When transport is required for scouts there are two main options available:
- Use of a privately owned vehicle
- Use of a minibus
Privately owned vehicles
Because each Leader (and by default each Group Executive member) has a duty of care to all scouts in their control they become personally liable if car-sharing arrangements by parents are initiated or made by the Leaders. Leaders would need to be able to check the competence of each driver (whether they had any points on their licence and had attended any driving assessment since gaining their original licence); trustworthiness (DBS); insurance cover and be satisfied as to the roadworthiness of the vehicle being used. This would include the use of child seats and booster cushions where appropriate.
However if parents arrange transport between themselves that then becomes a private matter and Leaders/Executive members do not have to concern themselves.
If a Leader uses their own vehicle to transport scouts the same conditions above apply and it is recommended that Leaders update their own driving skills by undertaking an industry recognised refresher course such as that offered by the Community Transport Association (CTA) –see below.
Use of a Minibus
Minibuses can be hired from either commercial operators or from the local charity Polar Minibus Association (PMA). Leaders (and again the Executive members) become personally liable so must ensure that the driver of the vehicle is qualified to do so. Those drivers who passed their test after 1.1.1997 are most likely to only hold a “B” licence which means that the size of the minibus they are legally allowed to drive is restricted by weight to 3500kgs. Those drivers who passed their test before this date would normally have D1 as part of their licencing groups –unless this has been removed by DVLA.
The condition that the driver has also updated their driving skills still applies.
PMA offer full CTA Minibus Driver Assessment Scheme (MiDAS) training at discounted rates for youth leaders and will not allow any of their vehicles to be driven by anyone who does not hold this nationally recognised qualification. PMA also offer CTA refresher driver training. For more details visit www.polarminibus.org.uk