With school out and summer activities upon us, it is important to remind ourselves of the importance of “Safe Driving”.
The number one cause of injury and death to youth between 13 and 16, which holds true for Scouts, results from auto accidents. As unit leaders plan for trips to summer camp and other outings, there are some important factors to consider.
Public conveyances are the safest means of transportation (although you do need to review their equipment and safety record), but size of unit, destination and cost may make private vehicles more practical.
Some important factors to consider when transporting Scouts and other leaders are:
- Vehicle Condition – All systems have been checked, and necessary emergency equipment is on board.
- Mental and Physical Condition of the Driver – Be rested, make regular rest stops, limit distractions from cell phones, loud music, and “horseplay”.
- Passenger Safety – Sufficient seat belts for all passengers (and used). No one riding in rear of trucks, hanging on to the outside of a vehicle, or being towed.
- Safe Driving – Drivers should strictly adhere to the laws and rules of the road, not only for safety, but also to set a positive example. Do not “convoy”, rather, if necessary, communicate between cars by phone, and schedule regular rendezvous points.
- Driving Conditions – Adjust driving to meet conditions of the road, weather and visibility.
- Insurance – Vehicle and Driver(s) are adequately insured (recommended minimum limits of $100,000 combined single limit, and $1,000,000 for vehicles carrying 10 + passengers). National BSA liability coverage is excess over individual coverage.
- Licensing – All drivers and vehicles must be currently and properly licensed. Transporting 10 or more passengers requires a commercial license.
- Age Limits – Scouts under the age of 18 are not covered by BSA’s liability insurance when operating a motor vehicle, and should not be permitted to transport themselves or others on Scouting activities such as campouts, field trips, service projects, conferences, or training programs. Scouts under the age of 18 may, with proper licensing, parental permission, and adherence to DMV laws, drive to and regularly scheduled meetings of the troop, OA, or crew, within the Council. Rules specific to employment by the Council which may include a need to drive to, or on its property will be dictated by Council and facility guidelines.