To carry out school transportation by bus, minibus, car or taxi, 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:
School transportation using a 15-passenger van is prohibited
In Québec, the transportation of school children between school and home or for extracurricular activities using a 15-passenger van is strictly prohibited.
For more details, consult the website of the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l'Électrification des transports.
To ensure that school buses and minibuses can be seen when school children get on or off on the side of the road, buses and minibuses used in Québec must be equipped with the following safety features:
School buses and minibuses must also meet the standards regarding use, construction and furnishings set forth in the:
After 12 years of use…
A bus or minibus may no longer be used for school transportation, as specified in the Regulation respecting student transportation.
Buses and minibuses used for the transportation of disabled school children must also meet the construction and furnishing specifications prescribed in the Regulation respecting road vehicles adapted for the transportation of handicapped persons.
For more details, consult the MTMDET website.
Taxis, limousines and automobiles used for the transportation of school children must be equipped with:
From side to side across the middle of the roof:
For more details, consult the Regulation respecting road vehicles used for the transportation of school children.
Taxis used for school transportation
When a taxi is used for school transportation, its owner must replace the taxi dome light with an “ÉCOLIERS” dome light, or with a yellow sign bearing the word “ÉCOLIERS”.
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, an inspection certificate is issued and an inspection sticker is affixed to the vehicle.
Repairs must be made within 48 hours.
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 Preventative Maintenance Program and have it recognized by the SAAQ to be released from the requirement of submitting their vehicles to this inspection. The choice is theirs to make.
Refer to the detailed information based on the type of vehicle used:
Buses and 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.
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 by the MTMDET.
There are 2 types of certificates of competence:
If you organize outings for a group of preschool-age children, follow these two main principles to travel safely:
Child safety seats on board buses
Some later models of school buses feature integrated child safety seats or a universal anchorage system to affix a child safety seat or an infant seat.
Even for younger children, school buses provide at least 10 times better protection than a passenger vehicle equipped with child safety seats.
In a car or minivan, all children whose sitting height is less than 63 cm (between the seat and the top of the head) must be secured in an appropriate car seat, adapted to their weight and height.
For more details, consult:
School buses are safe, 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.