The commissioner shall determine and define the qualifications of drivers, monitors and attendants and shall make the rules and regulations governing the operation of all transportation facilities used by pupils which rules and regulations shall include, but not be limited to, a maximum speed of fifty-five miles per hour for school vehicles engaged in pupil transportation that are operated on roads, interstates or other highways, parkways or bridges or portions thereof that have posted speed limits in excess of fifty-five miles per hour, prohibitions relating to smoking, eating and drinking and any and all other acts or conduct which would otherwise impair the safe operation of such transportation facilities while actually being used for the transport of pupils. The employment of each driver, monitor and attendant shall be approved by the chief school administrator of a school district for each school bus operated within his or her district. For the purpose of determining his or her physical fitness, each driver, monitor and attendant may be examined on order of the chief school administrator by a duly licensed physician within two weeks prior to the beginning of service in each school year as a school bus driver, monitor or attendant. The report of the physician, in writing, shall be considered by the chief school administrator in determining the fitness of the driver to operate or continue to operate any transportation facilities used by pupils and in determining the fitness of any monitor or attendant to carry out his or her functions on such transportation facilities. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a school district from imposing a more restrictive speed limit policy for the operation of school vehicles engaged in pupil transportation than the speed limit policy established by the commissioner.
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