Use of Non-Camp Vehicles

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Most camps simply cannot function without ever transporting goods or people. The responsibility for that transportation is ultimately the camp’s whether or not camp-owned vehicles or drivers are used. The use of other entities or staff may shift the primarily financial responsibility but it does not remove the camp from the picture. Perhaps as importantly, the moral and ethical responsibilities cannot be shifted.

If you use transportation contractors or cartage companies, the control should be centralized: program directors should not use whomever they choose. You should also investigate and monitor the following:

  • Hiring practices: the drivers have access to your facility and children. Are background checks performed; do they teach and apply abuse prevention techniques; do they monitor driver behavior?
  • Driver qualifications: are the length and quality of driving experience criteria sufficiently stringent? Do they follow appropriate Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations regarding driver controls?
  • Vehicle maintenance: are there records of proper inspection, service, and repair? Do vehicles that transport people have seat belts, communication device (radio or cell phone), etc.?
  • Behavior: any Department of Transportation or Better Business Bureau complaints of misconduct?
  • Indemnity: do you have verification of adequate insurance that includes a prior notification of cancellation provision (obtain a copy)? Do you have an indemnity or hold-harmless clause in favor of the camp?

If you have individuals that drive their personal vehicles on camp business, they should each, individually, agree to the following points, which should be verified by the association before any reimbursement:

  • Use: they should never transport children, guests, or members in their vehicles.
  • Driver qualifications: length and quality of driving experience mirrors that of drivers of camp vehicles.
  • Vehicle maintenance: vehicle is properly maintained and safe for use.
  • Indemnity: adequate insurance ($100,000/300,000 or $300,000 CSL) is maintained. Appropriate insurance levels and maintenance costs are anticipated in the Federal reimbursement guidelines.

Most use of personal vehicles is reimbursed. The Mileage Reimbursement Form that is found on our web site includes warranty statements regarding maintenance frequency and insurance coverage that provide relatively effective and easy monitoring of these exposures. The form also requests the vehicle's make, model, age, and mileage. If those answers raise any questions of the vehicle's appropriateness or safety, a documented inspection of the vehicle by a qualified vendor should be performed. The camp has the responsibility to ensure community safety by allowing only adequately maintained and insured vehicles to be used on their behalf. The utilization of this or a similar form helps fulfill that responsibility.

Please call us at 800-463-8546 to discuss this or any other risk management safety tip, or visit our web site at www.redwoodsgroup.com to learn more about camp risk management issues.

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