Transportation

POLICY 4-4.1 MOTOR VEHICLES

Generally

The Hanover County School Board shall own and operate such motor vehicles as shall be necessary for the division superintendent's office, the maintenance of buildings and grounds, the support service for the instruction and school lunch programs, and for pupil transportation services as described in School Board Policy 4-4.2.

Use of School Board Owned Vehicles

Under no circumstances may School Board vehicles be used for private purposes. The division superintendent shall establish regulations to govern the use of School Board automotive equipment in an efficient manner, to insure that essential transportation for the conduct of School Board business is provided at a reasonable cost, and to recognize the need to conserve energy resources. The number of vehicles assigned to individual employees should be minimized, and an efficient motor pool should be created to be used as an alternative to the assignment of all vehicles.

Vehicle Maintenance

The Hanover County vehicle maintenance facility shall be used only for servicing, repairing, or otherwise reconditioning buses, vehicles, or equipment owned by Hanover County or the Hanover County School Board.

Use of Fleet Vehicles

I. Applicability
This Policy applies to School Board employees to whom vehicles are assigned, who operate School Board vehicles (including “pool” vehicles), or whose job descriptions require driving or a valid driver’s license. Employees of the Transportation Department are governed by the Transportation Handbook.

II. Driver Eligibility Criteria and Record Review

A. Prospective Employees
Candidates selected for interviews for positions to which a vehicle is assigned or which require driving or the possession of a driver's license shall give authorization for access to their driving records from the Department of Motor Vehicles (“DMV Record”). Those prospective employees must meet the criteria set out below as reflected by the DMV Record; provided that, if the department head deems it advisable to recommend hiring of a candidate who does not meet the criteria, the department head shall present a request and written statement to the Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources (“the Assistant Superintendent”). The statement shall detail the reasons for a recommendation that the candidate be hired and indicate how the individual’s ineligibility may be accommodated on a temporary basis. The Assistant Superintendent shall review and approve or disapprove the request.

B. Current Employees
Current employees to whom a vehicle is assigned, who operate School Board vehicles (including “pool” vehicles), or whose job descriptions require driving or a valid driver’s license, must meet the criteria set out below, as reflected in the DMV Record.

C. Criteria for Eligibility

  1. Prospective and current employees subject to this Policy shall be required to meet the criteria set out in this Section.

  2. Employees subject to this Policy shall have a valid Virginia driver’s license appropriate for the class of vehicle operated by the employee. The privilege of being assigned a vehicle, driving a School Board vehicle, or operating a vehicle in a position requiring a driver’s license shall be denied in the case of applicants, or suspended or terminated, for those individuals with any conviction of a felony involving the operation of a motor vehicle, or with a current DMV Record reflecting accumulation of DMV demerit points in excess of six, or whose pattern of driving or convictions or physical condition is found by the employee’s supervisor and the Assistant Superintendent to jeopardize the safe performance of School Board operations. Additional actions may be taken regarding any employee who fails to meet this standard, as determined appropriate by the department head and the Assistant Superintendent, in accordance with School Board policies and regulations.

  3. The Division Superintendent or his designee may suspend or terminate driving privileges of any employee charged with an offense involving operation of a motor vehicle, if the Assistant Superintendent determines after suitable investigation that continued driving would jeopardize the safe conduct of School Board operations. 

III. DMV Record Reviews

A. The Assistant Superintendent shall obtain and review the record of all employees subject to this Policy, at least annually. The employee and the employee’s supervisor shall be notified of either continued eligibility or failure to meet the applicable criteria, and the employee shall be provided with a copy of the DMV Record upon request.

B. The Assistant Superintendent shall also obtain and review the DMV record of any employee subject to this Policy who is involved in an accident while driving an assigned or other School Board vehicle, and when an employee subject to this Policy is involved in an accident in the course of conducting School Board business.

C. At the time of hire new employees subject to this Policy shall provide authorization for access to DMV records. Current employees shall also provide authorization. Employees’ authorization forms shall be maintained in the personnel files.

D. All records obtained pursuant to this Policy shall be confidential personnel records. 

IV. Guidelines for Maintaining Eligibility

A. Driver Training Requirements - All employees subject to this Policy shall complete a driver training course approved by the Safety and Risk Manager at the time of initial employment and a minimum of once every 36 months, to maintain eligibility to drive. This program will be offered by Hanover County at no expense to the employee. Employees shall also complete any additional training required for operation of specific types of vehicles or other special purposes or prescribed as a remedial measure. The employee may be required to pay for training prescribed as a remedial measure.

