Wisconsin Department of Transportation

Alert: The following services will be unavailable on Saturday, January 5, 2013 from 12 a.m. (midnight) to 6 a.m. CST due to system maintenance.

School bus safety

School bus with children exiting

Those familiar yellow and black vehicles are the safest form of transportation in the country, considering the many miles and the travel conditions buses undergo to transport children to and from school, sports and other events.

This is due, in large part to the many safety features built into school buses. School buses are designed to take a great deal of impact, not to crush in event of roll over, and to cushion children with compartmentalization between the seats in the event of a crash or a fast stop.

Definition of a school bus

In Wisconsin, a school bus is a motor vehicle which carries 10 or more passengers in addition to the operator, or a motor vehicle painted with legally required school bus markings, glossy school bus yellow trimmed in black, for the purpose of transporting:

  • Pupils to or from a public school or a private school or pupils to or from a technical college when required.
  • Pupils to or from curricular or extracurricular activities.
  • Pupils to or from religious instruction on days when school is in session.
  • Children with disabilities to or from an educational program approved by the department of public instruction.

A school bus can also be a motor vehicle that is painted with legally required school bus markings and is used for the purpose of transporting disabled persons or elderly persons in connection with any transportation assistance program for elderly or disabled persons.

Questions about the content of this page:
Lt. Karl Mittelstadt, karl.mittelstadt@dot.wi.gov
Last modified: September 3, 2014

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