Chapter 6.5. Motor Carrier Safety * Article 9. Additional Equipment Requirements for School Buses Pupils' Seats.
The following regulations apply to seating in school buses:
(a) Capacity and Weight Estimates. For the sole purpose of indicating the maximum capacity of a school bus, the manufacturer and purchaser shall allow a seating space 13 in. wide per pupil and shall estimate minimum weights of 120 lbs per pupil and 150 lbs for the driver. However, for Type 1 buses built before January 1, 1960, the weight of each elementary pupil may be estimated at a minimum of 80 lbs, although the estimated weights of high school students remain at the minimum of 130 lbs each.
(b) Placement. Seats shall be positioned across the bus, not lengthwise. In Type 1 school buses, no pupil's seat shall be placed ahead of a line drawn across the bus and immediately behind the driver's seat. In Type 1 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1968, there shall not be less than 25 in. between the front of the back of each seat and the rear of the back of the seat immediately ahead. In Type 2 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1970, there shall not be less than 24 in. between the front of the back of each seat and the rear of the back of the seat immediately ahead. The foregoing measurements refer to the level plane parallel to the centerline of the vehicle immediately above the highest portion of the seat cushion. The measured distance shall not include any indentation or depression.
(c) Securement. Pupils' seats shall be securely fastened, as follows:
(1) Frames. Legs of all seat frames shall be secured to the floor with bolts or self-tapping screws. Bolts shall be of at least 1/4-in. diameter and of Society of Automotive Engineers Grade 3 designation or equivalent strength. Bolts shall be secured by a flat washer of at least 1 1/4-in. diameter, or equivalent securement, and a lock washer and nut or self-locking nut. Self-tapping screws shall be at least 5/16 in. in diameter and threaded through 12-gauge steel plating.
(2) Cushions. In Type 1 school buses constructed after January 1, 1957, and Type 2 school buses constructed after January 1, 1968, each seat cushion shall be fastened to the seat frame with a positive locking device at not less than two points on the front or rear of the cushion.
(d) Padding. All seats and seat backs shall be covered with padding. In addition, all school buses constructed after January 1, 1973, shall be equipped with interior protective padding capable of minimizing injuries from impacts, as follows:
(1) All exposed passenger seat rails, except the rearmost seats, shall be padded down to seat-cushion level, and the top rail of the driver's seat shall be padded unless separated from passenger seating by a padded restraining barrier.
(2) Stanchions shall be padded to within 3 in. of the ceiling and the floor.
(3) Guard rails shall be padded from the bus wall to the farthest support.
(e) Modification. No modification of factory seating shall be permitted on Type 2 school buses purchased on or after July 1, 1966, and manufactured before July 1, 1970, except as follows:
(1) A Type 2 school bus constructed before July 1, 1970, shall not transport more than 12 passengers and the driver unless it meets all regulations relating to Type 2 school buses constructed on or after July 1, 1970.
(2) Modifications to increase the seating capacity to 12 passengers shall be allowed only upon the approval of the department. Such approval shall be contingent upon the manufacturer's gross vehicle weight rating.
(f) Exception. This section does not apply to seats consisting of wheelchairs used in accordance with the provisions for wheelchair school buses in this title.
(g) Federal Requirements. School buses manufactured and maintained in compliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 shall be deemed in compliance with the seating requirements of this section.
Vehicle Code 34501.5
Vehicle Code 34508,
Vehicle Code 34501.5
Vehicle Code 34508,.
(Amended by Register 98, No. 14.)