Minibus Safety – your obligations
Congratulations! You’ve decided to lease a minibus. It’s a great way to get behind the wheel of a brand new vehicle that suits your exact needs.
You can now sit back and wait for your vehicle to be delivered…..but hold on, a few things need to be ticked off your to-do list before you can relax.
The good news is the team at MinibusLeasingUK are here to help. If any of our advice needs more explanation don’t hesitate to give our team a call on 01491 615516
There are a few “MUST HAVES” when it comes to operating a minibus.
Minibuses are flexible vehicles that can be used in a huge variety of circumstances.
Perhaps you are a school or a childminder, you may run a charity, nursing home, club or group. Minibuses are sometimes used as an individual or family's private vehicle.
With so many varying uses, insurance for minibuses can be costly – they can be big, expensive vehicles the more passengers they carry, the greater the risks involved.
The sort of use your vehicle gets put to will relate directly to the type of insurance you need so it can feel like a complex process!
Don’t worry. Our account managers can advise you every step of the way so that when you come to get quotes you have all of the information to hand.
TIP: Comparison sites are a good place to start so that you can get more than one quote at once.
The Correct Driving Licence
Do you hold a driving licence that predates 1 January 1997?
If you check your licence you should find that it usually shows entitlement to drive Category D1 - this means you can drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats without needing an additional driving test. You should also find a code printed next to this on your licence (101) which means 'not for hire or reward'
Do you hold a driving licence that was issued after 1 January 1997?
If you check your licence you will notice that you do not have category D1 and therefore cannot drive a minibus without taking the additional driving test.
However, holders of a full category B (car) driving licence may drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats provided all the following conditions are met:
- the vehicle is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body but not for hire or reward;
- the driver is aged 21;
- the driver has held a car (category B) licence for at least 2 years;
- the driver is providing the service on a voluntary basis;
- the minibus maximum weight is not more than 3.5 tonnes (or 4.25 tonnes including any specialist equipment for the carriage of disabled passengers);
- if the driver is aged 70 or over, is able to meet the health standards for driving a D1 vehicle.
- Certain organisations can apply for a Minibus Permit, (Section 19 -Transport Act 1985) for vehicles that can carry between nine and sixteen passengers. The permit allows organistations like volunteer groups concerned with education, religion, social welfare, recreations and other activities that are beneficial to the community to make a charge without having to comply with the full passenger carrying vehicle entitlement (PCV) operator licensing requirements and without the need for their drivers to have PCV entitlement.
For more information on driving licence requirements please read our article here.
First aid kit
Before you take delivery of your new minibus you must get a first aid kit ready to install in your vehicle.
It should contain:
· 10 antiseptic wipes, foil packed
· 1 conforming disposable bandage (not less than 7.5 cm wide)
· 2 triangular bandages
· 1 packet of 24 assorted adhesive dressings
· 3 large sterile unmedicated ambulance dressings (not less than 15 x 20 cm)
· 2 sterile eye pads with attachments
· 12 assorted safety pins
· 1 pair of rustproof blunt-ended scissors
· Disposable gloves
· Mouth mask for resuscitation.
You must ensure that even minor uses of a first aid kit are recorded in an accident book, and that stock is replaced after use. Check that all items are ‘in date’ and replace any that have passed their expiry date.
A high-visibility coat complying with BS EN 471 or BS EN ISO 20471 and an emergency warning triangle or a flashing beacon (not fitted to the vehicle) are requirements and it is recommended the following additional equipment should be carried at all times in the minibus.
- Pen and paper
- The organisation’s internal instructions and contact details
- Insurance details
- Motoring breakdown policy details
- Mobile phone, phonecard or change for the phone
- Webbing cutter
- A working torch
- Sterile gloves and mouth masks.
If you are leasing your minibus via your business you can offset most, or all, of the costs – speak to your accountant to find out more.
For more information about minibus leasing browse through our articles here.
In the news: Don’t leave your engine running when parked – you could get fined!
News has broken this month that an increasing number of councils across the UK are threatening to fine drivers who leave their engines running while parked.
Nottingham City Council is the latest local authority to announce plans to fine drivers £20 if they’re caught “idling”.
Spokespeople from The RAC support this plan, claiming, “it could play a big part in getting drivers to change their behaviour and help reduce vehicle emissions in our towns and cities.”
It is estimated that around 30 local authorities have rules in place to target idling drivers, with most handing out on-the-spot fines particularly around sensitive areas like schools and hospitals.
RAC head of roads policy, Nicholas Lyes, welcomed the move to target idling engines. “Measures like this can play a big part in changing driver behaviour, by encouraging them to really think about how they reduce their emissions footprint.
“If schemes like this can make enough of a difference in reducing emissions, there may be less of a temptation for local authorities to implement wider charging schemes for drivers.”
Mr Lyes advises drivers to switch off their engines whenever they are parked or stationary for long periods of time, such as when picking up children from school.
In addition, he also advised: “If a vehicle has stop-start technology, it should always be enabled.”