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Thread: SPAB Certification - CA

  1. #1

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    Anyone know a Spab trainer in California? Want to get myself/drivers certified.
    Thanks

  2. #2
    Junior Member Limo Padawan
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    There is a lady who does a class for SPAB thru the Fairfield/Suisun Unfied School District. Not sure her name but just call the Fairfield CHP office and inquire about getting SPabbed. About $1300.00

  3. #3

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    I was just told by local PUC that there is a "new" law and that proms are now considered a school function and that non SPAB'd vehicles/drivers are illegal and that there will be sting operations at the proms. I asked what code to look up so I could review the law, but he didn't have any idea and said it was what he heard.

    4 years ago a CHP inspector told me(under his definition) that proms were school functions and that he would bust any non SPAB drivers. I respectfully told him that if the parents hired me and I didn't go on school property, that I was legal. We agreed to disagree and I was prepared to plead my case to a judge if ever need be.

    So my take on the PUC telling me about this "new" law is that CHP must have spread the word that they will be enforcing(erroneously in my opinion) proms being a school function.

    Does anyone have any more info on this?
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  4. #4

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    This came straight from CA DMV:
    School Pupil Activity Bus
    546. A "school pupil activity bus" is any motor vehicle, other than a schoolbus, operated by a common carrier, or by and under the exclusive jurisdiction of a publicly owned or operated transit system, or by a passenger charter-party carrier, used under a contractual agreement between a school and carrier to transport school pupils at or below the 12th-grade level to or from a public or private school activity, or used to transport pupils to or from residential schools, when the pupils are received and discharged at off-highway locations where a parent or adult designated by the parent is present to accept the pupil or place the pupil on the bus. As used in this section, common carrier, publicly owned or operated transit system, and passenger charter-party carrier refer to carriers in business for the principal purpose of transporting members of the public on a commercial basis. This section shall not apply to a motor vehicle operated by a carrier licensed by the Interstate Commerce Commission that is transporting pupils on a school activity trip entering or returning to the state from another state or country.

    The driver of a school pupil activity bus shall be subject to the regulations adopted by the California Highway Patrol governing schoolbus drivers, except that the regulations shall not require drivers to duplicate training or schooling that they have otherwise received which is equivalent to that required pursuant to the regulations, and the regulations shall not require drivers to take training in first aid. However, a valid certificate to drive a school pupil activity bus shall not entitle the bearer to drive a schoolbus.

    Added Ch. 813, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  5. #5

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    This is the "new"(not new at all) law that they were talking about(also from DMV):
    Inspection of School Pupil Activity Buses: Display of Inspection Certificates
    2807.1. (a) The Department of the California Highway Patrol shall inspect and certify every school pupil activity bus specified in Section 546 at least once each year to ascertain whether its condition complies with all provisions of the law.

    (b) No person shall drive any motor vehicle specified in subdivision (a) unless there is displayed therein a certificate issued by the Department of the California Highway Patrol stating that on a certain date, which shall be within 13 months of the date of operation, an authorized employee of the Department of the California Highway Patrol inspected such motor vehicle and found that on the date of inspection such motor vehicle complied with the applicable provisions of the state law. The Commissioner of the California Highway Patrol shall provide by rule or regulation for the issuance and display of distinctive inspection certificates.

    Amended Ch. 813, Stats. 1981. Effective January 1, 1982.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  6. #6
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    "or by a passenger charter-party carrier, used under a contractual agreement between a school and carrier to transport school pupils"



    I may be wrong, but it looks to me that you are ok because you have the contract with the parents, not the school.
    Jerry Thomas

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by PTLimoNC View Post
    "or by a passenger charter-party carrier, used under a contractual agreement between a school and carrier to transport school pupils"



    I may be wrong, but it looks to me that you are ok because you have the contract with the parents, not the school.
    So far you and 2 attorney's agree with me. I've made copies of the codes and will keep them in my glove box.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  8. #8
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    Geoff, its okay, let them "bust" you, make sure they tow your car in front of the entire school. Big nice lawsuit you will have against them for defaming your company name, you could buy another Excursion!

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    Geoff, this is serious business but not "new". This is old news to members of the GCLA who were informed of the CHP's view of this law by CHP execs who attended our meeting in Orange County. The VERY laws you posted here were discussed and given to us in writing with "fair warning". They issued a letter on CHP letterhead addressed to the GCLA to spread the word through the association that they WOULD be enforcing these laws by showing up at prom and they followed through immediately after contacting GCLA members and impounding eight cars in one night.

    I can fax you (or anyone else) a copy of the CHP letter. But, let me tell you exactly what CHP officials who came to our meeting (another reason to be a member!) told us. The law being cited refers to School Pupil Activity BUS. So, before you can apply the standards here, you must define a "bus" and CHP deems this to be ANY vehicle with a seating capacity of MORE THAN 10 PASSENGERS INCLUDING THE DRIVER. That being said, most stretch limos are NOT considered buses because they only hold 8 passengers and the driver of the vehicle. No problem at all here. Now, Excursions, limo-buses etc. ARE buses and regardless of who the contract is with (ie. between the parents and you) if you are transporting students to or from any school related function in which the school district will primarily be responsible for the little darlings, the district is required to make sure they are "safe" from door-to-door" and that means YOU. The case has already been tested and established and the limo companies lost.

