To carry out school transportation by bus, minibus, or car, all drivers, owners and operators must comply with several requirements.
Under the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the transportation of school children, the following vehicles may be used for school transportation:
When providing transportation for extracurricular activities, using a minibus designed to carry 12 to 15 passengers and equipped with seat belts or a multifunction school activity bus is also permitted. These vehicles and their drivers are subject to specific rules set out in the Regulation.
Note that transporting school children between school and home using these types of vehicles is strictly prohibited.
For more details, consult the website of the Ministère des Transports.
To ensure that school buses and minibuses can be seen when school children get on or off by the side of the road, buses and minibuses used in Québec must be equipped with at least the following safety features, as prescribed by the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the transportation of school children:
School buses and school minibuses must also meet the standards regarding use, construction and furnishings set forth in the following:
A bus or minibus greater than 12 years of age may no longer be used for school transportation, as specified in the Regulation respecting student transportation.
Buses and minibuses used for the transportation of school children with disabilities must also meet certain construction and furnishing specifications prescribed in the Regulation respecting road vehicles adapted for the transportation of handicapped persons.
Automobiles (sedan type) used for the transportation of school children must be equipped with:
From side to side across the middle of the roof, the vehicle must be equipped with:
For more details, consult the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the transportation of school children.
When a taxi is used for school transportation under a contract for the exclusive purpose of transporting school children, its owner must replace the taxi dome light with an “ÉCOLIERS” dome light, or with a yellow sign bearing the word “ÉCOLIERS”.
The vehicle thus becomes a sedan-type school transportation vehicle that must comply with the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the transportation of school children.
A periodic mechanical inspection must be carried out by an SAAQ-authorized road vehicle inspection agent every 6 months, regardless of the type of vehicle used.
If the vehicle is deemed compliant, a mechanical inspection certificate is issued and an inspection sticker is affixed to the vehicle.
Repairs must be made within 48 hours and meet the requirements of our road vehicle inspection agents.
The vehicle is prohibited from road use until the repairs have been made to the satisfaction of our road vehicle inspection agents.
Vehicle owners may implement a Preventive Maintenance Program and have it recognized by the SAAQ to be released from the requirement of submitting their vehicles to periodic mechanical inspections. The choice is theirs to make.
Refer to the detailed information based on the type of vehicle used:
School buses and school minibuses are considered heavy vehicles
As a result, owners, operators and drivers must meet several obligations.
Carrier enforcement officers and police officers are mandated to ensure school transportation safety. Among other things, they monitor vehicle compliance and use.
Drivers must hold the appropriate class of licence for the vehicle they use to carry out school transportation and be in good health.
The required class of licence is based on the type of vehicle:
The zero-alcohol rule applies to anyone who drives or has the care or control of a bus, a minibus or a taxi.
Drivers who carry out school transportation must also hold a certificate of competence issued pursuant to the Transport Act.
There are 2 types of certificates of competence:
If you organize outings for a group of preschool-age children, the following information will help you determine the correct vehicle to use:
School buses are safe for school-age children, even without seat belts, because they feature a passive safety system known as “compartmentalization.” This system uses the benches and the interior of the bus to create a protective compartment in the event of a collision.
For more details, go to the Transport Canada website.
Last update: May 17, 2022