Driving Minibuses 2013/14 Edition
Driving Minibuses Page 1 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
This booklet will:
About the minibuses
Becoming a Union Approved Driver
Requesting a minibus
Pre use checklist
Post use checklist
Speed limits & safe driving
Taking a minibus to Europe
Appendix One - Use of roof rack tarpaulins
Appendix Two - Use of ratchet straps
Appendix Three - Use of snow chains
Appendix Four - Guidance for College staff
Give you a basic understanding of the Union minibuses, legal requirements for a driver/ minibus and key information including driving in different terrain, driving abroad and correct use of tarpaulin and snow chains.
Create awareness of key potential driving challenges that could occur and the procedures that must be followed if they do.
Provide a greater understanding of the responsibilities placed on them as the driver and the regulations that aim to allow both driver and passengers to travel safely.
Tell us what you think of this training publication
ÂŠ 2013 Imperial College Union Version 1.1 - 12 June 2013
Driving Minibuses Page 2 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Introduction Imperial College Union operates the largest fleet of minibuses of any University in the UK. Many different groups regularly use the minibuses we operate, and hundreds of people are entitled to drive.
Kate Colthurst Student Activities Coordinator E: email@example.com T: 020 7594 8098, IC extension: 48098
For this reason it is important that all users understand both the legal aspects of driving minibuses, together with the internal procedures for ensuring everything operates smoothly and efficiently. This booklet summarises the procedures. Regular updates are provided by email, and to the webpages at imperialcollegeunion.org/driving It is the responsibility of all users to abide by the rules and procedures in place - one group doing things incorrectly can spoil the experience for many others.
Driving Minibuses Page 3 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
About the minibuses The Union currently operates a fleet of minibuses based between the campuses at South Kensington, Charing Cross, and Silwood Park. A 750kg box trailer is also kept at Harlington Sports Grounds. These minibuses can be used by Clubs, Societies & Projects as well as Imperial College Departments and Halls of Residence. All but two of these minibuses have 15 seats (including the driver) and most have roof racks. Two minibuses have nine seats, roof racks and lots of loading space; one of them has a tow bar fitted. Only Union approved drivers may drive the minibuses. All drivers and users of the minibuses must also adhere to the Union’s Transport Policy. If you wish to use the box trailer you will need to undertake a trailer familiarization. Each minibus contains a folder with the following reference information: • Small bus permit certificates • Congestion Charge discount letter • Minibus maintenance guide • V5C Certificate (copy) • MOT Certificate (copy) • Insurance Certificate (copy) • Roof rack instructions • Ratchet strap instructions • Accident and defect report forms • Breakdown cover information • Windscreen replacement information • Tyre replacement information
Driving Minibuses Page 4 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
The Union minibuses buses operate under a minibus permit scheme (or section 19 permit). This means that while the driver of a Union minibus should normally hold a Category D1 part on their Driving Licence, a driver with a Category B (normal manual car) Driving Licence is allowed to drive the minibuses. This applies specifically to the Union minibuses and only in the UK. Do not assume you can drive any minibus in or outside the UK. The permit scheme also allows a charge to be made to the passengers of the vehicle. Certain additional restrictions are imposed through this permit scheme minibuses cannot generally tow trailers and have a total mass limit of 3500kg applied. More information about this permit scheme is available via www. direct.gov.uk or imperialcollegeunion.org/ driving
Insurance The minibuses are insured under the College vehicle insurance policy. The excess on all claims is £400 plus the VAT element of all repairs. In the event of a claim this will be charged to the Club, Society, Project, Hall or Department hiring the minibus. The insurance policy does not cover theft of any contents kept in the minibus. Items left in the minibuses are done so at their owners own risk.
About the minibuses cont.... Loading The Union’s minibuses all have a maximum authorised mass (MAM) of 3500kg. The MAM is the mass of the minibus plus any passengers and equipment being carried. It is illegal to exceed the MAM limit of 3500kg. Care must be taken particularly when transporting large amounts of equipment. Care must also be taken about the way the minibus is loaded. The load must be spread evenly between the two axles, the vehicle should not ‘sit’ on either one of the axles. The maximum mass allowed on each axle is specified on the V5C Certificate (in the vehicle folder). While the whole vehicle load may be under the MAM, if the loading on either axle is over the specified limit you are still breaking the law.
