Driving a Students' Union Vehicle Safely
On the Road
It is the driver’s responsibility to check that all passengers are wearing a seat belt. However, if the police stop a vehicle, and passengers are found not to be wearing seat belts, the passengers will be held individually responsible and will be charged by the police.
Any equipment carried in a minibus must be securely fastened, so that it will not cause injury if, for example, the Driver braked suddenly.
No Driver should drive stints of more than:
• 2 hours without a 15 minute break
• 4 hours without at least a 1 hour break.
• 8 hours in any one day (24 hours).This is reduced to 4 hours if the driver is also working or playing sport as well as driving.
Where possible, change to another licensed Driver. Each time drivers change over, this must be logged in the Log Book
Minibuses must not be driven through rough, hazardous and unsuitable terrain (e.g. off-road surfaces, the sea, etc.)
Damage to Buses:
If the vehicle is damaged whilst in your possession, you need to be aware that costs of the repairs may be charged to the group hiring the bus (normally internal damage) or to the driver (where it can be shown to be their fault).
Mobile phones or Handheld device:
They must not be used at all whilst driving union vehicles. All of the above must be fixed to a dashboard holder before starting the journey, the law is clear on when you can use a hand-held device behind the wheel. It is only legal if you are safely parked – and this does not include waiting in traffic or when sat at the traffic lights.
You could be fined £200 and get six points on your licence. 6 points would mean losing your licence if you’re less than two years from passing your test.
Refuse to accept the fixed penalty and you could be taken to court. If the police think the offence so bad that a fixed penalty isn’t enough you could be taken to court.
Fines in court will almost certainly be larger and disqualification is possible – the maximum fine in a court is £1,000, or £2,500 you were driving a bus or a goods vehicle
You are strongly advised to take both parts of your driving licence with you if on a long journey in case it becomes necessary to hire another vehicle
All of the Minibuses are equipped with a sealed First Aid Kit and a plaster kit. This is for use in an emergency. If you use anything from this kit, it needs to be replaced, so you MUST report it in the ‘Comments’ section of the Log Book. Additionally, on returning your vehicle you will need to complete an Incident & Accident Report Form detailing the reason why first aid provisions were used.
This is a very rare occurrence, but one that needs to be mentioned. If a passenger ever displays threatening behaviour to the Driver or any other passengers, you must stop the Minibus as soon as is safely possible (e.g. pull into the hard shoulder on a motorway). It is then the Driver’s decision as to when and whether they think that it is safe to continue. This may mean asking the unruly passenger to leave the bus and not continue the journey with the rest of the group. On your return to the Student Union you will need to complete a University Incident & Accident Report Form
Fines will be issued for passengers found to be behaving irresponsibly (i.e. to the possible detriment of the bus, driver and other passengers), and not adhering to the requests from the driver.
The buses are no smoking zones. Any evidence of such will result in the guilty parties being fined. Where the guilty party is not easily identifiable, the group who has hired out the bus will be fined.
Drinking: No drinking of alcohol is allowed on the bus. Any evidence of such (empty cans/bottles, spillages, stains or smells) will result in the guilty parties being fined. Where the guilty party is not easily identifiable, the group who has hired out the bus will be fined.