Many school systems utilize private charter buses for school-sponsored activities for several reasons. One of which comes to mind is the additional comfort provided to students for lengthy field trips or student athletic events. In 2007, the West Virginia State Legislature amended the West Virginia Code to require certain verifications from these private charter companies before those companies could transport more than 16 students. Specifically, West Virginia Code § 18-5-13(f)(6) provides that students may not be transported to school-sponsored activities in a vehicle that has a seating capacity of 16 or more passengers which is not owned or operated by the county board of education unless the vehicle meets certain insurance, safety and related requirements.
According to West Virginia Code § 18-5-13(f)(6)(B), the transportation company which operates the private charter buses “shall provide to the county board proof that the vehicle and the driver satisfy the requirements of the State Board rule.” Unfortunately, the law does not provide any real guidance as to what “proof” is required.
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