easier to perform.
School buses and school activity buses purchased new must conform to the specifications relative to construction and design effective on the date of the initial procurement. Any variation from the specifications, in the form of additional equipment or changes in style of equipment, without prior approval of the Department of Education, is prohibited. The Department of Education shall issue specifications and standards for public school buses to reflect desired technology or safety improvements for the then current model year.
A local school board may sell or transfer any of its school buses or school activity buses to another school division or purchase a used bus from another school division or a school bus dealer as long as the school bus or school activity bus conforms to the specifications relating to construction and design in effect on the date of manufacture. The bus must also have a valid Virginia State Police inspection and may not be older than 15 model years at the time of sale, transfer, or purchase.