B. Suspension/Revocation/Ineligibility - Upon the suspension or revocation of an employee's license by any court or by the Department of Motor Vehicles, the privilege of the employee subject to this Policy to operate a School Board vehicle or to drive in the course of carrying out job duties shall be immediately suspended.  Such suspension shall last for the duration of suspension or revocation of the employee's license.

C. Accommodation – If driving a School Board vehicle or if traveling during the workday is not an essential part of the employee’s job, the employee’s supervisor, in consultation with the Assistant Superintendent, may elect to alter an employee's responsibilities or otherwise accommodate the employee during the period of a suspension or other ineligibility, for failure to meet the criteria established by this Policy. Prior to the end of any suspension or period of ineligibility, the employee must complete any training required by the Assistant Superintendent, at the employee’s own expense.  The employee must send proof of successful completion to the Assistant Superintendent.

D. Further Action - If the employee's eligibility to operate a motor vehicle is suspended or revoked or if he/she becomes ineligible to drive pursuant to this Policy and the employee's restrictions cannot be accommodated within his/her responsibilities, the employee’s supervisor, after consultation with the Assistant
Superintendent, will determine whether further disciplinary action up to and including termination should be recommended. 

V. Responsibility for Compliance; Reporting Requirements
All employees subject to this Policy shall be responsible for conducting themselves in accordance with this Policy and any Regulations adopted pursuant to the Policy.
All employees subject to this Policy shall immediately report all accidents involving a School Board vehicle or occurring during the course of School Board business, to their supervisor, and shall adhere to the Accident Reporting Policy prescribed by the Safety and Risk Manager. All employees subject to this Policy shall immediately report the following to their supervisor who shall consult with the employee’s supervisor as to appropriate action:

  • all license suspensions and revocations;
  • all traffic and motor vehicle related charges and convictions.

VII. Accident Investigation
When an accident occurs involving an employee subject to this Policy, while the employee is carrying out School Board business or driving a School Board vehicle, the Safety and Risk Manager shall obtain information from the investigating officer and other appropriate sources, and shall forward a report to the Assistant Superintendent, who shall also obtain the current DMV Record and conduct any further investigation deemed necessary. The Assistant Superintendent and the employee’s supervisor shall review the circumstances of the accident and any appropriate personnel actions shall be conducted in accordance with School Board policies and regulations.

VIII. Regulations
In order to promote the purposes of this Policy, the Division Superintendent shall have the authority to promulgate and enforce Regulations consistent with this Policy, governing implementation of this Policy and prescribing additional requirements and procedures for the assignment, use and operation of vehicles in the course of the conduct of School Board business, for the investigation of accidents occurring during the course of the conduct of School Board business, and for the purpose of promoting vehicle safety. This Motor Vehicle Safety Policy shall not be construed to supersede or limit the School Board policies and regulations, nor the authority of School Board administration to take all actions necessary, including recommending the termination of employees, to promote the safe conduct of School Board business.

IX. Other Regulatory Requirements
School Board operations shall be conducted in accordance with all federal, State and local laws and regulations pertaining to motor vehicles, including those applicable to employees possessing commercial driver’s licenses.

Driving Non-Fleet vehicles for Student- Related Purposes

Employees who transport students in a vehicle (personal, rental, etc…) are subject to the requirements as outlined in this policy.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-221.

Recodified: August 2000, Amended June 11, 2019

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 4-4.1 USAGE OF AUTOMOBILES

Motor Vehicles

Hanover County School Board motor vehicles will be assigned to certain on-call personnel as determined by the division superintendent. A vehicle fleet will be maintained to accommodate the transportation needs of all other central services staff. Fleet vehicles will be assigned to each central services department (Instructional Leadership, Human Resources, Finance and Support Services) by the assistant superintendent of support services on an as-needed basis. Fleet maintenance will be under the supervision of the director of transportation.

All operators of School Board-owned vehicles must hold a valid Virginia operator's license and each operator shall sign a form giving the School Board permission to obtain a copy of his driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

School Board employees shall obey all speed limits and traffic laws when operating a School Board-owned vehicle. School Board-owned vehicles shall be used only for official school business. Unauthorized persons are not permitted to drive or be transported in School Board-owned vehicles.

