2021 Texas Statutes
Transportation Code
Title 7 - Vehicles and Traffic
Subtitle B - Driver's Licenses and Personal Identification Cards
Chapter 521 - Driver's Licenses and Certificates
Subchapter B. General License Requirements
Section 521.022. Restrictions on Operators of Certain School Buses

Sec. 521.022. RESTRICTIONS ON OPERATORS OF CERTAIN SCHOOL BUSES. (a) A person under 18 years of age may not operate a school bus for the transportation of students.

(b) A person who is 18 years of age or older may not operate a school bus unless the person holds an appropriate class of driver's license for the vehicle being operated.

(c) A person may not operate a school bus for the transportation of students unless the person meets the mental and physical capability requirements the department establishes by rule and has passed an examination approved by the department to determine the person's mental and physical capabilities to operate a school bus safely. A physician, advanced practice nurse, or physician assistant may conduct the examination. An ophthalmologist, optometrist, or therapeutic optometrist may conduct the part of the examination relating to the person's vision. Each school bus operator must pass the examination annually.

(d) A person may not operate a school bus for the transportation of students unless the person's driving record is acceptable according to minimum standards adopted by the department. A check of the person's driving record shall be made with the department annually. The minimum standards adopted by the department must provide that a person's driving record is not acceptable if the person has been convicted of an offense under Section 49.04, 49.045, 49.07, or 49.08, Penal Code, within the 10-year period preceding the date of the check of the person's driving record.

(e) A person may not operate a school bus for the transportation of students unless the person is certified in school bus safety education or has enrolled in a school bus safety education class under provisions adopted by the department. Effective on the date and under provisions determined by the department, a school bus operator must hold a card that states that the operator is enrolled in or has completed a driver training course approved by the department in school bus safety education. The card is valid for three years.

(f) Before a person is employed to operate a school bus to transport students, the employer must obtain a criminal history record check. A school district, school, service center, or shared services arrangement, or a commercial transportation company under contract with a school district, that obtains information that a person has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude may not employ the person to drive a school bus on which students are transported unless the employment is approved by the board of trustees of the school district or the board's designee.

(g) This section does not affect the right of an otherwise qualified person with a hearing disability to be licensed, certified, and employed as a bus operator for vehicles used to transport hearing-impaired students.

(h) This section does not apply to the operation of a vehicle owned by a public institution of higher education to transport students of a school district that operates within that institution if:

(1) the person operating the vehicle is approved by the institution to operate the vehicle; and

(2) the transportation is for a special event, including a field trip.

(i) For purposes of this section, "school bus" includes a school activity bus as defined by Section 541.201.

Acts 1995, 74th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 1, eff. Sept. 1, 1995. Amended by Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 165, Sec. 30.73(a), (b), eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1997, 75th Leg., ch. 1438, Sec. 7, eff. Sept. 1, 1997; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 663, Sec. 3, eff. June 18, 1999; Acts 1999, 76th Leg., ch. 786, Sec. 1, eff. June 18, 1999.

Amended by:

Acts 2007, 80th Leg., R.S., Ch. 923 (H.B. 3190), Sec. 1, eff. September 1, 2007.

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