1303.71 Vehicles.

(a) Required use of schools buses or allowable alternative vehicles. A program, with the exception of transportation services to children served under a home-based option, must ensure all vehicles used or purchased with grant funds to provide transportation services to enrolled children are school buses or allowable alternate vehicles that are equipped for use of height- and weight-appropriate child restraint systems, and that have reverse beepers.

(b) Emergency equipment. A program must ensure each vehicle used in providing such services is equipped with an emergency communication system clearly labeled and appropriate emergency safety equipment, including a seat belt cutter, charged fire extinguisher, and first aid kit.

(c) Auxiliary seating. A program must ensure any auxiliary seating, such as temporary or folding jump seats, used in vehicles of any type providing such services are built into the vehicle by the manufacturer as part of its standard design, are maintained in proper working order, and are inspected as part of the annual inspection required under paragraph (e)(2)(i) of this section.

(d) Child restraint systems. A program must ensure each vehicle used to transport children receiving such services is equipped for use of age-, height- and weight-appropriate child safety restraint systems as defined in part 1305 of this chapter.

(e) Vehicle maintenance. (1) A program must ensure vehicles used to provide such services are in safe operating condition at all times.

(2) The program must:

(i) At a minimum, conduct an annual thorough safety inspection of each vehicle through an inspection program licensed or operated by the state;

(ii) Carry out systematic preventive maintenance on vehicles; and,

(iii) Ensure each driver implements daily pre-trip vehicle inspections.

(f) New vehicle inspection. A program must ensure bid announcements for school buses and allowable alternate vehicles to transport children in its program include correct specifications and a clear statement of the vehicle’s intended use. The program must ensure vehicles are examined at delivery to ensure they are equipped in accordance with the bid specifications and that the manufacturer’s certification of compliance with the applicable FMVSS is included with the vehicle.