Federal Law and Classifications

Bus; School Bus: Under federal law, any motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons (11 or more, including the driver) is classified as a bus. A bus is classified as a school bus if it is used, or intended for use, in transporting students to and from school or school-related events. A new school bus may only be sold if it is certified by the manufacturer to meet all Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSSs) applicable to school buses. The School Bus Manufacturers Technical Council has prepared a mini-guide to these FMVSS’s: www.nasdpts.org/documents/PubSBMTCMiniGuide04.pdf

Multifunction School Activity Bus: The “Multifunction School Activity Bus” (e.g., “MFSAB”) is designed to provide all of the crash safety standards that can be found on a traditional school bus, but without the “flashers and signs” that traditional school buses need for frequent pick-up and drop-off at school bus stops. Thus, the vehicles in this category conform to all FMVSS requirements for school bus structural and crash standards, but they are not required to have specialized warning devices such as stop signs and warning lights, and they are not required to have a specific color scheme (i.e. school bus yellow).

School Related Activities: A school-related event is any activity sponsored by a school, whether on or off the school grounds, including sports events, band concerts, field trips, and competitions such as debate or chess tournaments.