When it comes to voluntary or mandatory field trips, there are several means of transportation at your disposal. Field trip planners can reserve one of their college's fleet vehicles, charter a bus, or follow our Auto Insurance guidelines to rent a vehicle on behalf of the College.
If you are chartering a bus, the bus company assumes all the liability for any accident involving the bus.
- Check the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)'s Passenger Carrier Safety Data to make sure that the bus company is approved (satisfactory). If the company is not listed on the site, ask the company if they are registered under another name. If they do not have a "satisfactory" rating, you may not use them. You must use a company that does have a satisfactory rating.
- Obtain a certificate of insurance showing $5 million in limits from the bus company in conjunction with your contract with them for services. DOT regulations require a minimum of $5 million in limits. Auto insurers will not add third parties to their insurance policies as additional insureds, so the certificate is sufficient. Make sure that the certificate comes from their agent, not the company itself.
- Follow your school’s guidelines for contracting for services.
Driving Personal Vehicles to Events
In extenuating circumstances where fleet vehicles are not available, our office has also been asked whether or not students can drive their personal vehicles to events. While the judgement ultimately lies within the department organizing the event, Risk Management has developed an infographic to assist in the decision making process, outlining the risks and financial implications that should be taken into consideration. We encourage you to download a readable pdf of this infographic to keep on hand.
Mandating students to use personal vehicles
It is important to consider a student's comfort level when accepting the personal risk associated with driving their vehicle to an event. For events that students are required to participate in, the college should not mandate a student use their personal vehicle. The college can instead ask a student if they are comfortable driving their vehicle and accepting the personal risk.
With regard to voluntary events, where the student is not required to participate, we can mandate that students use their personal vehicles. This is due to the student having the option of not participating if they are uncomfortable with the risk.