Space Coast Writers Guild, Inc.
P. O. Box 804
Melbourne, FL 32902-0804
Dear Dr. Kirschner:
This responds to your question whether school buses are authorized to load or unload school children on highways with posted speed limits in excess of 40 miles per hour. The conditions for loading and unloading zones for school children on school bus routes are not regulated by this agency. The are governed by State laws, so your question is one the State must answer.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration establishes minimum safety standards for the manufacture of new motor vehicles, including school buses. The agency has, however, issued guidelines for State Highway Safety Programs. Guideline 17, "Pupil Transportation Safety" notes recommendations for State pupil transportation safety programs. We have enclosed a copy of Guideline 17 for your information. I direct your attention in particular to paragraphs C.2.a., C.2.b., and E.6., which relate to school buses stopping on public highways.
Nevertheless, each state determines how school buses will be operated in that state. Guideline 17 will affect the operation of school buses in your area only to the extent it has been adopted by state officials. For information on Florida's procedures for safe conduct in school bus loading and unloading zones, you may contact:
Mr. Charles F. Hood Administrator, School Transportation Department of Education Florida Education Center, Suite 824 Tallahassee, FL 32399-0400
Mr. Hood's telephone number is: (904) 488-4405.
I hope this information is helpful. If you have any further questions, please contact Dorothy Nakama of my staff at (202) 366-2992.
Samuel J. Dubbin Chief Counsel