Transport : General Awareness

Planning

  • Make sure you plan your route (for example, by using a sat nav, Google Maps, or a Route Planner such as AA online planners) and allow for heavy traffic.
  • Check that the vehicle you are using is road-worthy – this is your responsibility. When using a Union or hired vehicle a checklist will be provided – make sure you complete it as if the vehicle is not road worthy you could crash!
  • Ensure you have regular breaks every two hours if you’re driving, especially on long trips.
  • Avoid driving for more than 4 hours total in one day – if necessary, share driving between two people. It is also usually useful to have a ‘driving assistant’, to help with navigation, passenger control, and changing the music!
  • Consult the Highway Code for guidance of your obligations whilst driving and refer back to any training you will be given if driving our minibuses.
  • Be aware of the height and size of your vehicle, especially for car parks.
  • Ensure you do not overload your vehicle beyond the declared gross vehicle weight. For information see 'Using the Union Vehicles: Minibuses' regarding minibus weights.
  • If attending a social event the night before driving, be mindful of drinking alcohol. Any alcohol in the system can potentially result in being close to the drink-drive limit the following morning.

Driving

  • How you claim fuel costs depends on what type of vehicle you are using, and what purpose the vehicle is being used for. There will be information on claiming fuel costs in Sections 3 & 4 as there are different procedures for fuel costs from your own vehicle and Union/hired vehicles.
  • Be mindful of weather conditions which may affect the vehicle you are driving – for example, braking distances for minibuses (especially in wet conditions) are much longer than for a car.
  • Take care when performing manoeuvres in the vehicle (if necessary, get another person to assist you).
  • Ensure baggage is stored securely in the boot or under seats whilst driving (please note that baggage left unattended in vehicles is not insured).
  • You are responsible for reporting any accidents, incidents or near misses which occur whilst you are driving.

Passengers

  • Inform passengers of the emergency procedure (see below).
  • Ensure that passengers use their seatbelts.
  • Park so that passengers have safe exit and entry routes to the vehicle – footpaths are best!
  • Ensure that passengers do not distract you or other road users whilst you are driving, for example by:
    • Standing up whilst you drive;
    • Jumping on seats;
    • Shouting or singing loudly;
    • Throwing things;
    • Drinking alcohol. (this is illegal in a minibus and the fine is up to £1000);
    • Smoking Cigarettes (this is also against the law and there are varying fines)