As the driver of a vehicle you are personally responsible for the load that vehicle is carrying. You will be personally prosecuted if you are caught exceeding the MAM and/or individual axle limits.
Fuel All the Union’s minibuses run on DIESEL. If you accidentally fill the fuel tank with any other fuel DO NOT attempt to start the engine. Contact the
RAC breakdown services (details are contained in the vehicle folder) and they will siphon the tank. You will be charged for this procedure, as well as the cost of filling the tank with the correct fuel. Attempting to start the engine will severely damage it. All the Union’s minibuses are equipped with fuel cards, which allow diesel to be purchased from fuel stations and charged directly to the Union, without users having to spend any money. The fuel cards can be used at any service station within the AllStar network - http://www. allstarcard.co.uk/calculators/allstar The cost of fuel is not included in the cost of hiring a Union minibus and fuel purchases using the fuel card in a minibus will be automatically charged to the group using the vehicle. Minibuses should be full of fuel when collected. If you collect a minibus which is not full of fuel, please drive to the nearest fuel station and fill the tank to the top with diesel, using the fuel card. This action should be noted on the hire form. The cost will be charged to the previous users, along with a fine. You should always return a minibus with a full tank of fuel - this means filling the tank until the fuel pump venturi cuts off, not when the gauge indicates full.
Driving Minibuses Page 5 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
About the minibuses cont.... Size
The Union’s minibuses are 2.4m wide, 6m long and 3m tall. This is considerably bigger than a normal car, and particular care should be taken when driving in tight spaces, down narrow streets and through width restrictions. This particularly applies to multistorey car parks and low bridges.
All the minibuses receive a 100% discount from the London Congestion Charging Scheme. This is automatic, so you need to do nothing with relation to Congestion Charging. You will find a copy of the confirmation in the vehicle folder.
Parking Locations Bus Lanes Each of the Union’s 15 seat minibuses is classified as a bus accordingly to the DVLA (having more than nine seats including the driver) and can therefore use bus lanes. These vehicles are not allowed in Local or Transport for London bus lanes (these are signposted as ‘Local’ or ‘TFL Only’), and cannot use bus gates. The nine seat minibuses can NOT use bus lanes as they are classified as a Cars (nine seats or less including the driver).
Royal Parks The Royal Parks, including Hyde Park operates a restriction on vehicles and does not allow any buses to use the roads. The nine seat minibuses can be used in the Royal Parks as they legally count as cars.
Driving Minibuses Page 6 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
The current parking location of each minibus is specified on the minibus hire form. Parking locations change on a regular basis and at short notice. If you cannot park in the correct location leave the minibus in the delivery bays by the Sherfield Building, near the cash macines. Each minibus kept at the South Kensington campus uses a number plate recognition system - simply drive up to the barrier at the car park entrance and it will open. Minibuses located at other sites cannot be parked at South Kensington
About the minibuses cont.... Accessories Various accessories are available for the minibuses to make transport safer and easier. Roof Rack Covers
There are tarpaulins which are custom made for the roof racks. These can be booked by emailing the Student Activities Coordinator. These must be secured to the roof racks using the bungee cord attached to the covers by looping the bungee cord under the hooks on the roof rack, as well as ratchet strapped with the supplied ratchet straps as per the instructions available in Appendix One & Appendix Two.
Should you be travelling during the winter months and are at risk of driving on snow covered roads then you should take a set of snow chains. These can be booked by emailing the Student Activities Coordinator. The Unionâ€™s minibuses are rear wheel drive and the snow chains should be attached to the rear wheels as per the instructions contained in Appendix Three. Snow chains should ONLY be used on snow covered roads, at less than 10mph or at most in 2nd gear. Use while driving on ploughed roads will result in considerable damage to the minibus and to the road.