The use of any legal or illegal substance, including drugs and alcohol, which impairs or could impair one’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is prohibited while operating any School Board-owned vehicle. Transportation of such substance(s) in a School Board-owned vehicle is also prohibited.

Reporting Vehicle Accidents

Accidents involving School Board vehicles shall be reported immediately to the local police or sheriff’s department and to the transportation supervisor or his designee. This reporting requirement includes vehicles which may be parked and are damaged by accident or vandalism.

Any driver of a School Board-owned vehicle involved in an accident should not comment to anyone regarding the accident except to the police, school officials or a representative of the School Board’s insurance company. Vehicles should not be moved until the driver is told to do so by a representative of the School Board transportation department or a law enforcement officer. Drivers should obtain the other driver's name, vehicle license number, description of vehicle, name and address of witnesses and name of insurance company, if possible.

A law enforcement officer should always be called to investigate accidents involving a School Board-owned vehicle. Once the law enforcement officer and the transportation office have been notified, the driver shall report the incident to his supervisor.

The School Board’s vehicle insurance carrier may change periodically due to the competitive bidding process; therefore, a carrier is not named in this regulation. The transportation office will provide this information to appropriate officials as needed. Following an accident the driver of the School Board vehicle shall contact the director of transportation for the purpose of completing additional reports relative to the accident.

POLICY 4-4.2 PUPIL TRANSPORTATION SERVICES

The Hanover County School Board may provide for the necessary transportation of students. All requirements regarding the transportation of students established by the Code of Virginia, regulations of the Virginia Board of Education, and policies and regulations of the School Board shall be met.

The School Board shall own/lease and operate all school buses and other vehicles used for transporting students to and from the Hanover County Public Schools. Each fiscal year the School Board shall determine the number of school buses to be purchased. Competitive bids shall be let for the chassis and bodies. Specifications for these bodies and chassis shall comply with the regulations of the Virginia Board of Education.

School Bus Scheduling and Routing

School bus scheduling and routing will comply with the Regulations of the Virginia Board of Education.

Special Use of School Buses

The use of school buses for purposes other than transporting children to school for the regular school hours is permitted with prior approval of the division superintendent and in accordance with regulations pertaining to field trips.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-176 through 22.1-198, 22.1-221, 46.2-871, 46.2-1089 through 46.2-1091; Virginia Board of Education Regulations Governing Pupil Transportation, 8 VAC 20-70-10.

Recodified: August 2000
Amended: November 7, 2007

ACCOMPANYING REGULATIONS

4-4.2(A) SAFETY AND SECURITY OF SCHOOL BUSES

In instances where a school bus driver arrives at the residence of a 2nd grade or younger student to discharge the student, and the driver is reasonably sure or has knowledge that no one is home to receive the student, the procedures listed below shall be followed:

  1. The driver should contact the relevant school and the transportation department on the two-way radio for assistance. Because most drivers are responsible for two (2) bus routes, drivers/buses should not be detained.

  2. If possible, the bus driver should continue on the route delivering other students and return to the child's home after completing the route. (This may be possible in residential areas; however, this may not be possible in rural areas.)

  3. In the event the school is unable to offer assistance or the child cannot be delivered after the route has been completed, the driver should return the child to the school where an official school representative should be present to receive the child.

  4. School administrators (site based managers) should inform their drivers when the bus should be returned to schools for the following incidents:

  • Fighting on school bus;

  • Evidence of weapon(s) or drugs on school bus; or

  • Unruly and unsafe bus passengers (excessive profanity and serious threats).

Amended: September 30, 2003, August 31, 2016

REGULATION 4-4.2(B) TRANSPORTATION OF PRESCHOOL AGE CHILDREN OF HANOVER COUNTY BUS DRIVERS

  1. School bus drivers' children of one (1) year of age or older may be transported onbuses on assigned routes, subject to the approval of the director of transportation.

  2. Only the driver's own children may ride the bus.

  3. If requested, the driver must have documented legal court appointed guardianship of a child in order to transport that child on the bus.

  4. Not more than two (2) preschool age children will be permitted per bus.

  5. Car seats and other restraining devices must be provided by the driver for children that are required by law to be in a restraint or car seat while being transported.

