TRANSPORTATION OF PUPILS
33-1509. School bus drivers — Definition — Qualification — Duties — liability. For the purpose of this chapter, the term "school bus driver" shall mean any person who at any time is operating a school bus while transporting pupils to or from school, or to or from approved school activities.
A board of trustees shall employ school bus drivers only upon prior application in writing, and the board shall require of school bus drivers employed by others who transport pupils of their district under contract the same information required in such written application. Each application shall contain at least the minimum information specified by the state department of education.
Any person employed as a school bus driver shall be over the age of eighteen (18) years, be of good moral character and not addicted to the use of intoxicants or narcotics. School bus drivers shall meet the physical examination standards of the federal motor carrier safety regulations. Provided however, that individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, who are otherwise medically qualified under the physical examination standards of the federal motor carrier safety regulations, may request a waiver for this condition from the state department of education. If the applicant meets the requirements as specified in subsections (1) through (7) of this section, the department shall grant a waiver. The department shall notify each applicant and each affected school district of its determination of eligibility with regard to each application for a waiver. An applicant shall:
(1) Document that he has no other disqualifying conditions including diabetes-related complications;
(2) Document that he has had no recurring, two (2) or more, hypoglycemic reactions resulting in a loss of consciousness or seizure within the past five (5) years. A period of one (1) year of demonstrated stability is required following the first episode of hypoglycemia;
(3) Document that he has had no recurrent hypoglycemic reactions requiring the assistance of another person within the past five (5) years. A period of one (1) year of demonstrated stability is required following the first episode of hypoglycemia;
(4) Document that he has had no recurrent hypoglycemic reactions resulting in impaired cognitive function that occurred without warning symptoms within the past five (5) years. A period of one (1) year of demonstrated stability is required following the first episode of hypoglycemia;
(5) Document that he has been examined by a board-certified or board-eligible endocrinologist who has conducted a complete medical examination. The complete medical examination shall consist of a comprehensive evaluation of the applicant’s medical history and current status with a report including the following information:
(a) The date insulin use began;
(b) Diabetes diagnosis and disease history;
(c) Hospitalization records;
(d) Consultation notes for diagnostic examinations;
(e) Special studies pertaining to the diabetes;
(f) Follow-up reports;
(g) Reports of any hypoglycemic insulin reactions within the last five (5) years;
(h) Two (2) measures of glycosylated hemoglobin, the first ninety (90) days before the last and current measure;
(i) Insulin dosages and types, diet utilized for control and any significant factors such as smoking, alcohol use, and other medications or drugs taken; and
(j) Examinations to detect any peripheral neuropathy or circulatory insufficiency of the extremities;
(6) Submit a signed statement from an examining endocrinologist indicating the following medical determinations:
(a) The endocrinologist is familiar with the applicant’s medical history for the past five (5) years, either through actual treatment over that time or through consultation with a physician who has treated the applicant during that time;
(b) The applicant has been educated in diabetes and its management, thoroughly informed of and understands the procedures which must be followed to monitor and manage the applicant’s diabetes and what procedures should be followed if complications arise; and
(c) The applicant has the ability and has demonstrated willingness to properly monitor and manage the applicant’s diabetes; and
(7) Submit a separate signed statement from an ophthalmologist or optometrist that the applicant has been examined and that the applicant does not have diabetic retinopathy and meets the vision standard in 49 CFR 391.41(b)(10), or has been issued a valid medical exemption. If the applicant has any evidence of diabetic retinopathy, the applicant must be examined by an ophthalmologist and submit a separate signed statement from the ophthalmologist that the applicant does not have unstable advancing disease of blood vessels in the retina, known as unstable proliferative diabetic retinopathy.
Before entering upon his duties, each school bus driver shall file with the board of trustees a current health certificate. Subsequent health certificates shall be filed with the frequency required by the federal motor carrier safety regulations. School bus drivers shall be physically able to perform all job-related duties.
Each school bus driver shall at all times possess a valid and appropriate commercial driver’s license, including endorsements as specified in section 49-105, Idaho Code, and if applicable, a waiver for insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus issued by the state department of education.
Each school bus driver shall maintain such route books and other records as may be required by the state department of education or by the board of trustees of the school district. The school bus driver shall report any pupil whose behavior is such as may endanger the operation of the vehicle, or who damages the same or any part thereof, or whose language is obscene.
It shall be the duty of each school bus driver to report any condition on, or bordering, his route which constitutes a hazard to the safety of the pupils being transported.
The state department of education shall promulgate rules as necessary for the determination of eligibility and issuance of a waiver to individuals with insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus in accordance with the provisions of this section.
(8) While within the course and scope of his or her duties, a school bus driver shall not be civilly or criminally liable for reasonably acting to aid a rider on the bus whom the school bus driver reasonably believes to be in imminent danger of harm or injury.
[33-1509, added 1963, ch. 13, sec. 87, p. 27; am. 1982, ch. 92, sec. 7, p. 173; am. 1985, ch. 107, sec. 15, p. 208; am. 1989, ch. 88, sec. 69, p. 209; am. 1993, ch. 56, sec. 1, p. 153; am. 2000, ch. 426, sec. 2, p. 1379; am. 2004, ch. 218, sec. 1, p. 653; am. 2014, ch. 286, sec. 1, p. 725.]