Governor Signs Law Amending Requirements for Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections of School Buses
On November 17, 2009, Governor Quinn signed Public Act 096-0818 which amended the Illinois Vehicle Code sections relating to school buses. The amendment requires school buses to have operating two-way radios from the time a bus driver takes possession of the school bus until the bus driver returns possession of the school bus, regardless of whether the bus driver is actually operating the school bus. Pre-trip inspections now must include testing the two-way radio to ensure that it is functioning properly. Drivers must have the two-way radios turned on and adjusted in a manner that would alert the driver of incoming communication requests. The amendment also requires school bus drivers to check their buses for children and other passengers before leaving the bus at the end of each route.
For those school districts that contract with private school bus companies for the transportation of the district’s students, the transportation contracts must require the bus company to have policies and procedures which, at a minimum, require drivers to test the two-way radios prior to operating the bus to ensure that it is functioning properly and to inspect the bus for children and other passengers before the driver leaves the bus.
Failure to complete the pre-trip inspection of the radio and the post-trip inspection of the bus for passengers could result in suspension of a school bus driver’s permit for a period of 3 years. This law is effective immediately.