Field Trip Season Is Coming Up, We Tell You 3 Safety Features When Renting A Charter Bus
Field trip season is coming up in the beautiful state of Maryland! The weather is warming up and if you are a teacher, it’s time to get your class out and exploring. With such a large group you may need to rent a charter bus. While statistics show that buses are one of the safest ways to travel it is still important to do your homework and make sure the bus you rent is safe. Transporting individuals is such a great responsibility and you want to be sure you research many Maryland bus companies to find one that is up to date on the latest and greatest safety standards and features. Below are three tips to help you find the Charter company with all of the safest features.
- Find a company that has a good record with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA)
The FMCSA is a division in the US State department of transportation. It regulates the trucking industry and its main goal is to reduce crashes and injuries in the trucking and large bus business. With that said, safe reputable Maryland bus companies should be in good standing with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. The FMCSA website has a database of these standings and it would be wise to research the company that you choose through this database of information.
- Make Sure the Bus You Choose Has Been Inspected Recently and Properly Insured
Ask questions. Maryland bus companies that have nothing to hide should be an open book. Ask when the charter bus was last inspected if there were any issues, and what has been repaired. Check to see if seat belts are available and in working condition. Request to see proof of the inspection and the inspection report itself. You can also find this information on the FMCSA website; however, any good company should gladly hand it over to you. The same goes for insurance. Make sure the bus is properly insured. Ask for specifics on insurance coverage and to see actual proof of insurance. Questions about the company’s specific standards are helpful too. Questions such as, how many hours a day are your drivers allowed to operate a bus? Are they taught any methods regarding handling fatigue? Are they required to take random drug tests? Again, bus companies that are reputable should have no problem providing you with this information.
- Drivers Should Carry a CDL License and Have a Recent Health Physical on File
Another very valid concern is the actual person operating the bus. The driver is a safety feature his or herself. Each bus driver should be equipped with a CDL license (Commercial Driver’s License). A CDL is a driver’s license that is required to operate large, heavy, and/or hazardous vehicles in the commercial industry. In order to receive this license, you must complete training and pass a test. Different states vary on training requirements so that is important to research as well. Your driver should also have a recent vision exam, a recent hearing exam, and a current health physical on file. They are also required to carry a DOT (department of transportation) physical exam card. This should be provided to you upon request.
In conclusion, the above tips will help you avoid many problems that could arise. Asking these questions and making sure safety features and procedures are in place helps to assure that you and your class are traveling in the safest way possible.