School bus drivers who need a new physical have until July 31, 2020 to complete one
In response to the request submitted by the Pennsylvania School Bus Association, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation granted the extension to waive the annual physical exam requirement for school bus drivers under 67 Pa. Code §71.3.
The waiver applies to any school bus driver with proof of a valid physical exam that expired on or after March 13, 2020.
School bus drivers who need a new physical exam have until July 31, 2020 to complete one.
According to PennDOT, this waiver does not apply to:
- drivers who cannot provide proof of physical exam expiring after March 13, 2020;
- new drivers who have never competed a physical exam;
- drivers who have been diagnosed with a medical condition that would disqualify the driver from operating a school bus, since their last physical exam;
- drivers who have developed a condition that requires a medical waiver, since their last physical exam; and
- drivers required to undergo additional 3-month examinations under 67 Pa. Code §71.3(b)(4)(B)(I) unless the driver has completed the required 3-month exam.
A school bus driver should be able to satisfactorily perform the following activities demonstrating the school bus driver meets the intent of this section:
- Walk around a school bus
- Pennsylvania school buses have a maximum length of 45 feet and width of 102 inches. Drivers should be able to satisfactory walk at least 107 feet without problem.
- Bend to check underneath the bus unassisted by any medical apparatus
- The bottom of a school bus chassis is typically three (3) feet off the ground.
- Climb and descend the school bus steps—normally 3 steps—which are each 12-16 inches high.
- While using the right foot only, alternate between the service brake and accelerator
- Necessary strength and flexibility to operate all controls with hands and feet.
- Hold the service brake—the main brake on the bus—with the right foot with 40-60 lbs. of force for 60 seconds.
- Move quickly and easily from the driver’s seat, through the aisle, and exit the rear emergency exit of the school bus.
- School bus aisles have a minimum clearance of 11 and 3/4 inches wide, with a typical clearance of 15 inches.
School bus drivers are responsible for the safe transportation of our most precious cargo, our children. It is imperative that every school bus driver is physically capable of not only safely operating the school bus, but also performing critical safety functions in the event of an emergency while operating that school bus.