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.
Selecting a company because they offer the cheapest rate doesn’t tell you anything about their safety record. There are great 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.
An additional good resource? Visit FMCSA’s (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) website, another place to look company safety ratings, but also a good source for other useful information. Two such helps are these:
In the planning stages, here is an outstanding 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.
Furthermore, you’ll want to make sure that you have adequate coverage for the type of trip your school is doing. (For example: 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 have to arrange 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.
Lastly, on the day of your trip, when your rig appears and the driver prepares to let people board, ensure to verify a few things. Check that the driver’s CDL is up to date and seek a current safety inspection and maintenance report. Once you’ve checked all of these things, you can feel safe about letting your kids get on board.
Using these three tips will enable you to feel confident in your selection, freeing you approximately focus your energy on the adventure in front of you. Best of luck with your research, and have a safe getaway!