South Carolina School Bus Transportation Laws and Regulations

South Carolina School Bus Transportation Laws and Regulations

 South Carolina School Bus Transportation Laws and Regulations


Section 59-67-420  Extent of Transportation To Be Provided

It is declared to be the policy of the State, acting through the State Board of Education, to assume no obligation to transport any child to or from school who lives within one and one-half miles of the school he attends, nor to provide transportation services extending within a .3 tenths of a mile radius of the residence of the child.


43-80-F   School bus stops on each route shall not be closer than two-tenths of a mile apart at safe points


Section 59-67-240  Other Duties and Disciplinary Powers of Driver

The driver shall be responsible for maintaining good conduct upon his/her bus and shall report promptly to the governing head of the school to or from which the pupils are transported any misconduct or any violation of the driver's instructions by any person riding in his/her bus

District Boards of school trustees in this state may authorize school administrators to suspend or expel pupils from riding a school bus for misconduct on the bus or for violating the instructions of the driver.


Section 59-67-245  Interference With Operation of a School Bus; Penalties

No person shall willfully and wrongfully interfere with the operation of a school bus, either public or private, by boarding, restricting movement or using threats, either physical or verbal, to the driver or any passenger while the bus is engaged in the transportation of pupils to and from school or any lawful school activity or while passengers are entering or leaving the bus nor shall any person wilfully 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 school bus is disorderly conduct and any person convicted for the use of such language shall be punished as provided in Section 16-17-530.  Nothing contained herein shall be interpreted to infringe upon the power and duties of duly constituted authorities.


Section 56-4-2770  Signals and Markings on School Buses; meeting, Overtaking, and Passing a School Bus; Loading Passengers Along Multi-lane Highways.

A. The driver of a vehicle meeting or overtaking from either direction a  school bus stopped on a highway or private road must stop before reaching the bus where there are in operation on the bus flashing red lights specified in State Department of Education Regulations and Specifications Pertaining to School Buses, and the driver must not proceed until the bus resumes motion or the flashing red lights are no longer actuated.

B. The driver of a vehicle need not stop upon meeting a stopped school bus when traveling in the opposite direction on a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road divided by a median with at least 4 lanes with at least 2 lanes traveling each direction.

C. The driver of a vehicle must not overtake a school bus which has amber visual signals activated.

D. A school bus must be equipped with red and amber visual signals meeting the requirements of State Department of Education Regulations and Specifications Pertaining to School Buses, which must be actuated by the driver whenever the bus is stopped or preparing to stop on the highway for the purpose of receiving and discharging students.  A driver must not actuate the special visual signals when the bus is in a designated school bus loading or off-loading areas is the bus is off the roadway entirely.

E. A school bus must bear upon its front and rear plainly visible signs containing he words "SCHOOL BUS" in black letter not less than eight inches in height.

A school bus route that requires passengers off-loaded along a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road must be designated to ensure that a student is not required to cross a multi-lane highway or multi-lane private road.


In order for a school bus to operate on a roadway in South Carolina, the road must be safe fro travel, accessible and adequately maintained. Having ownership of the property does not excuse or change this requirement.



Operating on a Privately Owned Roadway


Roadways that are privately owned requires the property owner to give written permission (Release of Liability for the Operation of a School Bus on a Private Roadway) signed by the property owner or custodian of the property on which the roadway is located and notarized before a state owned school bus is allowed to enter this domain.


SECTION 57-3-120 Roadway Definition


“Roadway” shall mean that portion of a highway improved, designed, or ordinarily used for vehicular travel, exclusive of the shoulder or berm. In the event a highway includes two or more separate roadways, the term “roadway” as used herein shall refer to any such roadways separately but not to all such roadways collectively.


What is accessible and adequately maintained?


  1. The roadway must have usability for school buses.
  2. A school bus must be able to safely operate on the roadway.
  3. The roadway must be maintained to a standard that assures a safe use of the roadway by the school bus and its passengers during all seasons of the year and generally anticipated weather conditions.
  4. The use of the roadway by a school bus at normal speeds specifically the roadway surface must not damage the bus or cause injury to its passengers.
  5. The roadway must be free of all obstacles/ vegetation that could cause damage to the bus or injury to the passengers.
  6. If two-way traffic is allowed, the school bus be able to meet other vehicles including other school buses without danger of damage to either bus or injury to the passengers on either bus.
  7. The school should not be driven over drainage or other structure that will not support the weight of the bus.
  8. The roadway should have protective barriers separating the roadway from dangerous drop-off (a change in elevation if the bus went off the road and turn over), bodies of water and ponds, rivers, ditches, lakes, etc.

Section 59-67-415. Parent Responsibility


Parents or guardians are responsible for the safety, conduct and the timely arrival of their children to, from and at the designated school bus stop before the arrival of the school bus for pick up and transport to school and the timely departure of the child after the school bus leaves the designated school bus stop after transporting the children from school. For purposes of this section, the phrase "arrival of the school bus" includes the time that the school bus assigned to the school bus stop activates the required pedestrian safety devices, stops, and loads or unloads the students until the school bus deactivates all pedestrian safety devices.

Created on 2/14/2011 - Last updated on 3/8/2011