Pennsylvania Code & Bulletin
COMMONWEALTH OF PENNSYLVANIA

• No statutes or acts will be found at this website.

The Pennsylvania Code website reflects the Pennsylvania Code changes effective through 54 Pa.B. 488 (January 27, 2024).

67 Pa. Code § 171.50. Doors and emergency exits.

§ 171.50. Doors and emergency exits.

 (a)  Service doors. The requirements for service doors are as follows:

   (1)  The service door shall be under the control of the driver, and designed so as to afford easy release and prevent accidental opening. When a hand lever is used, no part may come together so as to shear or crush fingers.

   (2)  The service door shall be located on the right side of the school bus opposite the driver and within direct view of the driver.

   (3)  The service door shall have a minimum horizontal opening of 24 inches and a minimum vertical opening of 68 inches. Type A school bus service doors shall have a minimum opening area of 1,200 square inches.

   (4)  The service door shall be of the split type, sedan type or jackknife type. Split-type door includes a sectioned door which divides and opens inward or outward. If one section of a split type door opens inward and the other opens outward, the front section shall open outward.

   (5)  Lower as well as upper windows shall have approved safety glazing. The bottom of the lower window may not be more than 35 inches from the ground when the bus is unloaded. The top of the upper window may not be more than 6 inches from the top of the door. Type A school buses shall have an upper window with an area of at least 350 square inches of approved safety glazing.

   (6)  Vertical closing edges on split type or folding type entrance doors shall be equipped with flexible material to protect the passengers’ fingers. Type A school buses may be equipped with the chassis manufacturer’s standard entrance door.

   (7)  There may be no door to the left of the driver on Type C or D school buses. Type A and B school buses may be equipped with the chassis manufacturer’s standard entrance door.

   (8)  Doors shall be equipped with padding at the top edge of each door opening. The padding shall be at least 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick and extend the full width of the door opening.

 (b)  Emergency exits. Each school bus shall comply with FMVSS No. 217. See Appendix A. The area of square centimeters of the unobstructed opening for emergency exits shall collectively amount to at least 432 multiplied times the number of designated seating positions in the bus. The area of an opening equipped with a wheel chair lift is counted toward meeting additional emergency area requirements only if the lift is designed to be folded or stored so that the area is available for use by persons not needing the lift.

   (1)  The requirements for emergency exit doors are as follows:

     (i)   The emergency exit door shall be hinged according to FMVSS No. 217. See Appendix A. Double emergency exit doors shall also be hinged according to FMVSS No. 217. See Appendix A.

     (ii)   The upper portion of the rear emergency exit door shall have a window equipped with approved safety glazing, the exposed area of which is at least 400 square inches. The lower portion of the rear emergency door on Type B, C and D school buses shall contain a window of approved safety glazing, measuring a minimum of 350 square inches. Type A school buses are exempt from this subparagraph.

     (iii)   Except as provided in subparagraph (iv), no portion of a seat or a restraining barrier may be installed within the area bounded by the opening of a side emergency exit door, a vertical transverse plane parallel to that plane at a distance of 30 centimeters (11 3/4 inches) forward of that plane, and a longitudinal vertical plane passing through the longitudinal centerline of the bus. See Figure 4.

     (iv)   A seat bottom may be located within the area described in subparagraph (iii) if the seat bottom pivots and automatically assumes and retains a vertical position when not in use, so that no portion of the seat bottom is within the area described in subparagraph (iii) when the seat bottom is vertical. See Figure 5.

     (v)   No portion of a seat or restraining barrier—located forward of the area described in subparagraph (iii) and between the door opening and a longitudinal vertical plane passing through the longitudinal centerline of the bus—may extend rearward of a vertical transverse plane tangent to the forwardmost portion of a latch mechanism on the door. See Figures 5 and 6.

     (vi)   Each emergency exit door of a school bus shall be equipped with a positive door opening device that, after the release mechanism has been operated:

       (A)   Bears the weight of the door.

       (B)   Keeps the door from closing past the point at which the door is perpendicular to the side of the bus body, regardless of the body’s orientation.

       (C)   Provides a means for release or override.

     (vii)   The positive door opening device shall perform the functions specified in subparagraph (vi)(A) and (B) without the need for additional action beyond opening the door past the point at which the door is perpendicular to the side of the bus body.

     (viii)   Emergency door exits shall be equipped with padding at the top edge of each door opening. The padding shall be at least 3 inches wide and 1 inch thick and extend the full width of the door opening.

     (ix)   The emergency exit door opening may not be blocked with an obstruction higher than 1/4 inch across the bottom of the emergency exit door opening.

     (x)   Each school bus emergency exit door shall allow manual release of the door by a single person, from both inside and outside the passenger compartment. The release mechanism shall operate without the use of remote controls or tools, and notwithstanding any failure of the vehicle’s power system. When the release mechanism is not in the position that causes an emergency exit door to be closed, and the vehicle’s ignition is in the ‘‘on’’ position, a continuous warning sound shall be audible at the driver’s seating position.

     (xi)   Two side emergency exit doors may not be located, in whole or in part, within the same post and roof bow panel space.

     (xii)   Supplemental security locks installed on emergency doors shall be equipped with an ignition interlock system or an audiovisual alarm located in the driver’s compartment. Hasps may not be used.

