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Legal Resources | Code of Regulations, Title 13 |  T13  1267  

Chapter 6.5. Motor Carrier Safety * Article 8. General Equipment Requirements Bus Entrances and Exits.   

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The following requirements shall govern entrances and exits of all buses (except buses operated by law enforcement agencies to transport prisoners) and farm labor vehicles:

(a) Door and Step Clearance--Doors and steps shall be kept clear at all times to permit safe entrance and exit of passengers.

(b) Grab Handles--Every Type 1 bus and farm labor truck shall be equipped with grab handles, stanchions, or bars at least 10 in. long and installed within convenient reach of persons boarding or leaving.

(c) Safety Bars--To prevent passengers from falling into the step well, Type 1 buses shall have a safety bar or panel directly behind each step well.

(d) Door Construction and Maintenance--Doors in all buses and farm labor trucks shall be substantially constructed, in accordance with acceptable standards, and maintained in good working order to permit safe entrance and exit. All doors shall afford easy release in case of emergency but shall be prevented from opening accidentally. Manually operated doors shall be constructed so that no parts thereof can come together with an exposed shearing action. Chains, cables, or bars may be used on farm labor trucks instead of doors provided they are:

(1) Secured at not more than 6 in. (152.4 mm) above or below a horizontal centerline of the opening, and

(2) Equipped with a quick release device that allows only enough slack to permit easy operation.

(e) Doors Not Adjacent to Driver--In Type 1 buses (except school buses) any passenger door not immediately adjacent to the driver shall meet the following requirements: For buses manufactured prior to January 1, 1993, the term not immediately adjacent to the driver shall mean that the door opening and steps are not within the direct, clear view of the driver, unassisted by mirrors or other devices. For buses manufactured on and after January 1, 1993, the term not immediately adjacent to the driver shall mean that the front of the door frame opening is more than 12 inches to the rear of a transverse vertical plane at the front of the driver's seat back rest with the seat adjusted to its rearmost position and the back rest adjusted to its most vertical position. The front of the backrest is that point, on the vertical centerline of the front of the backrest, which is midway between the seat cushion and the top of the seat back, excluding any movable head rest.

(1) Doors closed by power actuators shall be:

(A) Equipped with a sensitive edge, designed and maintained to release the door-closing force, and to reopen sufficiently to fully release a person or object caught in the closing doors.

(i) Except as provided in (iii), doors on buses manufactured on or after January 1, 1993, shall release when the door closes on an object as small as a 1/2-inch diameter smooth cylinder held perpendicular to the plane of the door opening at any point where the door halves meet, or if a single piece door, where the door edge meets the door frame.

(ii) The performance standard specified in (i) and (iii) shall not apply to the top two inches or the bottom two inches of the sensitive edge.

(iii) For buses equipped with a 4-inch or larger gap between the power-closed doors, the doors shall react as specified in (i) when closing on a 1-inch diameter smooth cylinder.

(B) Designed and equipped to signal the driver if the doors completely close on any part of a person's body or any object

(C) Adjusted and maintained, when operated or actuated by treadle steps, to close in not less than 2 1/2 seconds after a person steps off such treadle.

(2) Doors closed by return springs, counterweights, or other passive means shall be:

(A) Designed to permit at least 4-inches of clearance between the solid or metal edges of doors when fully closed. This requirement shall not apply to a door opened by a power actuator and equipped with a sensitive edge that complies with (e)(1)(A) of this section.

(B) Adjusted to allow at least 1 1/2 seconds closing time from the fully open to the closed position

(C) Designed and maintained so that the force required to start the doors moving away from the completely closed position does not exceed 20 pounds, applied at the solid edge of the door with the bus on a level surface. Door movement allowed by slack in the door closing mechanical linkage shall not be considered in determining compliance with this requirement.

(D) As an alternative to paragraph (C), doors closed by return springs, counter weights, or other means, may instead be equipped with sensitive edges meeting the same requirements as doors closed by power actuators.

(E) Designed and equipped with a door lock control operated by the driver while seated in the driver's seat, and equipped with a warning light visible to the driver to indicate when the door is unlocked.

(3) Except as provided in (C), all doors shall be interlocked with the brakes and accelerator so that the bus cannot move when the doors are open and the doors cannot open when the bus is moving without engaging the interlock.

(A) The interlock shall function so that:

(i) the brakes on at least one axle are applied, and

(ii) the accelerator is released when or before the doors begin to open, and

(iii) the brakes cannot be released nor the accelerator applied while the doors are open.

(B) In buses permitted by section 1217 of this chapter to transport standing passengers, the interlock system may be equipped with speed sensors set at a speed of 3 miles per hour or greater at which speed the interlock may disengage.

(C) Buses may be equipped with a remote control not accessible from the driver's seated position, to override the interlock system to allow emergency movement of the bus if the doors cannot be closed. On buses equipped with such installations, placing the control in the override position shall actuate a warning consisting of an audible indicator and a red light indicator visible to the driver with a label integral with or adjacent to the light stating "Warning--Interlock Deactivated" in letters at least 3/16 inch high.

(4) The provisions of this subsection shall not apply to a door not adjacent to the driver when equipped with a wheelchair lift that prevents persons from entering or exiting such doors while the bus is in motion.

Authority cited:

Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 34501

Vehicle Code 34501.5

Vehicle Code 34508


Vehicle Code 31400

Vehicle Code 31401

Vehicle Code 34501

Vehicle Code 34501.5

Vehicle Code 34508

(Amended by Register 95, No. 19.)