If you are carrying ANY load on the roof racks then this MUST be secured to the roof. The easiest way to do this is to use ratchet straps. These are available in each minibus and should be used as per the instructions in Appendix Two. Be careful that ratchet straps are attached to the correct place on the roof rack.
Driving Minibuses Page 7 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Becoming a Union Approved Driver Becoming a Union Approved Driver only entitles someone to drive Imperial College Union minibuses. The approval process has no validity elsewhere. Criteria To become a Union Approved Driver you must meet the criteria listed in sections one and two. Section one
• Be at least 21 years old • Have held a Full UK/EU Driving Licence for at least 2 years with Manual Car category (B) on it (to be eligible international licences must have been issued inside the EU) • Be any of the following: oA current staff member of Imperial College or Imperial College Union, oA Full Member of Imperial College Union (current student), oA Life Member of Imperial College Union, oA n Associate Member of Imperial College Union. If you answered “No” to any part, then you will be unable to become a Union Approved Driver. Otherwise please go to Section two. Staff members of Imperial College should be aware of the ‘not for hire or reward’ rule regarding driving minibuses while at work. Guidance provided by the College is given in Appendix Four. Driving Minibuses Page 8 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
• Have you received any endorsements (penalty points) in the last three years? • Have you ever been disqualified from driving? • Have you had any accidents in the last three years? • Do you have any restrictions on the entitlements on your driving licence? • Are you aged 67 or over? If you answered “No” to all the questions in Section two then you can book a Minibus Introduction session via the Union website imperialcollegeunion. org/driving. Details of the introduction session can be found in a subsequent section. If you answered “Yes” to any question in Section two then your application to become a Union Approved Driver will have to go through a separate process which may involve it being referred to the ICU Executive Committee - though you are not automatically excluded from becoming a Union Approved Driver. If you have answered “Yes” to any part in Section two then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. If at any time the answers you have given to any of the questions in Sections one and two change then you must inform the Union by emailing k.colthurst@ imperial.ac.uk. This may change your driving status.
Becoming a Union Approved Driver cont... Minibus Introductions There are two parts of the introduction to complete, a theory and a practical part. All Union Approved Drivers have to have passed this introduction for insurance purposes, and to ensure that you are up to the standard of driving the Union expects. Theory
Please complete the theory part of the introduction before arriving at the practical part. The theory part involves reading of this booklet and then answering a set of multiple choice questions online. The questions are taken from sample DSA minibus theory test questions and can be completed “open book” style. The whole process will take about 45 minutes and information can be found online at imperialcollegeunion.org/ driving Practical
The practical part of the introduction needs to be booked in advance. This must be done online via the Union website shop. There will be a small cost for a scheduled session and slightly more for an introduction outside these times. Please arrive promptly at the Student Activities Centre on the 2nd Mezzanine Floor of the main Union Building in Beit Quad, as the staff are not able to wait for you. The website may display dates which are “out of stock”. This means that these sessions are full, and you will have to
either pick a different date, or arrange a special introduction. Contact the Student Activities Coordinator if you wish to arrange a special introduction. The practical part of the introduction involves familiarisation with the minibuses, including learning how to do the daily routine checks. This is followed by a drive around the local area. In particular the assessor will be checking to see that you drive safely, can manage the length of the vehicle and are generally happy with driving. If you are not up to the required standard you will be given the chance to have another introduction free of charge. Please note that the minibuses are all manual vehicles, and you should only attempt the minibus test if you are comfortable driving using a manual gearbox. When you come to the practical part of your introduction please remember to bring the following: • Your Driving Licence (if you have the new style UK licence this includes the paper section as well as the plastic card as both parts will need to be seen) • A completed Application to be a Union Approved Driver Form. Once you have passed the theory and practical parts, you will be granted approval to drive minibuses for three years. After this period you may have to go through the process again.
Driving Minibuses Page 9 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Requesting a minibus Requests for use of minibuses should be made using eActivities - this can be done as far in advance of the booking as needed, though at least three weeks notice is suggested. Minibuses are allocated exactly two weeks before the requested bookings are due to commence, according to policy set by the ICU Executive Committee. Requests for minibuses received less than two weeks before the booking is due to commence are allocated on a first come first served basis.