  6. Preschool children must be secured in the seat immediately behind the driver.

  7. Preschool children are required to abide by the laws, rules and regulations pertaining to school age passengers.

  8. Drivers' preschool age children must not be left alone on the bus at any time.

  9. School bus drivers are not to take their preschool children on the school bus if they are ill or have any signs or symptoms of a communicable disease.

  10. Drivers’ preschool age children will not be permitted to ride on extracurricular/activity trips.

  11. Failure of the driver to comply with regulations will result in the loss of this privilege and/or disciplinary action.

Amended: September 30, 2003

REGULATION 4-4.2(C) TRANSPORTATION OF SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN OF HCPS EPLOYEES ON EXTRACURRICULAR OR ACTIVITY TRIPS

  1. The school-age children of a Hanover County Public Schools (HCPS) employee who is riding a HCPS bus for an extracurricular or activity trip may be transported on the bus in accordance with this regulation.

  2. No more than two (2) children may ride with an employee. The children must be the employee’s own children or the employee must be the children’s legal guardian. The children must be HCPS students.

  3. If requested by school administration, the employee must provide appropriate documentation that the employee is the legal custodian of the children.

  4. The employee’s children must be seated at the front of the bus during an extracurricular or activity trip.

  5. The employee’s children are expected to follow the policies and regulations of Hanover County Public Schools.

  6. The employee may not leave his/her children alone on the bus at any time during an extracurricular or activity trip.

  7. Children who are ill or show symptoms of a communicable disease should not be allowed to ride a HCPS bus.

  8. An employee’s failure to comply with this regulation will result in loss of the privilege of having their children ride a HCPS bus for an extracurricular or activity trip and may result in disciplinary action.

  9. Children of volunteers, boosters or other community members are prohibited from riding HCPS buses for extracurricular or activity trips, unless the children are participants in the extracurricular or activity trip.

Adopted: December 6, 2016

POLICY 4-4.3 TRANSPORTATION OF DISABLED STUDENTS

The Hanover County School Board operates and maintains specially equipped buses for disabled children. The division superintendent and or his designee shall assume the responsibility for seeing that these buses are adequately serving disabled children. When special buses are not provided, other means of transporting disabled children will be arranged, consistent with applicable law.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, § 22.1-221; Virginia Board of Education Regulations Governing Pupil Transportation, 8 VAC 20-70-10; Individual with Disabilities Act, 20 U.S.C. §§ 1400, et seq.; Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12101, et seq.

Recodified: August 2000

POLICY 4-4.4 SCHOOL BUS SAFETY PROGRAM

All buses and other vehicles owned and operated by the Hanover County School Board shall be inspected for safety by the assigned driver and director of transportation on a regular basis. The director of transportation shall develop and maintain a safety inspection record which shall be filled out and signed by the individuals conducting the inspection. In addition, all buses shall be available for the regular state inspections. Any defects noted by local or state inspections shall be remedied immediately. All accidents, regardless of the damage involved, must be reported to the transportation supervisor, as further outlined in regulation 4-4.1.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-181, 22.1-184; Virginia Board of Education Regulations Governing Pupil Transportation, 8 VAC 20-70-10.

Recodified: August 2000

ACCOMPANYING REGULATION

REGULATION 4-4.4 SCHOOL BUS ADVISORY COMMITTEE

Each Hanover County public school shall establish a school bus advisory safety committee comprised of a minimum of three (3) lay members, one (1) bus driver, and the school principal or his designee to promote greater school bus safety.

POLICY 4-4.5 STUDENT CONDUCT ON SCHOOL BUSES

Each Hanover County building principal shall have the authority to suspend the riding privileges of students and/or take other disciplinary actions for students who are disciplinary problems on school buses. Parents (or guardians) of children whose behavior and misconduct on school buses violates the Student Code of Conduct or otherwise endangers the health, safety and welfare of other riders shall be notified that their child/children face the loss of school bus riding privileges and/or other disciplinary actions.

In those instances where students have riding privileges suspended, it shall be the responsibility of the parents (or guardians) of the student to see that their child/children get to and from school safely. The bus driver shall be responsible for maintaining the orderly behavior of students on school buses and shall report misconduct to the student's principal, and provide a copy of all misconduct reports to the transportation office.

LEGAL REFERENCE: Code of Virginia, 1950, as amended, §§ 22.1-78, 22.1-181, 22.1-293; Virginia Board of Education Regulations Governing Pupil Transportation, 8 VAC 20-70-10.

Recodified: August 2000

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