School buses shall be defined and meet specifications as follows: (1) DEFINITION.—For the purpose of this part, a “school bus” is a motor vehicle regularly used for the transportation of prekindergarten disability program and kindergarten through grade 12 students of the public schools to and from school or to and from school activities, and owned, operated, rented, contracted, or leased by any district school board, except:
(a) Passenger cars, multipurpose passenger vehicles, and trucks as defined in 49 C.F.R. part 571.
(b) Motor vehicles subject to, and meeting all requirements of, the United States Department of Transportation, Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations under Title 49, Code of Federal Regulations and operated by carriers operating under the jurisdiction of these regulations but not used exclusively for the transportation of public school students.
(2) SPECIFICATIONS.—Each school bus as defined in 49 C.F.R. part 571 and subsection (1) that is rented, leased, purchased, or contracted for must meet the applicable federal motor vehicle safety standards and other specifications as prescribed by rules of the State Board of Education.
(3) STANDARDS FOR LEASED VEHICLES.—A motor vehicle owned and operated by a county or municipal transit authority that is leased by the district school board for transportation of public school students must meet such standards as the State Board of Education establishes by rule. A school bus authorized by a district school board to carry passengers other than school students must have the words “School Bus” and any other signs and insignia that mark or designate it as a school bus covered, removed, or otherwise concealed while such passengers are being transported.
(4) OCCUPANT PROTECTION SYSTEMS.—Students may be transported only in designated seating positions, except as provided in s. 1006.22(12), and must use the occupant crash protection system provided by the manufacturer, which system must comply with the requirements of 49 C.F.R. part 571 or with specifications of the State Board of Education.