2010 Wisconsin Code
Chapter 121. School finance.
121.555 Alternative methods of providing transportation.

121.555

121.555 Alternative methods of providing transportation.

121.555(1)

(1) A school board or the governing body of a private school may provide pupil transportation services by the following alternative methods:

121.555(1)(a)

(a) A motor vehicle transporting 9 or less passengers in addition to the operator.

121.555(1)(b)

(b) A motor vehicle transporting 10 or more passengers in addition to the operator and used temporarily to provide transportation for purposes specified under s. 340.01 (56) (a) when the school board or the governing body requests the secretary of transportation to determine that an emergency exists because no regular transportation is available. The secretary of transportation shall approve or deny the request in writing. Any authorization granted under this paragraph shall specify the purpose and need for the emergency transportation service.

121.555(2)

(2) The school board or governing body of a private school shall determine that any motor vehicle used under sub. (1) complies with the following conditions:

121.555(2)(a)

(a) Insurance. If the vehicle is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor, or is a vehicle authorized under sub. (1) (b), it shall comply with s. 121.53. If the vehicle is transporting 9 or less persons in addition to the operator and is not owned or leased by a school or by a school bus contractor, it shall be insured by a policy providing property damage and bodily injury liability coverage with limits, as of the policy's effective date, equal to or greater than the minimum liability limits, as defined in s. 344.01 (2) (am).

121.555(2)(b)

(b) Inspection. If the vehicle is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor or is operated by a school district employee, it shall be inspected annually for compliance with the requirements of s. 110.075, ch. 347, and the rules of the department of transportation. The owner or lessee of the vehicle is responsible for the annual inspection.

121.555(2)(c)

(c) Operator requirements. The operator:

121.555(2)(c)1.

1. Shall possess a valid Wisconsin operator's license or a valid operator's license issued by another jurisdiction, as defined in s. 340.01 (41m), or a valid commercial driver license issued by Mexico.

121.555(2)(c)2.

2. Shall be at least 18 years of age.

121.555(2)(c)3.

3. Shall have sufficient use of both hands and the foot normally employed to operate the foot brake and foot accelerator. The department of transportation may require substantiation of such use by a driving examination conducted by the department or by a medical opinion.

121.555(2)(c)4.

4. Shall submit at least once every 3 years to the school a medical opinion in such form as the school may prescribe that the operator is not afflicted with or suffering from any mental or physical disability or disease such as to prevent the operator from exercising reasonable control over a motor vehicle. The examination report prescribed in s. 118.25 (2) and (4) may be used to satisfy this requirement. This subdivision applies only if the vehicle used under sub. (1) is owned or leased by a school or a school bus contractor or is operated by a school district employee.

121.555(2)(cm)

(cm) Waiver of operator requirement. Notwithstanding par. (c) 3., with respect to the operator of a vehicle under sub. (1) (a), a school board or the governing body of a private school may waive the requirement that an operator have sufficient use of both hands if the operator has sufficient use of one hand to safely operate the vehicle which the school board or governing body of the private school proposes the operator use, as substantiated by a special driving examination conducted by the department of transportation. The department of transportation shall conduct the special examination under this paragraph upon the request of a school board, the governing body of a private school or the operator.

121.555(2)(d)

(d) Seating requirements. The vehicle may not be used to transport more persons than can be seated on the permanently mounted seats facing forward without interfering with the operator.

121.555(3)

(3)

121.555(3)(a)

(a) Subject to par. (c), any person that employs or contracts with an individual, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall do all of the following before the individual is initially permitted to operate the vehicle and every 4 years thereafter:

121.555(3)(a)1.

1. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, request from the records maintained by the department of justice a criminal history search of the individual. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, if the individual who is the subject of the criminal history search has not resided in this state at anytime within the 2 years preceding the date of the search, the person shall make a good faith effort to obtain additional criminal history information from any state in which the individual has resided during this time period or from any other applicable federal or state agency.

121.555(3)(a)2.

2. Request the individual's operating record from the department of transportation under s. 343.24 or, if the operating record has already been obtained by another entity, from that entity if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the operating record obtained from that entity is accurate and was furnished by the department of transportation to that entity not more than 2 months previously.

