Jacob's Law is a South Carolina state law (56-5-195, SC Code of Laws), which provides:
- As of July 1, 2000, any entity transporting preprimary, primary, or secondary school students to or from school, school related activities, or child day care is required to use a vehicle that meets federal school bus safety standards. The law provides an exception for certain state agencies transporting parents and children together.
- Any vehicle purchased before July 1, 2000 will not have to meet the terms of this section until July 1, 2006. Vehicles acquired on or after July 1, 2000 must meet the requirements of this section upon purchase of the vehicle.
- Private organizations are allowed to purchase vehicles meeting the requirements under the State of South Carolina contracts for the purchasing of such vehicles.
- Jacob?s Law clarifies that it is not intended to prohibit schools or any other entity affected from contracting with common carriers, to transport children (as long as the common carrier is not primarily in the business of transporting students and the motor carriage used is designed to hold 30 or more passengers) or to prohibit them from using their own motor carriages to transport children (as long as the motor carriages are designed to hold 30 or more passengers). This exemption allows the use of larger passenger buses to be used for field trips.
- If a child is qualified to receive public school bus transportation, the parents/legal guardians are guaranteed the option of designating a child day care or before and after school programs as the child?s origin or destination for school transportation.
WHAT KIND OF VEHICLE IS CATEGORIZED AS A BUS?
Under Federal law, any motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons is classified as a bus.
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
- Report a Violation. To report a suspected violation, call toll free 1-800-424-9393 or you may contact Office of General Counsel, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration at 1-212-366-9511 or www.nhtsa.dot.gov.
- Ask if your child is being transported in vehicles that meet the requirements of the federal law school bus safety standards. If the child is not or if the school is unsure, speak up about the danger that can be encountered.
FOR ANY QUESTION CONTACT
State Transport Police
Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, SC Division
Leigh Bolick, Director
Child Care Services
Rita Paul, Assistant Director
Child Care Services
Gary Rice, Program Manager
Child Care Licensing
Department of Social Services
2638 Two Notch Road, Suite 200
Columbia, South Carolina 29204