2010 Tennessee Code
Title 49 - Education
Chapter 6 - Elementary and Secondary Education
Part 21 - Transportation
49-6-2109 - Equipment Commercial advertising.

49-6-2109. Equipment Commercial advertising.

(a)  Pupils shall be transported in safe equipment constructed of steel or materials providing similar safety, as determined by the state board of education, and other safety features shall be included according to specifications for school buses as adopted from time to time by the board.

(b)  (1)  The board shall permit the use of conventional school buses for a period of twelve (12) years of service and permit the use of Class D school buses for a period of fifteen (15) years of service. The owner of any bus shall maintain records of all maintenance actions and safety inspections performed on a bus from its in-service date and these records shall be available at all times to the commissioner of safety or the commissioner's designee. The commissioner of safety, through the inspection process, may approve an additional five (5) years of service for a conventional bus and an additional two (2) years of service for a Class D bus on a year-to-year basis. The owner of a bus may receive approval for additional years of service upon the following conditions:

          (A)  Any conventional or Class D school bus being operated in a sixteenth or seventeenth year of service pursuant to this subsection (b) shall have less than two hundred thousand (200,000) miles of recorded travel; provided, however, that the owner of the bus shall have a period of ninety (90) calendar days to replace the bus after the bus reaches two hundred thousand (200,000) miles of recorded travel. The bus shall meet all requirements for continued safe use and operation during the ninety-day period and the owner of the bus shall notify the department of safety in writing, via certified mail, that the bus has reached two hundred thousand (200,000) miles of recorded travel;

          (B)  Any conventional or Class D school bus shall not exceed seventeen (17) years of service; provided, however, that the owner of the bus shall have a period of ninety (90) calendar days to replace the bus after the bus reaches seventeen (17) years of service. The bus shall meet all requirements for continued safe use and operation during the ninety-day period and the owner of the bus shall notify the department of safety in writing, via certified mail, that the bus has reached seventeen (17) years of service;

          (C)  Any conventional bus with over twelve (12) years of service, but not more than seventeen (17) years of service, shall be inspected by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee at least twice annually;

          (D)  Any Class D bus with over fifteen (15) years of service, but not more than seventeen (17) years of service, shall be inspected by the commissioner or the commissioner's designee at least twice annually;

          (E)  At these inspections, the inspector shall have the authority to require repairs or reconditioning to be made that the inspector considers necessary for the continued safe use and operation of the bus. If the local authority or owner refuses to take the required action or if the inspector considers continued use of the bus to be unsafe, the inspector shall order its removal from service;

          (F)  In addition to any other repairs, replacements or reconditioning required by the inspector, the steering, braking and exhaust systems of all conventional school buses with over twelve (12) years of service and all Class D buses with over fifteen (15) years of service shall be thoroughly reconditioned or replaced, as necessary, prior to any continued use;

          (G)  Any bus with fifteen (15) years of service shall not be eligible for additional years of service unless the bus was in service by the LEA as of January 1 of the previous school year; and

          (H)  Any bus purchased from an out-of-state entity shall be in service in this state for a minimum period of four (4) consecutive years in order to be eligible for additional years of service beyond fifteen (15) years.

     (2)  The department of safety is authorized to collect a fee for additional inspections conducted for years sixteen (16) and seventeen (17) authorized in this section. The fee shall be paid by the owner of the bus requesting the additional year or years of service on an inspection-by-inspection basis; provided, however, that the LEA may pay the fee for any bus servicing the LEA.

     (3)  With respect to any conventional or Class D bus in service in this state, there shall be a log of all maintenance actions and safety inspections performed. This log shall be available at all times to the commissioner or the commissioner's designee.

     (4)  Boards of education are encouraged to make full use of federal funds, while available, for retrofitting diesel school buses to improve both cabin air quality and lower emissions.

     (5)  The commissioner of safety is authorized to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate the purposes of this subsection (b). The rules shall be promulgated in accordance with with the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5.

(c)  (1)  School buses shall be of uniform approved color with the necessary marking easily to identify them in accordance with requirements of the state board of education. This requirement does not apply to a van type vehicle used only to transport students to and from school-related activities.

     (2)  No other motor carrier, for hire or otherwise, shall bear the same color or markings as designated by the state board of education for school buses.

     (3)  A violation of this subsection (c) is a Class C misdemeanor.

(d)  The commissioner is directed to have made no less than one (1) inspection annually of each school bus that transports school children, in order to determine whether it can be used safely to protect properly the lives of school children.

(e)  Nothing in this title shall prohibit a local school district from allotting space on the exterior or interior of a school bus for the purpose of commercial advertising. After consultation with the department of safety, the state board of education is directed to promulgate rules and regulations to effectuate this subsection (e). Commercial advertising shall be permitted only on the rear quarter panels of the school bus of a size not to exceed sixteen inches (16²) in height and sixty inches (60²) in length, be composed of lettering on a background color and shall not advertise alcohol or tobacco products. Commercial advertising permitted by this subsection (e) shall not include campaign advertising as prohibited in § 2-19-144, and any such campaign advertising shall be expressly prohibited. Commercial advertising permitted by this subsection (e) shall not include individual food items that, pursuant to § 49-6-2307, cannot be sold or offered for sale to pupils in pre-kindergarten through grade eight (pre-K-8) through vending machines.

[Acts 1947, ch. 92, §§ 2, 10, 14; C. Supp. 1950, §§ 2495.2, 2495.10, 2495.14 (Williams, §§ 2495.3, 2495.11, 2495.15); Acts 1969, ch. 288, § 1; 1981, ch. 107, § 1; T.C.A. (orig. ed.), §§ 49-2209 49-2211; Acts 1989, ch. 591, § 113; 1994, ch. 720, § 1; 1997, ch. 371, § 1; 2005, ch. 359, § 1; 2009, ch. 38, §§ 1, 2; 2009, ch. 436, §§ 1-4.]  

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