The Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law

What you need to know to ensure compliance

What does the bill require?

The California child check bill—known as the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law”—requires all buses to be equipped with a “child safety alert system,” which is a device located at the interior rear of the bus. The driver must manually contact the device before exiting to ensure all seats were checked for children at the end of every shift. The bill also requires drivers to complete inspection training each year before receiving their school bus driver safety certificate. View the Notice of Proposed Regulatory Action.

To whom is it applicable?

The bill is applicable to county superintendents of schools, superintendents of a school district or owner/operators of a private school that provides transportation to students in the State of California. This includes transportation to and from school and for school activities—school buses, activity buses or youth buses.

When does the bill go into effect?

On February 16, 2018, California introduced Senate Bill 1269, extending the deadline to the start of the 2019-2020 school year. The current bill requires vehicles that transport special needs students to have the proper systems by the start of the 2018-2019 school year, which means those vehicles should already be equipped with the proper technology.

The rest of the vehicles in your fleet have six additional months to install the proper technology and put appropriate procedures in place to meet the standards for compliance.

There is no guarantee of another extension to the Paul Lee Law deadline.

What are the consequences of non-compliance?

If a student is left unattended onboard a bus, school officials must notify the CA Department of Motor Vehicles. This authorizes the department to refuse to issue or renew, and to revoke or suspend, a bus driver certificate on these grounds. The bill also imposes penalties for bus drivers, school districts or contractors who knowingly transport students in a bus without an operable child safety alert system.

Is funding available to meet requirements of the bill?

No. State funding or reimbursement are not available.

What should school transportation officials outside of California know?

The enactment of new legislation in reaction to the need for increased student safety is a good impetus to review current safety procedures, access exposure, and plan for future enhancements as needed.

How Zonar can help

California's Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law requires all buses to be equipped with a “child safety alert system,” by the start of the 2019-2020 school year. As the leader in school bus safety technology, Zonar has partnered with Child Check-Mate to offer a comprehensive solution that meets compliance requirements* and is easy for drivers to use.

*When properly installed and configured meets current CA requirements per Section 1294, Division 2, Chapter 6.5, Article 6 of Title 13, California Code of Regulations Child Safety Alert Systems (CHP-R-2017-05).

Have Questions?
Contact a Zonar Specialist
Did You Know...
All C2 Thomas Built Buses, as well as other select models, are already line-installed with Zonar tracking, inspection and diagnostics. Call to activate yours today!
Thomas Build Buses
White Paper: Greater Security Threats Demand Greater School Bus Security
White Paper
Greater Security Threats Demand Greater School Bus Security
Download the white paper and learn how today's technology can help keep students safe on the school bus.