Driving Minibuses Page 10 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Virtually all uses of minibuses fall within the ICU Trip Registration Procedures. Please ensure you are aware of the relevant requirements, though the trip leader is responsible for actually carrying out this process. Information can be found within the Trips & Tours booklet available online at imperialcollegeunion. org/training
Requesting a minibus cont... Allocation of Minibuses Users may request as many minibuses as they feel they need at the same time. Requests are held in the order in which they are received. Booking allocations are made exactly two weeks before a use is due to commence. Allocations for weekend usage are made on the Friday two weeks hence. While every effort will be made to satisfy all requests there are often not enough minibuses available to meet the demand at any given time. If the supply of minibuses is insufficient to meet the requests, allocations of a first minibus per Club, Society or Project are made according to the following priority order: a. L ength of booking. Longer bookings get priority over shorter bookings. This is to try to achieve a higher income from the minibuses and therefore make the charge per hour as small as possible b. Number of customers that can be accommodated. If it is possible to dovetail multiple bookings for a minibus this will have priority over a single booking. This is to attempt to disappoint the least number of customers
c. S pecialist equipment requirements eg. tow-bars or loading space. The more essential need will gain priority. d. Multiple buses requested by a single Club, Society or Project for overlapping periods will be booked only if there is still availability after all other requests have been processed. Bookings for weekends and longer periods may be confirmed more than two weeks in advance if they will obviously be at the top of the allocation criteria. e. Requests from Clubs, Societies & Projects (regardless of the number of minibuses required at the same time) will be given priority over bookings from Halls of Residence or College Departments. f. Requests received less than two weeks before the usage is due to commence will only be accepted if there is availability. Existing bookings are not displaced. These requests are treated on a first come first served basis.
Driving Minibuses Page 11 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Usage charges The information in this section does not apply to the minibus based at Silwood Park. There is a charge for the use of the minibuses which varies depending on the number of seats and the duration of the usage. Charges are applicable from September 2013. Period
9 seat minibus
15 seat minibus
Up to 2 hours
Up to 4 hours
Up to 6 hours
Up to 12 hours
Up to 24 hours (weekdays)
Up to 24 hours (weekends)
Weekend (Friday 15:00 - Sunday 23:59)
Extra days (on top of weekend hire only)
£38 per day
£50 per day
Cancellation Fees Should you cancel the minibus and the Union are not able to reallocate it then a cancellation fee will apply. This is intended to deter groups from booking minibuses they are likely not to need rather than as a revenue generator. If another group is subsequently able to use the minibus then the original bookers will not be charged. Time before booking due to start
Fewer than 24 hours
100% of the hire charge
Fewer than 48 hours
75% of the hire charge
Fewer than 72 hours
50% of the hire charge
Fewer than 96 hours
25% of the hire charge
Greater than 96 hours
Fines Fines are instances of Summary Punishment under the Union’s Disciplinary Policy. Hire Charges (including fines and cancellation charges) for minibuses will be made directly to Club, Society or Project accounts or by invoice to Imperial College Departments and Halls. Driving Minibuses Page 12 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Usage charges cont.... Offence
Failure to report use of spare bulb or fuse kit
Leaving any rubbish in the minibus
Failure to return the minibus hire form within two working days
£10 (and £5 for every day thereafter)
Loss of fuel or car park card
Leaving doors or windows unlocked
£10 (per window in the case of windows)
Failure to return the keys within two working days
£10 (and £5 for every day thereafter)
Leaving fuel tank part empty
£30 per quarter tank
Failure to report use of fire extinguisher
Failure to report use of first aid kit
Failure to report use of spare tyre
Failure to report accident or breakdown
Returning a minibus late/ picking up a minibus early
£20 plus costs incurred by any subsequent users plus additional usage time
Parking in incorrect parking bay
Losing a set of keys
