Minibuses are large vehicles and driving them requires a great deal of care.
The Responsibility of the Driver
The volunteer who drives the minibus is personally responsible for keeping it roadworthy. If the Police were to find any faults the driver is liable and could be subject to a fine, motoring convictions or prosecuted for other offences.
The driver is responsible for ensuring the following:
- The Insurance covers the uses to which the vehicle is going to be used for.
- The number of passengers does not exceed the limit and the total weight
Training for drivers of minibuses
A Volunteers should only agree to drive if you have received suitable training:
- Vehicle familiarisation
- Simple vehicle checks
- Procedures following an emergency.
- Use of seatbelts
- Use of passenger lifts if applicable
- The loading and removal of wheelchairs and the securing of them to the vehicle.
Safety Checks on a School Minibus
- As any defects are the responsibility are the responsibility of the driver it is essential there is a proper vehicle maintenance system in place.
- If you are not sure checks have been carried out, carry out the checks personally.
Driving Licence Requirements For Minibus Driver
Quotax would always recommend that you confirm with The Vehicle and Operators Services Agency (VOSA) and the DVLA that you are able to drive the minibus as licensing can change.
If you volunteer to drive a minibus you must by law:
- Ensure a section 19 permit has been obtained if one is needed;
- Hold the appropriate full Driving Licence to do so.
- Are insured on the vehicle.
- The minibus has less than 18 passenger seats
- Held a full UK Licence for over 2 years
- Comply with the local requirements of the local authority.
If you have passed your driving licence before 1st Jan 1997 you would have a category B and D1 requirement automatically on your licence. These allow you to drive minibuses as well as private cars.
If you passed your car driving licence after 1st January 1997 you no longer have automatic Category D1 minibus entitlement. You would need to pass additional Category D1 test to drive minibuses.
Number of Drivers
It is recommended that a second trained driver accompany every teacher driving a minibus. By having two drivers this should help if an emergency arises. The second driver can act as a supervisor. For longer drives the second driver can share the driving to allow suitable rest times.
For more details regarding the licensing VOSA can be contacted on 0870 218 3818.