It is important for a driver to consider all aspects of responsible driving anytime they get behind the wheel. A volunteer driver must pay particular attention to such considerations, and as a religious institution with volunteer drivers, you must go beyond simple consideration; you must also manage and train!
Religious institutions are encouraged to provide ample information and instruction to aid volunteer drivers. A safety handbook outlining the requirements and expectations for driver and vehicle usage is a great tool. The more information you can provide to a driver, the better they can assess their ability and desire to accept such an important duty.
- Require all volunteers to submit a clear copy of a valid driver’s license.
- Notify all applicants that a motor vehicle report will likely be obtained.
- Limit the volunteer list to five people per vehicle. It is best to have a few well-trained drivers who are very familiar with the vehicles in the fleet. Inexperience is dangerous.
- Require a training and safety course be completed by each volunteer.
- Uphold the age requirements set forth by your insurance carrier.
- Accept volunteers who are in good health and require physician statements as needed.
- Require a vehicle request form be submitted for each activity.
- Travel logs and maintenance logs must be completed by all users.
- Pre- and post-travel vehicle inspections must be completed by drivers.
- User requirements such as no cell phone use, refueling, etc. should be posted.
- Provide a visible reminder of the capacity requirements for each vehicle.
- Consider limiting the radius traveled. If a vehicle request is made for a long trip, require multiple drivers to provide relief and limit driver fatigue.
There are many ways to tailor a driver handbook for your religious institution. These are just a few suggestions. However you design yours, we encourage you to be thorough and concise. Safe travels!
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