Figure 4 Minimum Side Emergency Exit Clearance specification (Plan View)

Figure 5 Minimum Side Emergency Exit Flip-Up Seat Clearance Specifications

Figure 6 Minimum Side Emergency Exit Clearance Specifications

   (2)  The requirements for emergency roof exits are as follows:

     (i)   Each emergency roof exit shall be hinged on its forward side, and shall be operable from both inside and outside the vehicle.

     (ii)   In a school bus equipped with a single emergency exit, the exit shall be located as near as practicable to the midpoint of the passenger compartment.

     (iii)   In a bus equipped with two emergency roof exits:

       (A)   One emergency roof exit shall be located as near as practicable to a point equidistant between the midpoint of the passenger compartment and the foremost limit of the passenger compartment.

       (B)   The other emergency roof exit shall be located as near as practicable to a point equidistant between the midpoint of the passenger compartment and the rearmost point of the passenger compartment.

     (iv)   In a bus equipped with three or more emergency roof exits, the roof exits shall be installed so that, to the extent practicable, the longitudinal distance between each pair of adjacent roof exits is the same and equal to:

       (A)   The distance from the foremost point of the passenger compartment to the foremost roof exit.

       (B)   The distance from the rearmost point of the passenger compartment to the rearmost roof exit.

     (v)   Except as provided in subparagraph (vi), each emergency roof exit shall be installed with its longitudinal centerline coinciding with a longitudinal vertical plane passing through the longitudinal centerline of the school bus.

     (vi)   In a bus equipped with two or more emergency roof exits, for each roof exit offset from the longitudinal vertical plane specified in subparagraph (v), there shall be another roof exit offset from that plane an equal distance to the other side.

     (vii)   Each school bus emergency roof exit shall allow manual release of the exit by a single person, from both inside and outside the passenger compartment, using not more than two release mechanisms.

     (viii)   Each school bus emergency roof exit, after the release mechanism has been operated, shall be manually extendable by a single person to a position that permits an opening at least 41 centimeters—16 1/8 inches—high and 41 centimeters—16 1/8—wide.

   (3)  The requirements for emergency exit windows are as follows:

     (i)   A bus equipped with emergency exit windows shall have an even number of these windows, not counting a push-out rear window. Side emergency exit windows shall be evenly divided between the right and left sides of the bus.

     (ii)   Each school bus emergency exit window shall allow manual release of the exit by a single person, from inside the passenger compartment, using not more than two release mechanisms. Each release mechanism shall operate without the use of remote controls or tools, and notwithstanding a failure of the vehicle’s power system. When the release mechanism is open and the vehicle’s ignition is in the ‘‘on’’ position, a continuous warning shall be audible at the driver’s seating position.

   (4)  The engine starting system of a bus may not operate if an emergency exit is locked from either inside or outside the bus. An emergency exit is considered locked if the release mechanism cannot be activated and the exit cannot be opened by a person at the exit without a key or other special device, or a combination or other special information.

   (5)  The requirements for emergency exit labeling are as follows:

     (i)   Each school bus emergency exit shall be labeled ‘‘Emergency Door’’ or ‘‘Emergency Exit,’’ as appropriate, in letters at least 5 centimeters (2 inches) high, of a color that contrasts with its background. For emergency exit doors, the label shall be located at the top of, or directly above, the emergency exit door on both the inside and outside surfaces of the bus. The label for roof exits shall be located on an inside surface of the exit, or within 30 centimeters (11 3/4 inches) of the roof exit opening. For emergency exit windows, the label shall be located at the top of, or directly above, or at the bottom of the emergency exit window on both the inside and outside surfaces of the bus. If the school bus is equipped with tinted windows, the emergency exit labeling may not be placed on the glass, unless it is placed on both the inside and outside.

     (ii)   Concise operating instructions describing the motions necessary to unlatch and open the emergency exit shall be located within 15 centimeters (5 15/16 inches) of the release mechanism on the inside surface of the bus. These instructions shall be in letters at least 1 centimeter (3/8 inches) high and of a color that contrasts with its background—for example: ‘‘Lift to Unlatch, Push or Open;’’ or ‘‘Turn Handle, Push Out to Open.’’

     (iii)   Each opening for a required emergency exit shall be outlined around its outside opened perimeter with a minimum 3 centimeters—1 1/8 inches—wide retroreflective tape, either red, white or yellow in color, which meets the requirements of FMVSS No. 131. See Appendix A.

Authority

   The provisions of this §  171.50 amended under the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S. § §  4103, 4551—4553 and 6103.

Source

   The provisions of this §  171.50 adopted August 19, 1983, effective August 20, 1983, 13 Pa.B. 2561; readopted December 4, 1987, effective December 5, 1987, 17 Pa.B. 5052; amended September 13, 1996, effective September 14, 1996, 26 Pa.B. 4411; amended November 26, 2003, effective November 29, 2003, 33 Pa.B. 5817; amended May 20, 2005, effective May 21, 2005, 35 Pa.B. 3039. Immediately preceding text appears at serial pages (301821) to (301827).

Cross References

   This section cited in 67 Pa. Code §  171.47 (relating to color).



No part of the information on this site may be reproduced for profit or sold for profit.


This material has been drawn directly from the official Pennsylvania Code full text database. Due to the limitations of HTML or differences in display capabilities of different browsers, this version may differ slightly from the official printed version.