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for Parents/Students

The Child Check Alarm Bill

What You Need to Know

Child Safety is no joke. That is why Governor Brown signed SB1072 into law on September 27, 2016. SB1072, also known as the “Paul Lee School Bus Safety Law” is named after a special-needs student from Whittier who died in September 2015 after being left unattended on a school bus for several hours.

The law requires all school buses to be equipped with an operational child-check reminder alarm system that prompts the driver to inspect all seats before leaving the bus. The system must be approved by the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and hard-wired into the vehicle's electrical system and activated when the ignition is turned on.

The law will also:

  • Require reporting to ensure notification to the department of Motor Vehicles of cases when a child is left on a bus unattended.

  • Direct the CHP to publish rules to implement the new requirements and provide a list of child safety alarms approved for use in school buses and a qualified technician or mechanic who can install the system.

  • Grant school districts and school bus contractors a grace period of eight months after the date that the CHP issues the rules to install a child safety system.

 School Bus Danger Zones
The danger zone is the area on all sides of the bus where children are in the most danger of being hit, either by another vehicle or their own bus. The danger zones may extend as much as 30 feet from the front bumper (with the first 12 feet being the most dangerous), 12 feet from the left and right sides of the bus, and 12 feet behind the rear bumper of the school bus. In addition, the area to the left of the bus is always considered dangerous because of passing cars. Figure below illustrates these danger zones.