Professional Driver's Handbook

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School bus driver regulations

  1. A school bus driver must not:
    • consume alcohol in the eight-hour period immediately before driving a bus
    • operate a bus unless it is clean and sanitary
    • leave a bus that contains passengers unless:
      • the bus has an interlock system or a device that prevents the bus from being moved or operated by anyone other than the driver and the driver has activated that system or device
      • the driver has turned off the engine of the bus, removed the ignition key and engaged the parking brake
    • operate a bus unless its head lights and tail lights are activated
    • operate the bus until all passengers are seated in a seat designated for the purposes of transporting passengers
    • back up on school grounds except with the direction of a responsible person who is positioned in such a manner that the driver can see that the bus can be safely backed up
    • transport firearms, explosives or other dangerous items
    • enter a provincial highway without:
      • stopping the bus not less than four and not more than 10 m from the travelled portion of the provincial highway
      • making sure it is safe to proceed (Where a provincial highway passes through a town with a population over 1,000, it is not deemed to be a highway within the town limits.)
    • activate the safety lights unless the bus is stopped or in the process of stopping to load or unload the passengers
    • activate the stop arm unless the bus is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers
  2. Every school bus driver shall:
    • activate safety lights, except where prohibited by law, before stopping to load or unload passengers:
      • at least 100 m before stopping on a highway with a speed limit over 50 km/h
      • at least 25 m before stopping on a highway with a speed limit of 50 km/h or less
    • activate the strobe lights on the bus any time the driver is transporting passengers outside a city, town or village
    • except where prohibited by municipal bylaw, activate the stop arm when the bus is stopped for the purpose of loading or unloading passengers
    • maintain discipline, and report any misconduct of passengers to the principal of the school
    • when loading or unloading passengers:
      • exercise due caution
      • on a highway, move the bus as far to the right as is practical
      • at a school on any street that allows traffic in both directions, stop on the side of the street nearest the school with the door of the bus opening for students to exit immediately onto the sidewalk
    • each day before operating the bus, perform the daily circle check
    • ensure that every object carried onto the bus for transportation that cannot be held by a passenger is placed as close to the front barrier as possible and as low as possible. These objects should not exceed the height of the barrier and should be placed, when possible, in front of or under a seat that is close to the front of the bus


Rev: 2017