Replacement costs (around £230) plus £30
Breaking a lock
Replacement costs for all locks and keys (around £1000) plus £30
Breaking a fuel cap
Replacement costs (fuel cap and keys) plus £30
Using the wrong fuel
Garage & recovery costs (around £500) plus £30
Crashing and/or Damage
Garage Bill plus £30
Failure to return the roof rack cover within two days
£10 (and £5 for every day thereafter)
Failure to turn minibus lights off
All charges go towards the upkeep of the minibuses. Usage and fuel charges, together with any fines and cancellation charges for minibuses are made directly to Club, Society or Project accounts. Charges for Imperial College Departments and Halls are made by invoice. A proportion of all fines are donated to the College’s Student Opportunities Fund. Any parking tickets and other fines/penalties incurred while minibuses are being driven will be the sole responsibility of the driver. If a driver’s eligibility to drive a Union minibus changes (e.g. if your licence gains any endorsements) then the change must be reported to the Union regardless of whether the changes in eligibility occurred whilst you were driving a union minibus or not. Driving Minibuses Page 13 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Safety Drivers have the ultimate responsibility for the welfare and supervision of passengers and the security and safety of the minibus. The duty of care for the passengers lies with the driver. Seat belts must be worn at all times by passengers as well as the driver. Smoking is not permitted in any union minibus - it is illegal. It is also against the law to carry open containers of alcohol in the Union’s minibuses. The Union operates a strict zero limit on drugs or alcohol policy for drivers. Anyone found to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol, no matter how small an amount, will be banned from driving. All drivers must observe the Highway Code at all times and comply fully with the road traffic laws in force.
Driving Minibuses Page 14 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Responsibility The minibuses are checked on a weekly basis to ensure that they are safe and suitable for use, but ultimately the responsibility lies with the driver(s) of the vehicle. The driver must ensure that the following checks are carried out each day the vehicle is used, and that the minibus is roadworthy. • Tyre tread is sufficient and not below the tread wear indicators (at least 1.6mm) over the surface of the tyre. • Windscreen is free of cracks and debris • All lights in full working order and free from dirt. • All seatbelts are operational. • Coolant, windscreen washer, power steering and brake fluids, as well as engine oil are sufficiently full. • Mirrors are in full view of the driver and free from obstructions.
Safety cont... The driver(s) of a minibus is legally responsible for the condition of the vehicle and its passengers once on the road. If for any reason the driver or passengers are concerned with the condition of the minibus and its ability to provide a safe ride they should not take the minibus and as soon as possible notify the Student Activities Centre.
• No more than one person per seat, regardless of their age. • Standing passengers are not permitted. • All luggage and equipment must be stored safely and securely. • No heavy luggage should be carried amongst the passengers. • Loads must be evenly distributed within the minibus. • Minibus gangways must not be blocked.
If using the roof rack:
Union minibuses are not designed to carry their full quota of passengers and any significant amount of equipment. If you are intending to carry anything more than small amounts of light kit then it is advised that the minibus should carry three less people than the advertised maximum passenger quota. Overloading is illegal and may result in you being stopped by the police.
• The load must be secured with ratchet straps (available in the minibus - see Appendix Two) and preferably a tarpaulin (available to book by emailing the Student Activities Coordinator - see Appendix One) and evenly spread over the roof rack. • If anything falls off the roof THE DRIVER IS LIABLE. If someone else is tying equipment onto the roof rack drivers should make sure it is secure. The police can revoke driving licences for driving with an unsecured load. • The maximum load allowed on the roof rack is 200kg. • Whenever possible load the roof rack from the ground. • If you must stand on the roof rack, wear appropriate footwear, stay to the centre and only one person at a time should stand on the roof rack. • Only use the ladder to access the roof rack and ensure both rear doors are closed and secured when using it.
