EEAEA – Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing – School Bus Drivers and Contracted Carriers

1. Statement of Policy 

The School Board believes that the safety of students while being transported to and from school or school activities is of utmost importance and is the primary responsibility of the driver of the vehicle.

This policy applies to two categories of drivers:

a. school bus drivers (see RSA 189:13-b; 263:29 & 29-a);

b. “contracted carriers”: drivers of vehicles designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver, which are a contract carrier of passengers that has been contracted by the school (see RSA 376:2).

Each driver, as well as others who perform safety-sensitive functions with commercial vehicles that transport students, must be mentally and physically alert at all times while on duty. To that end, the Board has established this policy related to the fitness for duty of transportation personnel.

The Superintendent/designee shall adopt and enact any procedures necessary or appropriate to assure compliance with applicable state and federal laws and regulations.

2. Medical Examination of School Bus Operators 

In accordance with RSA 200:37, before employing any person as a school bus driver, directly or through a vendor, the District shall require that such persons submit a certificate signed by a licensed physician setting forth the physician’s findings as a result of the examination to determine the physical condition of drivers in accordance with the requirements of 49 C.F.R. Part 391.41-391.49.  Such certificate shall be submitted to the District prior to the commencement of such employment and the District shall retain a copy of such certification. Every 2 years thereafter, either prior to the commencement of the school year or prior to the reemployment of such persons as a school bus driver, the School District shall require submission of a like certificate, except that school bus operators attaining the age of 70 shall be required to undergo an annual examination and to submit a certificate annually. This provision does not apply to contracted carriers.

3. Certification 

No person shall be employed as a school bus driver, directly or through a vendor, unless the person has received a School Bus Driver’s Certificate from the NH Department of Motor Vehicles as required by RSA 263:29.

Contracted carriers shall comply with all applicable provisions of RSA 376:2, as well as have a valid commercial driver’s license and operate a vehicle with a valid state inspection sticker.

4. Criminal Background Investigation 

Before employing any person as a school bus driver, directly or through a vendor, or as a contracted carrier, the School District shall require a criminal background investigation as set forth in RSA 189:13-a and School District policy GBCD. For a school bus driver employed directly by or who volunteers for the District, then the employee will pay for the investigation. If the District contracts with a vendor to provide transportation services, either the vendor or the driver will pay for the investigation at the discretion of the vendor.

5. Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing 

In compliance with the United States Department of Transportation’s Title 49 Code of Federal Regulations, Part 391, all commercial driver’s license holders and personnel performing safety-sensitive functions related to the transportation of the students of this School District will be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing. Testing procedures and facilities used for the tests shall conform to the requirements of the 49 C.F.R. Part 40. The District and any transportation contractor transporting students on behalf of the District shall utilize the Drug and Alcohol Clearinghouse to comply with all requirements for drug and alcohol testing and reporting, in accordance with 49 C.F.R. Parts 382 and 391.

The term “CDL holder” means someone who is required as part of their job duties to hold a Commercial Driver’s License. The term “safety-sensitive function” refers to all tasks associated with the operation and maintenance of commercial vehicles. A “commercial vehicle” is any vehicle capable of carrying 16 or more passengers including the driver.

If the School District employs the transportation personnel directly, the District will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing requirements. If the School District contracts with a vendor to provide student transportations services, the vendor shall be the employer and provide assurance to the District on an annual basis that they are in compliance with the Mandatory Drug and Alcohol Testing requirements.

The Drug and Alcohol Testing will include pre-employment, random, reasonable suspicion and post-accident testing as defined by Department of Labor Regulations. The School District supports a zero-tolerance policy related to substance abuse. Therefore, any personnel who have a confirmed positive test for drugs or a confirmed alcohol concentration of 0.02 or greater will be terminated from employment.

Legal References:  

Omnibus Transportation Employee Testing Act of 1991, 49 U.S.C. §5331

RSA 200:37, Medical Examination of School Bus Operators

RSA 263:29, School Bus Driver’s Certificate

RSA 189:13-a, School Employee & Volunteer Background Investigations

RSA 376:2, VII, Motor Carriage of Passengers

49 C.F.R. § 40.1-40.13 (2001), Transportation Workplace Drug Testing Program

49 C.F.R. Part 382, Controlled Substances and Alcohol Use and Testing

49 C.F.R. Part 391, Qualifications of Drivers


First Read:  November 2, 2021

Second Read: November 16, 2021

Adopted: November 16, 2021

District review/ revision history:

Category:  Priority/Required by Law

Related Administrative Procedure: EEAEA-R