Automobile dealers may not sell large vans to
school districts for pupil transportation. These vans are not built
to the safety specification of a school bus, even the smaller school
Pupils of educational institutions may not be transported in
any vehicle other than a school bus if more than ten students
are being transported.
A van that holds 11 or more passengers sold to a school
district would violate that federal law. School district
administrators should NEVER consider buying such a vehicle. The
protections of the school bus construction are worth the
The driver and only 9 students can legally be accommodated in
a vehicle which is not a school bus as defined.
Crash data shows that larger vans, especially when fully
loaded, are highly prone to roll over in off-the-road single
vehicle crashes as well as head-on crashes. Combined with that
and the lower structural integrity of the roof supports,
occupants are at high risk of serious or fatal injury in a crash
of this vehicle.
Federal safety rules for other vehicles used as school buses
Federal law requires that school transportation should be held
to the highest level of safety, since such transportation
involves the Nation's most precious cargo -- children.
Accordingly, the government has established minimum safety
standards that are over and above those for regular buses that
all school buses must meet.
Federal guidelines for new vehicles that carry eleven or more
people that are sold for transporting students to or from school or
school related events:
School buses must have stop arms along with many other safety
features over and above those of other passenger vehicles.
A vehicle is regarded as being sold for use as a school bus
if, at the time of sale, it is evident that the vehicle is
likely to be significantly used to transport students to or from
school or school related events.
This statute applies to school buses sold to public as well as