Overloading a vehicle is an offence. The maximum authorised mass of all the Union’s minibuses is 3500kg. This is the mass of the minibuses when laden - including all passengers and any equipment. The unladen mass of each Union minibus is between 2300kg and 2450kg, precise details are shown in on the V5 Certificate in the vehicle folder under the box labelled mass in service, as well as on the plate inside the front passenger door. Some general rules about loading minibuses are:
Driving Minibuses Page 15 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Pre use checklist The following checks must be carried out before you use a Union minibus: • The following lights are working i. Headlights and side lights ii. Fog lights iii. Brake lights iv. Reverse lights v. Hazards/indicators • Tyre tread is legal on all tyres (including the spare) • Windscreen is not chipped or cracked • Fire extinguisher, first aid kit, spare bulbs and spare fuses present and unused • Ratchet straps, warning triangle and reflective jackets are present • Tyre iron and jack present • Fuel tank is full • All mirrors are present, unbroken and working • The minibus fluid reserves are between minimum and maximum levels. The various reservoirs are indicated on the diagram below: i. Brake fluid (A) ii. Power steering fluid (B) iii. Engine oil (C) iv. Engine coolant (D) v. Windscreen washer fluid (E)
Driving Minibuses Page 16 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Post use checklist Once you have returned the minibus to its correct bay you should ensure that you have done the following: • All windows and doors are closed and locked. • All the lights are turned off. • The fuel tank has been filled to the top - even if you did not find it full when you collected the minibus. This means filling the fuel tank until the fuel pump venturi stops • All rubbish has been removed. • The hire form has been filled out with details of mileage and exact fuel fill ups. • Use of a first aid kit, spare bulb or fire extinguisher has been reported on the hire form • The minibus keys and the hire form are returned to the Student Activities Centre on the next working day, between 10:00 and 18:00. The minibus should be returned to the parking bay as indicated on the hire form - this may be different to the parking bay you found the minibus in. If another Union minibus is parked in your bay then park in the nearest available minibus bay. If another vehicle is parked in the bay then park the minibus in the delivery bays next to the Sherfield Building, by the cash machines. Do not just park the minibus in any available bay. If you have to park in a different parking bay to that indicated on the hire form please email the Student Activities Coordinator immediately to say where you have left it. Failure to do so will result in a parking fine. If the minibus has a major fault and is unsafe for the next users then leave a yellow fault report form on the drivers seat with details of the problems. The yellow fault report forms can be found in the vehicle folder. Please also email details of the problem to the Student Activities Coordinator as soon as possible.
Driving Minibuses Page 17 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Speed limits & safe driving Speed limits for minibuses are generally different to those for cars and depend on the number of seats in the vehicle. The legal speed limits for the Union’s minibuses are shown in the table below. Road Type 15 seat minibus 9 seat minibus Not Towing
Unrestricted Dual Carriageway
Unrestricted Single Carriageway
The Union’s 15 seat minibuses cannot be used for towing. Furthermore, all Union minibuses have speed limiters fitted which restrict their speed to 62mph (100 km/h) this is a European Union ruling and applies to all modern minibuses. Most people are scared or nervous when they come to drive a minibus for the first time. Follow these simple tips, and there is no need to be either. Take your time
Driving in London can be intimidating. Don’t let it get to you. Take some time over the smaller streets and the sharper turns to make sure that you negotiate them correctly. Worry about the traffic behind you later. Take breaks and share the driving
According to law you must take a 45 minute break for every 4.5 hours of driving. If you have been working all day it is recommended that you lower this to every two hours. It is strongly recommended that you take more than one driver on journeys over three hours to share the driving. Driving Minibuses Page 18 imperialcollegeunion.org/driving
Keep left on a Motorway except when overtaking. The Union’s minibuses are speed limited to 62mph and as such are legally not allowed to use the outer lane of a motorway with three or more lanes. Steering
Keep both hands on the top half of the steering wheel in a ‘ten to two’ position. Do not rest your arms or hands anywhere else and do not use the window as an armrest even if your hands are still on the wheel. When cornering, braking or driving through standing water you should tighten your grip slightly. On slippery surfaces steer gently and do not accelerate or decelerate while steering. Do not change gear while steering and at no time should your arms cross.
Speed limits & safe driving cont... Braking
Get help reversing
Remember that the Union minibuses are bigger and heavier than a normal car and as such you should start braking earlier than you would in a smaller vehicle. Adjust your following distances accordingly. In good weather you should leave a two second gap between yourself and the vehicle in front, in bad weather this should be increased to four seconds and 10 seconds in icy conditions.
