Understanding The Vehicle Graphics Regulations Of School Buses

by Yuki Chan on February 12, 2017

school-bus-867299_1280.jpgWhat is a school bus? Do we have other types of school bus other than the yellow bus? You will find your answers in this article! According to the Washington State Legislature WAC section 392-143-010, a school bus is a "vehicle with a seating capacity of more than ten persons including the driver regularly used to transport students to and from school or in connection with school activities." This code governs all the school bus specifications and applies to both publicly and privately owned and operated transportation of public school students

The Necessary School Bus Graphics And Markings

washington_school_bus_graphics_requirements_riveting_wraps_bellevue_wa.jpgUnder the Washington State School Bus Specifications Manual, a school bus must have the following markings and identifications on its appearance:

  • Vehicle should be painted in the color "National School Bus Yellow."
  • "SCHOOL BUS" retro-reflective letterings on the top sections of both the front and rear of the vehicle.
  • Black letterings indicating the bus' belonged district name and number.
  • Black letterings stating the contractor or cooperative name of the bus.
  • Reflective decal at the rear with the phrase "Unlawful to Pass when Red Lights Flash."
  • The equipment identification numbers, the state bus number, the maximum design capacity, and the battery location of the bus should be visually marked on the bus.
  • Strips of reflective "National School Bus Yellow" color markings and non-constrasting color markings must be applied on designated exterior areas of the vehicle.

Multi-Function School Activity Buses And Its Vehicle Graphics Requirements

school_bus_graphics_Riveting_Wraps_Bellevue_WA.jpgThen here comes the question, how about the other school buses/vans we see on the road that are not yellow but with a school's markings on it? Those are referred to as multi-function school activity buses (MFSAB). As defined by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a MFSAB is "a school bus whose purposes do not include transporting students to and from home or school bus stops." In other words, the MFSAB's responsibility entails only transporting students to and from extracurricular activities.

Martial_Arts_Ford_Van_Partial_Wrap_Bellevue_Wa_Riveting_Wraps.jpgBased on the NHTSA's ruling, the MFSAB's body color does not have to be yellow. There are no additional warning labels (other than those that are already applicable to school buses) required on the vehicle for distinguishment. And in Washington State, the WAC 392-143-070 exempts MFSAB with ten persons or less seating capacity (including the driver) from school bus labelings that are necessary under school bus specifications. Even so, that does not mean that an activity school bus should not get any markings or labelings. Without the law's restriction, these vehicles have a higher flexibility on their looks. Education institutions often times put on school bus wraps and graphics on the shuttle buses they provide to their students. Not only that these school bus markings are able to promote the school in the local district, they are a safety assurance to parents. 

A Safe And Reliable Ride For Students

Vehicle wraps and graphics are an essential component for all types of school vehicles. Like a school bus, the decals, signs, and markings on it remind road users to watch out for the vehicle and to yield whenever necessary in compliant with the law. See more school bus wraps and graphics in Riveting Wraps' Portfolio. 

New Call-to-actionFor any other school bus markings questions, give Riveting Wraps a call at (425) 368-5007 or send us an email at hello@rivetingwraps.com.

Topics: School Vehicles

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