121.555(3)(a)3.

3. Obtain a background information form, prescribed by the department under sub. (6) (b), completed by the individual.

121.555(3)(b)

(b) Any person that employs or contracts with an individual to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, may require the individual to be fingerprinted on 2 fingerprint cards, each bearing a complete set of the individual's fingerprints, or by other technologies approved by law enforcement agencies. The department of justice may provide for the submission of the fingerprint cards or fingerprints by other technologies to the federal bureau of investigation for the purposes of verifying the identity of the individual fingerprinted and obtaining records of his or her criminal arrests and convictions. Except as provided in this paragraph, fingerprints obtained under this paragraph shall be kept confidential.

121.555(3)(c)

(c) Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, no person that employs or contracts with an individual, except an individual who holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils may permit the individual to operate such a vehicle if any of the following applies:

121.555(3)(c)1.

1. The person knows or should know that the individual has a record of conviction or operating privilege revocation or adjudicated delinquency that would disqualify the person from issuance or renewal of a school bus endorsement under s. 343.12 (7) and rules promulgated by the department of transportation under s. 343.12 (7) and (8).

121.555(3)(c)2.

2. The person knows or should know that the individual has been convicted of a violation of sub. (4) (b).

121.555(3)(c)3.

3. The person knows or should know that the individual is listed in the registry under s. 146.40 (4g) (a) 2.

121.555(4)

(4)

121.555(4)(a)

(a) An individual who is employed by or under contract with a person to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall report to the person in writing within 10 days of the occurrence of any of the following:

121.555(4)(a)1.

1. Any accident in which the individual was involved as the operator of a motor vehicle, regardless of whether the individual was issued a uniform traffic citation or charged with any offense or whether the individual was operating a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils.

121.555(4)(a)2.

2. Notwithstanding ss. 111.321, 111.322, and 111.335, any conviction or operating privilege revocation that, under sub. (3) (c), makes the individual ineligible to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils or, if the individual holds a valid school bus endorsement issued under s. 343.12, that disqualifies the individual from issuance or renewal of a school bus endorsement under s. 343.12 (7) and rules promulgated by the department of transportation under s. 343.12 (7) and (8).

121.555(4)(a)3.

3. Any suspension or revocation of the individual's operating privilege, or cancellation of a school bus endorsement, by this state or another jurisdiction.

121.555(4)(b)

(b) No individual may provide false or incomplete information with respect to any material fact on a background information form specified in sub. (3) (a) 3.

121.555(5)

(5) No individual may operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils if the individual is ineligible to do so under sub. (2) (c) and (cm) or under sub. (3) (c).

121.555(6)

(6)

121.555(6)(a)

(a) The department shall prepare and make available to school districts, private schools, and contractors providing pupil transportation services informational materials, in printed or electronic form, relating to compliance with this section.

121.555(6)(b)

(b) In consultation with persons that employ or contract with individuals to operate motor vehicles under sub. (1), the department shall prescribe a background information form for purposes of sub. (3). The form shall require an individual under sub. (3) (a) to specify whether the individual is listed in the registry under s. 146.40 (4g) (a) 2.

121.555(7)

(7) Any person that employs or contracts with an individual to operate a motor vehicle under sub. (1) to transport pupils shall maintain all records and furnish all information determined necessary to determine compliance with this section.

121.555(8)

(8)

121.555(8)(a)

(a) Any individual who violates sub. (4) (a) or (5) may be required to forfeit not more than $100 for the first offense and not more than $200 for each subsequent offense.

121.555(8)(b)

(b) Any individual who violates sub. (4) (b) may be required to forfeit not more than $1,000.

121.555 - ANNOT.

History: 1983 a. 175; 1985 a. 100, 240, 332, 337; 1987 a. 3, 358; 1989 a. 105, 176, 359; 1991 a. 39, 277; 1995 a. 113; 2003 a. 280; 2009 a. 28.

121.555 - ANNOT.

Application of this section to various methods of transportation is discussed. 75 Atty. Gen. 146 (1986).

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