    However, there is new legislation being introduced to address it. The law as it currently is written was from 1982. Limo-buses did not exist nor did SUV limos. The law is the direct result of a crash of a charter bus in Martinez, CA that resulted in the death of numerous students. The law was never intended to govern us as limo companies and the CHP acknowledges that in their letter but feels compelled to enforce the law as it is written.

    Now, here is the fix. Getting your vehicles SPAB approved is a piece of cake 1/2 hour visit from CHP. You must employ at least one SPAB driver. Hire a school bus driver! They come with it. I have five of them. Another alternative is to contact your local high school or elementary school disrict transportation department and ask about classes. In my city, they are free. Our chauffeurs can just go sit in a class with a bunch of newly hired bus drivers and they just don't go to work driving a school bus when the class ends.

    If you are consulting with a transportation attorney, the case records should be easy to obtain. I know they have some type of lookup system to find cases tried on a particular penal code or vehicular code and the information is there.

    The NLA and GCLA were involved in this battle with CHP over terminology with the "contractual arrangement" but once again, "government" prevailed.
    Last edited by Limo Scene; April 26th, 2009 at 07:39 AM.
    Jim A. Luff
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  10. #10
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    That amazes me, if going by the letter of the law it is clear that it only applies to contracts with the school, but I guess in a state where taxes get majorly hiked in this economy what could one expect from the government.

  11. #11

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    Jim, thank you for all the info. But I think the CHP should stick to enforcing the law and leave defining the law to the DMV.

    But if that's what is expected of us for now, that is what I'll do. Like you said, getting the vehicle SPAB'd is easy, and I'll look into going to a SPAB class myself.

    But until then, I just won't do any proms. But that may be kind of tough, because a lot of my clients just like to book a limo and give me their credit card. I don't always like to put my nose in their business and bug them to know where they or their kids are going. So maybe it would be smart for me to add to the contract that I am "not driving for any school function" and that I am hired by the parents.

    But monday I plan on trying to get certified. We'll see how long it takes.

    But I also hope that whoever got impounded sues the hell out of California. If anything, it should only be a ticket.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    You are right bill. The lobbyist hired by GCLA, Greg Cronk, did craft a bill that was acceptable to everyone. However, it has not become law yet. You are also right about selective office by enforcement and I will say San Diego is indeed the toughest. You guys should also know, the last time I said something about CHP on this forum, they came to see me the next day with a copy in hand of my post. No problem. I just have some friends in the local office and seems my post about them was viewed by someone there so be careful what you say here. My company name and logo being here are kind of dead giveaways.

    And the last thing you heard is not true. I have SPAB drivers and vehicles. I have been hired by a parent group to transport school kids from a school to Los Angeles and when a parent got concerned it was not a school bus she called the CHP. They made me send a copy of the proposed driver's Pull Notice report and assured the lady we were properly credentialed and even offered to show up at the boarding time to verify the driver's license. The school was not involved except all the kids were from a single class.
    Last edited by Limo Scene; April 27th, 2009 at 08:40 AM.
    Jim A. Luff
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    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

  13. #13

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    Thanks Jim, and like I said, I love and respect the CHP.

    My favorite flavor of ice cream is chocolate chip.

    Even though I think it is BS about throwing proms into the definition of school functions, I'm still going to jump through the hoops and do what I need to do to be in compliance. I may be stubborn, but I'm not stupid. If CHP and PUC say to do it, you gotta do it.

    Limo Bill, I think the best thing for me to do is call my CHP inspector tomorrow and specifically ask him what is expected of me. This will also be a good time to make an appointment to SPAB my Excursion if need be.

    As far as san diego(PUC and CHP) being ballbusters, I still believe that they are out to help us as long as we are trying to do things right.

    If that sounds like brown nosing, fine, but I really do mean it.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  14. #14

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    Ok, now I'm even more confused. I called up my local CHP inspector today and he told me I could get my vehicle SPAB'd this week. But then I just got off the phone with my buddy, who runs a local company, and he just had a meeting with his CHP inspector and confirmed with his supervisor(at CHP) that only buses of more than 26 passengers had to be SPAB'd. He said this was also confirmed with the president of the GCLA. So under that ruling I do not have to have a SPAB vehicle or a SPAB driver.

    But since there is so much confusion as to what definitions different officials are going with, I'm going to follow through and try to get something in writing. I'll let you know the names when I do.
    Tough times don't last. Tough people do.

    Limo Kings Limousine Service
    www.limokings.net

  15. #15
    Super Moderator Limo Scene's Avatar
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    I can guide you to the right place. The Assembly Bill that spells it out is AB830 from the 2007/2008 year. Google that bill and get your attorney to explain it to you. It is a huge document.

    Because the new law does not go into effect until January of 2010 who knows what they are enforcing today?
    Jim A. Luff
    Forum Moderator
    Contributing Editor & Consultant - LCT Magazine

    Limousine Scene - An Award Winning Company Since 1990
    Bakersfield, CA
    Limousines, Sedans, Vans, Charter Buses, Limo-Buses, Wheelchair Vans www.limousinescene.com

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