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OBUHSN-27 Issue 04 April 2009
Additional driving skills are required in order to handle a minibus safely. It is not simply like driving a large car. The weight and size of the vehicle are greater. In addition the driver takes on responsibility for the safety of passengers. Although rare, serious accidents have occurred when educational establishments use minibuses. The DVLC (fact sheet INF28), The Oxfordshire County Council's Minibus Regulations, The Operation of Minibuses in the Voluntary Sector Code of Good Practice and the University's insurers advice have been used as a basis for this Health and Safety Notice.
Drivers who obtained full entitlement to drive (CATEGORY B) on or after 1 st January 1997 will normally only be able to drive vehicles with no more that 9 seats including the driver's seat, unless they take an additional DVLC driving test. However they will be able to drive a minibus with a maximum of 17 seats including the driver's seat without having to obtain category D1 provided:
Drivers with current endorsements must be referred to the Risk & Insurance Officer (Directorate of Finance & Legal Services) for clearance by the University's insurers. All Licences must be checked for the appropriate driving categories. If in any doubt as to the categories, authorisation to drive must be withheld and advice sought from DVLC Swansea.
Any significant change in medical conditions that may affect the person’s fitness to drive that occur between medicals must be reported to DVLC Swansea and the Senior Occupational Health Advisor as soon as possible.
On completion of a successful medical examination a certificate will be issued to the volunteer driver. The Senior Occupational Health Advisor will keep records of all the results of the medical examinations in confidence.
Records of all the results of minibus driving assessments will be kept in confidence by the Safety Officer and/or Senior Occupational Health Advisor.
When towing a trailer, the driver must be very cautious about how fast they drive. Vehicle/trailer combinations can become unstable at speeds below the legal maximum, particularly when being passed by fast moving large vehicles, in windy conditions, or when manoeuvring. On long journeys the trailer and vehicle should be checked at least once every two hours of travel.
Users of boat trailers are strongly advised to refer to the Amateur Rowing Association's booklet "Towing of Boat Trailers".