Vogel’s school bus length legislation headed to Governor

Senate Bill 1312, legislation introduced by Senator Elder Vogel to give school districts and school bus contractors the option to choose the most appropriate school buses based on their needs, received final legislative approval Monday (June 30) and is headed to the Governor for his signature and enactment into law.

Currently state law arbitrarily limits school buses to 40 feet in length, despite the fact that other types of “non-school” buses are legal in lengths up to 45 feet.

“Manufacturers are selling buses in lengths between 40 and 45 feet in other states, but our school districts and their contractors are prohibited from using them in Pennsylvania,” said Senator Vogel.  “By allowing school districts and school bus contractors to purchase longer buses, they will be able to better control their costs by streamlining routes.  Furthermore, it will allow school districts and contractors to choose from among the full selection of vehicles available with the latest technology and safety features to best meet the needs of their districts.”

The measure was returned to the Senate for a concurrence vote Monday on House amendments that added a number of new provisions to the bill, including a section that will set mandatory minimum sentence of three years imprisonment for fatal hit and run accidents.