State Addresses Bus Overcrowding

September 29, 2010

The Virginia Department of Education says it is putting an end to a rule that allows schools to transport students to and from school on overcrowded buses.

The state regulations governing pupil transportation, section 8VAC20-70-40 says for the first 30 days of the school year, buses may run with more students than there are seats.

"There may be times that due to unforeseen circumstances a child might have to stand and that the school board should have policies to deal with those circumstances," says VDE spokesman, Charles Pyle.

But soon, the Virginia Department of Education won't tolerate overcrowded buses except in emergency, temporary situations. Last week, the VDE voted to get rid of the "30 day" bus rule. The regulation change goes into effect later this fall.

"The safest place for the child on the bus is on the seat where you have the compartmentalized system designed to protect a child from serious injury should there be an accident," says Pyle. "Obviously, it's not as safe to have a child standing on a bus, it's not an ideal situation."

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