What are the school bus accident reporting requirements?

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Am I required to report any school bus accident the CHP? The short answer is “yes” and this is in addition to the DMV requirement to complete an SR1.  But wait, the SR1 is for a motor vehicle, which by definition does not include “buses” – see California Vehicle Code Section 545.  The code doesn’t care if anyone was injured, the size of the monetary damage, or any other issue.  They just want to know that it has occurred.

You might be asking yourself, why would they care so much?  Two reasons, the first you can guess – the precious cargo. The second – buses are rarely in accidents, so something serious must be going on with the driver.

The requirement to report any and all school bus accidents is found in Title 13 of the California Code of Regulations, Section 1219.

Title 13. Motor Vehicles
Division 2. Department of the California Highway Patrol
Chapter 6.5. Motor Carrier Safety [FNA1]
Current selection§ 1219. School Bus Accidents.

(a) Reporting. Whenever any school bus accident occurs, the driver shall stop at the scene, immediately notify or cause to be notified the department, his or her employer, and the school district for which the bus may be operated under contract.

(b) Sending for Help. In the event of an accident or emergency, a driver shall not leave the immediate vicinity of the bus to seek aid unless no pupil aboard can be sent to summon help.

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