School Bus Operator Requirements

All school bus operators must meet legal requirements of the Department of Public Safety, Texas Education Agency, and the District.


Bus operators report to the school principal and Transportation Services, and must follow the rules and regulations of both.


Responsibilities of school bus operators while on duty are:


Each bus operator is responsible, under the authority delegated to him or her by the school principal, for enforcing all regulations necessary to maintain discipline of transported students. The bus operator must report any disorderly conduct to the principal and to his or her bus terminal supervisor; a bus operator is not permitted to deny any student riding privileges because of misconduct. The terminal supervisor forwards the bus operator report to Student Safety for processing. See Reference (a). If a principal denies transportation services to a student, he or she must inform the parents or guardians. The student must obtain approval from the school principal to resume riding privileges.


Under no circumstance is the bus operator to exceed the legal speed limit. If rough roads or inclement weather conditions dictate, speed should be reduced as specified in the District Bus Operator Handbook. See Reference (b).

Railroad Crossings

The state of Texas requires the bus operator to bring the bus to a full stop 15 feet to 50 feet before crossing a railroad track. The bus operator will never cross a track if railroad lights are flashing or the arms are down.


All students must be seated before the bus operator is allowed to place the bus in motion. All doors must remain closed while the bus is in motion. Students must not be allowed to approach the door until the bus comes to a complete stop.

Loading Lights

Bus operators must activate the red alternating lights when loading and unloading students.

Ignition Key Removal

No bus operator will leave his or her seat without shutting off the motor and removing the ignition key.

Bus Use

School buses are to be used only in the line of duty.


Buses are not to be operated in reverse near a school without the assistance of a responsible adult.


The bus operator must immediately report any accidents to Central Dispatch, (713) 676-9313, or Transportation Student Safety by radio or telephone, (713) 613-3062. Drug testing is scheduled immediately if necessary. The bus operator must complete the standard report form and report, in person, to Transportation Services within 24 hours or no later than the next working day following an accident. See Reference (d).


Pursuant to commercial driver's license requirement, a District school bus operator must notify his or her employer within 30 days of a conviction for any traffic violation (except parking) regardless of the type of vehicle being driven at the time of the violation. This includes convictions for violations that occur in a private automobile. The notification must be made, in writing, to the Terminal Manager of his or her assigned terminal and to the supervisor, Transportation Safety.

Traffic Citation

Pursuant to department guideline, a school bus driver must notify the terminal manager of his or her assigned terminal and the supervisor, Transportation Safety, immediately, and in writing, upon receipt of a traffic citation or warning from a law enforcement official while operating a District vehicle.

Mechanical Problems

The bus operator must report any suspected mechanical problems at once to his or her immediate supervisor and to the supervisor of the mechanic shop. This report is provided through complete written documentation on the daily vehicle condition report. See Reference (c).

Bus Check

Before returning to the designated bus terminal, the bus operator must check the bus after the last drop-off stop to verify that all children have exited the bus.

Smoking, Eating, and Drinking

The bus operator must not smoke, eat, or drink while on the bus, nor allow any passenger to do so.


The bus operator must allow only authorized personnel and students to ride the bus.

Seat Belts

The bus operator must wear a seat belt while the bus is in motion.

Discipline of Bus Operators

Bus operators failing to carry out the responsibilities described in this regulation will be subject to disciplinary action determined by the appropriate supervisor.


This regulation has been through consultation (Administrative: May 6, 2008; Instructional: May 1, 2008; Noninstructional: May 6, 2008).

Maintenance Responsibility

The executive general manager, Transportation Services is responsible for maintenance of this regulation.


(a)The Student Code of Conduct

(b)Houston Independent School District Bus Operator Handbook

(c)Form – Daily Vehicle Condition Report

(d)Form – Houston Independent School District Vehicular Accident Report

Houston ISD


LDU 2009.10

DATE ISSUED: 12/14/2009