26 Apr 3 Steps to Strengthen Safety for School Motorcoach Trips
Safety for our children is a primary concern for anyone involved in public education. Whether you are coordinating transportation for an upcoming field trip, trying to get kids to research sites as part of a science project, or need to get the high school football team to an away game, it’s important to know that your students and staff are in good hands and that the transportation company you have selected prioritizes your safety concerns.
Prior to you do anything else, do your research. Selecting a company because they offer the cheapest rate doesn’t tell you anything about their safety record. There are excellent websites available to you, making it possible to review the safety ratings of the potential companies you are thinking of using. Go to uma.org/help/ratings.asp and click on the Find Your Operator’s Safety Rating link. When that page locates, you can search a company based upon their USDOT number, their MC/MX number, or by their company name. This is a great way to compare them if you have a few potential companies in mind. Pull up their statistics; see where they rank and how safe they really are. This will enable you to confidently make an informed decision and feel good about it.
An additional great resource? Check out FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website, another place to explore company safety ratings, but also a good source for other useful information. Two such helps are these:
In the planning stages, listed here is an effective article to direct you as you select a company, driver, and hash out the details of your trip: www.fmcsa.dot.gov/safety/passenger-safety/top-3-things-know-when-planning-your-next-bus-trip.
In addition, you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate coverage for the sort of trip your school is doing. (For instance: Is it just a day trip for a few hours, or several hours of driving with overnight stays included? If it’s the latter, you may need to organize for a second driver.) Review the federal requirements for passenger drivers and make sure you have all your bases covered. You can see their list of requirements at www.fmcsa.dot.gov/regulations/hours-service/summary-hours-service-regulations.
On the day of your trip, when your rig shows up and the driver is ready to let people board, make sure to verify a few things. Check that the driver’s CDL is up to date and seek a current safety inspection and maintenance report. You can feel safe about letting your kids get on board once you’ve checked all of these things.
Making use of these three tips will enable you to feel great in your decision, freeing you approximately focus your energy on the adventure before you. Good luck with your research, and have a secure tour!