Wednesday, September 10, 2008

School Activity Trip

  • What are your current Federal/State/local regulations/policies/guidelines concerning the types of buses to be used for school activity trips?
  • Read, understand and follow any applicable regulations, policies or guidelines.
  • How long is the trip in terms of hours? Will the driver be able to complete the trip within a normal workday (no more than 10 hours of driving or 15 hours of duty, including any non-driving responsibilities)? Will you need to arrange for relief drivers at locations along the trip?If a trip is interstate commercial carriers are typically more familiar with shuttling drivers for longer distances.
  • Will the trip require students to have baggage or equipment? Where will this baggage be stored during the trip? [It should not be kept in the aisles or stacked in empty seats -- both of those practices are unsafe.]Many school buses have no external storage capacity. Motorcoaches generally have larger storage capacities for luggage and equipment than school buses. External storage capacity may, or may not, be better than transporting luggage or equipment in a separate vehicle.
  • Is the trip of such a time length that plans need to be made for rest stops and meal stops? What is the range of motorcoaches and school buses? Will the bus have to refuel en route? Are safe/clean facilities available along the planned route for rest stops?Many motorcoaches are equipped with rest room facilities that can be used while the vehicle is in operation. School buses do not have such facilities.In either type of vehicle, plans for meal stops may have to be considered. If a meal stop is necessary, passengers could use available rest room facilities, and school buses could also be refueled.

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