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This website publishes administrative rules on their effective dates, as designated by the adopting state agencies, colleges, and universities.

Rule 3301-83-11 | School bus inspections.


(A) Ohio state highway patrol safety inspection

The school bus owner, operator, lessee, or designee shall be responsible for presenting all school buses for the annual Ohio state highway patrol safety inspection and will be responsible for the pre-inspection, repair and preparation of each school bus.

(B) Daily inspection of the school bus

It is the responsibility of each school bus driver to complete and document a daily pre-trip inspection of the school bus before transporting students. The school bus owner, operator, lessee, or designee may designate another qualified individual to complete and record portions of the stationary inspection in lieu of the school bus driver. Any defects shall be reported in writing to the school bus owner or designee. It is the responsibility of the school bus owner to provide each driver with all inspection forms for reporting purposes, which include the following:

(1) Stationary inspection

(a) Pre-starting inspection:

Raise the hood and visually check the safety latch or hinges, then check oil and water - check belts, hoses and wiring for frayed, cracked and/or deteriorated conditions.

(b) Walk around inspection:

Place the transmission in neutral and set the parking brake. Start the engine and check the following:

(i) Tires: underinflated, flat, evidence of oil on wheels and tires, excessive wear (tread depth) or damaged.

(ii) Wheels: loose or missing nuts, excessive corrosion, cracks or other damage, and sanders if installed, and splash guards.

(iii) Battery compartment (secure and no loose connections).

(iv) Observe the bus for evidence of oil, fuel, or coolant leaks and vandalism.

(v) All school bus windows should be clean.

(vi) All outside mirrors: clean, mounted securely and not cracked or broken.

(vii) Warning systems: headlights (high/low beam), brake lights, backup lights and alarm, clearance and marker lights, all signals and signs, reflectors, turn signals, stop lights and warning flashers clean and working properly.

(viii) Exhaust system: visually check for sagging exhaust pipes, short and leaky tailpipes and defective mufflers.

(ix) Suspension system: visually check for damage.

(x) Visually inspect brake system secure - no damage.

(xi) Visually inspect drive shaft secure - no damage.

(xii) Visually inspect frame of bus - check for cracks.

(xiii) Fuel tank secure - visually inspect for leaks, and fuel cage securement - no damage.

(xiv) Fluid leaks: evidence of puddle(s).

(xv) Exits: check service and emergency doors for ease of operation.

(xvi) Check wheelchair lift operation, (if installed).

(c) Inside safety check:

(i) Check service door steps and handrail.

(ii) Check driver's seat and seat belt adjustments.

(iii) With the engine running check or inspect the following instruments and controls:

(a) Warning lights, if installed:

(i) Oil pressure warning light.

(ii) Service brake warning light.

(iii) Alternator warning light.

(iv) Ampmeter and/or voltmeter.

(v) Water temperature gauge or warning light.

(b) Indicator lights.

(i) Amber warning light.

(ii) Red warning light.

(iii) Red over-ride switch.

(iv) Indicator lights.

(v) Head light high beam.

(vi) Panel lights.

(vii) Left and right turn signal indicators.

(viii) Hazard indicators.

(ix) Strobe indicator light.

(c) Horn.

(d) Mirrors properly adjusted, sunshade mounted and not broken.

(e) Wipers and washer fluid.

(f) Heaters, fans and defrosters (all speeds).

(g) Dome lights.

(h) Brake system for leaks

(i) Storage tanks - 2 psi, one minute.

(ii) Service brake - 3 psi, one minute.

(iii) Low air pressure light and buzzer - 60 psi.

(iv) Emergency brake - 20-40 psi.

(v) Hydraulic - pump three times hold five seconds.

(i) Air pressure guage or hydraulic brake warning lights.

(j) Oil pressure guage.

(k) Check passenger seats, frames, emergency exits, windows, and adaptive equipment required for the transportation of pre-school and special needs students.

(l) Check emergency equipment: fusees (if equipped), fuses, first-aid kit, fire extinguisher and emergency reflectors.

(2) Operation inspection

A planned road pre-check when driving between storage and first pupil pickup enables the driver to evaluate the steering, suspension, clutch, transmission, driveline, engine and brakes. The following items shall be checked and, if found in need of repair, a written report shall be submitted to the school bus owner or designee:

(a) Parking brake: check by slowly engaging the drive train while the parking brake is on. (In air brake systems, the parking brake will remain applied if there is a partial or complete air pressure loss in the service brakes.)

(b) Service brakes: test at low speeds and bring the bus to a complete stop. The bus should stop in a straight line without skidding, swerving or pulling to one side.

(c) Steering: check for any unusual handling characteristics.

(d) Transmission operation: an automatic transmission should not slip and a manual transmission should allow for easy and smooth gear changes throughout the entire shifting range.

(e) Clutch: the clutch should engage easily and smoothly without jerking, slipping excessively or "chattering." A properly adjusted clutch should have some "free play" when the pedal is fully released.

(f) Engine: listen for unusual engine noises.

(g) Suspension: check for any unusual ride or handling characteristics.

(3) Post trip check:

At the conclusion of each route or trip:

(a) The driver shall ensure all passengers have left the bus by visually inspecting each seat position.

(b) The driver shall clean the bus and remove all loose belongings.

Supplemental Information

Authorized By: 3301.07, 4511.76
Amplifies: 3327.01, 4511.76
Five Year Review Date: 3/26/2025
Prior Effective Dates: 10/22/1984, 7/1/1991, 10/5/1998, 11/13/2001, 10/1/2004