School Bus Safety Rules and Regulations

NOTE: The State Department of Education (SDE) Regulates School Bus Transportation.

A local school system can give service only within the limits of the resources made available by state government. Absenteeism, discipline problems, breakdowns, inclement weather, etc. may result in second trips and routing disruptions.

School Bus Safety
Transportation Rules & Regulations

Bus Routes

SDE Regulation F: A regular route pattern is usually established by traveling along main roadways and centralized streets within a community or area.

Extent of Transportation

The legal residence must be greater than 1.5 miles from the nearest pedestrian entrance point, and student must reside in attendance area.

Depth of Service

School buses shall not leave the regular route pattern to travel along roadways unless the student's legal residence is greater than three-tenths mile from the regular route pattern.

School Bus Stops

School bus stops shall not be closer than two-tenths of a mile at safe points (as defined by State traffic criteria).

Inclement Weather

Buses shall not be permitted to leave the regular route during inclement weather.

Bus Stop Supervision

Parents and guardians are responsible for the safety and conduct of their children going to and from, and while at the bus stop.
(SC State Law)

Assigned Bus Stops

All students must ride specifically assigned buses, and board or exit at specifically assigned bus stops.

Courtesy Riders

Regularly transported students who reside within the one and one-half mile limit of their schools are deemed "courtesy riders," whereby such privilege is temporary and contingent upon availability of seats on the existing route. As route growth occurs outside of the 1.5 mile limit, courtesy riders may immediately lose their riding privilege. 

4K and 5K Students

A parent or assigned adult must be clearly visible or at the bus stop for drop-offs. If no one is present the child will be returned to their school. Repeated offenses of returns could result in loss of riding privileges.

Availability of Buses

The funding for school buses is the responsibility of your elected State Legislature. Spartanburg School District Two can offer services only within the limits of available resources. 

Waiting at the Bus Stop

Never cross the street until the bus arrives, lights are flashing RED, and the driver signals students to cross. Parents must supervise children at bus stops.

Progressive Bus Discipline

School buses are classrooms in motion-in traffic. Disciplinary action is determined by school procedures, generally based on three levels of conduct:

Level 1

  • First Offense-Warning
  • Second Offense-Bus suspension up to 10 days
  • Third Offense-Bus suspension up to remainder of year

Level 2

  • First Offense-Bus suspension up to 20 days
  • Second Offense-Bus suspension up to remainder of year

Level 3

  • Any Offense-Bus suspension up to the remainder of year

Bus Stop Arrival Time

Buses can break down, resulting in irregular bus arrivals. This is difficult for Spartanburg District Two staff to control. Riders are instructed to be at their stop 5-10 minutes before the regular arrival time of their school bus.

Conduct on the Bus

Riding the bus is a privilege and not a right. Correct behavior is the responsibility of the student, not the driver. Students will be held responsible for obeying all Student Transportation Regulations and School District Conduct Code.

School Bus Seating

Bus Drivers may determine who sits where and with whom on the bus. Drivers can use seating assignments to manage student behavior.

Bus Rules

State law, State Regulations, and District Transportation policies are available upon request at the District Two Transportation Office and the (SDE) State Department of Education.

Carry-On Items

All legal carry-on items must fit within the student's seating space. No class projects, glass, animals, insects, containers, balloons. Class projects must be transported by car.

Acts of Vandalism

Parents will be charged should their child damage any bus equipment. Seat covers can cost up to $100. Loss of riding privilege may remain until payment for damages are received.

Authority to Manage Bus

Drivers, by State Law, have the responsibility and full authority to manage the bus. Any problems you may be experiencing should be brought to school principals or to Transportation staff, never to a driver.

Riding Unassigned Buses

Unassigned students will not be allowed on another bus without a note signed from parent and approved by principal's signature and then, only if seating is available.

Travel on Private Roads

Buses need wide areas for maneuvering, clear of all hazards (limbs, posts, cars, etc.) with sufficient surfaces to support the heavy bus and a 60-foot radius to turn-about. District must have signed release to operate
on private roads.

Overcrowded Buses

When growth results in overcrowded buses, second trips are necessary. Some students may arrive at school or at home later than usual. 


Never Board a School Bus

Parents/citizens must never interfere with the operation of, nor board a school bus or in any way threaten the driver or students. Staff makes all final decisions, not drivers.


One bus holds 40-78 students. It is not uncommon for several buses to have operational problems simultaneously. We cannot contact parents and also efficiently manage events when breakdowns occur.

Snow Roads

Snow roads are roads that are shaded by trees such that ice and snow do not melt quickly. Buses may not be able to travel on "snow roads" during some inclement weather.

Cell Phones

Mobile/cellular telephones should be turned off and out of sight while on the bus. School rules about cell phones extend to the bus.

Interference with School Bus

No person shall willfully interfere with the operation of a school bus, either private or public by boarding, restricting movement, or threats, either physical or verbal, to the driver or any passenger while the bus is engaged in transportation of pupils to and from school or any lawful school activity or while passengers arc entering or leaving the bus nor shall any person willfully fail or refuse to obey a lawful order of a school bus driver relating to the occupancy of a school bus. The use of threatening, obscene, or profane language addressed to the driver or any passenger entering, leaving. or waiting for a bus is disorderly conduct and any person convicted for the use of such language shall be punished as provided in 16- J7-530.

Carry-on Items

Compliance with Federal standards is mandatory by SDE. No animals, insects, weapons, balloons, glass or pressurized containers (ex. hairspray) or class projects that are large, wooden, etc.-none of these are to be carried on buses by drivers or students. Up to 22"x 28" paper posters are allowed if driver vision is not obstructed. Band instruments 'other items canted on the bus must be of such size that all can fit on the
student's lap. Items on the seats, floor, or obstructing the aisles endanger all passengers on the bus. Class project items and large band instruments must be transported to from school via private vehicle.

Changes in Bus Routes

SDE requires buses to be routed over public maintained roadways in the most efficient (mileage) manner possible targeting 75 minute and not exceeding 90 minutes per trip allowance.

Basic Route Determination Infrastructure

Setting up routes within SDE regulations and SC State Law can occur at the first of each year. or when a violation is discovered. Route changes are created by growth, overloads, bus size available, legal safety actions, bridges out highway construction, hazardous emergencies as recognized and defined by State standards. etc. or upon discovery of an unapproved route pattern. The Spartanburg School District Two Transportation Office notifies students by word of mouth for single stop adjustments. or by handouts for total route changes. SDE requires the local district to periodically re-evaluate its routes as necessary to cope with the above conditions or to bring unapproved routes into SDE compliance.

Turn-about Maneuvering and Ground Surface

On privately owned, unpaved roadways where the distance to a residence is greater than one-half mile from a regular bus route pattern, but where 1) no adequate bus turnabout area exists or 2) where the ground surface cannot support a 33.000 lb. vehicle, property owners can deed to the appropriate government agency (upon agreement of said government agency) the land necessary for government to construct a school bus turn-about. Turn-about areas with clear visibility, must be either a 60-ft. radius or a 25ft wide by 50-ft. deep area, paved/graveled sufficient to accommodate the turn-about maneuver and the weight of the vehicle. Roadways must be a minimum of 25 feet wide, clear of obstructions (ex. tree limbs) and adequate to withstand winter or inclement weather under the weight of a loaded bus. 

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