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8.25 Safe Operation of District-Owned School Buses and Other District-Owned Vehicles

8.25 Safe Operation of District-Owned School Buses and Other District-Owned Vehicles

Chapter 8.00: Auxiliary Services

8.25*

SAFE OPERATION OF DISTRICT-OWNED SCHOOL BUSES AND OTHER DISTRICT-OWNED VEHICLES

POLICY

I. Administration of Program

The Safe Operations Procedures will be administered by the Supervisor of Transportation.

II. Report of Accidents

Accidents, violations, citations, and suspensions occurring while driving personal vehicles shall be reported to the Supervisor of Transportation within 72 hours of the incident. Suspension and/or revocations of driver’s license shall be reported immediately upon receiving notification. Failure to report or inaccurate reporting shall be grounds for termination of employment. Accidents in a district-owned school buses or other district-owned vehicles must be reported at the time of the accident to the Supervisor of Transportation and in accordance with Florida Statutes 316.065: Accidents, Reports, Penalties.

The driver of a vehicle involved in an accident resulting in injury to or death of any persons or damage to any vehicle or other property in an apparent amount of at least $500 shall immediately by the quickest means of communication give notice of the accident to the local police department, if such accident occurs within a municipality; otherwise, to the office of the county sheriff or the nearest office or station of the Florida Highway Patrol.

III. Review of Motor Vehicle Driving Record

The driving record from the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles will be reviewed for all employees operating School Board-owned school buses or other district-owned vehicles. If an employee’s driving record reflects an accumulation of 8 points within 12 months, he/she will be required to attend a certified defensive driving course at his/her expense within 45 days of notification. Twelve (12) points within twelve (12) months will constitute termination as a school bus driver for Okeechobee County. The points referred to above are those accumulated with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles.

IV. Okeechobee District’s Accident/Violation Disposition System

Disposition will be assigned as violations occur according to the Transportation Supervisor’s

findings following verified reports by motorists or traffic citations. A. Clear-Cut Violations

1. Clear-Cut Violations: Examples include, but are not limited to, traffic violations,

running stop signs, failure to wear seat belt, failure to yield right-of-way, etc.

a. First Offense, No Police Citation Verbal Reprimand

b. Second Offense, No Police Citation Letter of Reprimand

c. Third Offense, No Police Citation 3-Day Suspension

d. First Offense, With Police Citation * 3-Day Suspension

e. Second Offense, With Police Citation * 5-Day Suspension

f. Third Offense, With Police Citation * Termination

(*Adjudged Guilty)

2. Operating without a valid driver’s license or improper license: Immediate removal of employee from driver position. Termination if problem with employee driver’s license cannot be resolved.

3. Failure to make a stop at a railroad crossing when required: Disposition will range from a written reprimand, suspension, to possible termination based on the severity of the incident and jeopardy to student welfare.

4. Driving vehicles under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemical substances, or controlled substances, or with an unlawful blood alcohol level: Disposition will be based on existing School Board Policies, i.e. 6.111 Drug and Alcohol Testing Program, and 6.45 Alcohol and Drug-Free Workplace.

B. Preventable Accident/Incident Category

Preventable incidents: Examples include backing into objects, small scratches, contact with another vehicle or causing damage to private property.

a. First Offense Verbal Reprimand

b. Second Offense Written Reprimand

c. Third Offense 3-Day Suspension

d. Fourth Offense 5-Day Suspension

Repeated minor preventable accidents/incidents beyond the 5-day suspension disposition may result in termination.

C. Violation or Complete Disregard for Safety and Welfare of Personnel and/or Property: Termination

Repeated violations resulting in an accident or complete disregard for property or the safety and welfare of others may result in termination.

The Supervisor of Transportation shall initiate administrative action after reporting the incident to the Director of Operations, Assistant Superintendent for Administrative Services, and Superintendent of Schools.

V. The driving record of applicants as bus operators or other employees whose position description would require them to drive district-owned vehicles will be reviewed to determine if they have an acceptable driving history. Any of the following infractions will render a candidate unqualified and therefore ineligible for employment in a position that requires that person to drive a district-owned vehicle:

A. Conviction of Driving under the influence within the last three (3) years or more than once in a lifetime.

B. Conviction of leaving the scene of an accident with or without injuries, property damage, or involving a fatality within the last fifteen (15) years.

C. Conviction or adjudication withheld for reckless driving during the last ten (10) years or careless driving within the last five (5) years.

D. Conviction of an at-fault accident involving a fatality.

E. More than ten (10) points accumulated in the last five (5) years not to exceed four (4) points within any one year and not more than twenty (20) points on license in a lifetime. If the applicant has one or more adjudication withheld during this time, the maximum of points is reduced from ten (10) to five (5).

VI. The criteria for employment in Section V. shall be applied to the authorized drivers of privately-owned vehicles when transporting students at the request of a school district administrator in accordance with the provisions of School Board Policy 8.23 (III)(C).

STATUTORY AUTHORITY: 1001.41, 1001.42, F.S.

LAWS IMPLEMENTED: 316.008, 316.065, 1006.22, F.S.

STATE BOARD OF EDUCATION RULES: 6A-3.0141(8)

HISTORY: Adopted: 03/09/1999

Revision Date(s): 09/09/2014

Formerly: New

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