The central mirror, used widely in cars, is often obscured in minibuses. This means that you canâ€™t see directly behind you. Instead you should have someone outside the minibus who can direct you and ensure that no other vehicles or pedestrians try to cross your path while you are reversing. If you lose sight of your observer you should stop immediately. Your observer should wear a reflective jacket when directing a minibus - this can be found in the minibus.
Turn wide around corners
Most people who fail their first introduction do so because they run over curbs. The simple and easy way of driving around corners is to wait until your rear wheels are level with the corner, before turning in. Vehicles pivot around the rear wheels, so if they are level with the corner they can never hit it. Be aware of your size
Only two mirrors are useful on the Union minibuses, although they do have extra â€˜blind spot mirrorsâ€™. You need to use both mirrors, and perform a shoulder check, to adequately check your blind spot. If you fail to do this you may well end up having an accident. Before you set off, ensure that your mirrors are correctly orientated and change them if necessary.
The Union minibuses are 2.4m wide. People who own and drive their own cars are particularly prone to this - they forget they are in a bigger vehicle and accidentally hit other road users.
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Emergency procedures Accident Procedure If you are involved in an accident and anyone is hurt, call the emergency services immediately. If no one is injured then proceed as follows: a. P revent any further collisions by moving the minibus off the road. Switch on the hazard lights and place the warning triangle 45m behind the minibus. DO NOT attempt to stop on a soft verge and if the minibus is severely damaged or on its side then do not attempt to move it. b. Take all the details of the other driver involved. This includes make and registration of vehicle, name, address and contact number of the other driver and their insurance details. Do not admit fault for the accident. c. G et details of AT LEAST TWO witnesses. d. If asked for details then provide the drivers name. Any contact details provided should be those of Student Activities Centre, Imperial College Union, Beit Quad, Prince Consort Road, London SW7 2BB. e. All accidents must be reported to either the Union or College Security as soon as possible and the relevant forms will need to be completed as soon as possible upon return to South Kensington. During office hours contact the Student Activities Centre on 020 7594 8060. Outside of office
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hours you should contact Sherfield Security on 020 7589 1000. f. Drivers who are asked to produce the minibus insurance certificate should present the laminated photocopy located in the vehicle folder. If these are not sufficient they should note the name, number and station of the Police Officer and state that the driver of the minibus will produce the necessary documentation at the local Police Station. The Student Activities Centre will arrange for this to happen if it is not possible for the student to present the documentation in person. After an accident make sure that everyone is safe and warm, no one is left on their own. Do not give anyone anything to eat or drink. Sometimes potentially serious injuries are not immediately apparent. Donâ€™t attempt to remove a motorcyclistâ€™s helmet unless it is absolutely essential.
Breakdowns In the event of a breakdown, try to move the minibus as far to the left of the road as possible. Switch on the hazard lights and place the warning triangle at least 45m behind the minibus. All Union minibuses have RAC breakdown cover. There is a card in each minibus with the emergency number You will need to tell them: the registration of the minibus as well as your precise location.
Emergency procedures cont... Flat Battery
In case of a flat battery you will need to borrow some jump leads. The red cable should be connected to the positive terminal in the engine bay, marked with a red cover. The black cable should be connected to the engine lifting mount. Run the booster engine at moderately high revs and then start the minibus. Leave both engines running for at least three minutes before disconnecting the jump leads in a reverse order. DO NOT switch the headlamps on while boosting the battery as the peak voltage can blow the bulbs.
Broken bulbs can be easily replaced with a screwdriver. Remove the bulb cover and carefully remove the broken bulb. If you are replacing a headlamp bulb take extra care not to touch the glass part of the bulb as grease or dirt on your fingers can damage the bulb. There is a spare bulb kit in each minibus but YOU MUST notify the Student Activities Centre if you use this to ensure that the kit can be restocked.
In Case of Fire If you suspect a fire in the engine compartment: a. Pull over and stop as soon as possible b. Switch the engine off c. G et all passengers out as quickly and safely as possible. Move away from the minibus and keep all onlookers away. d. Contact the emergency services e. If it is safe to do so, warn oncoming traffic f. DO NOT fully open the bonnet. g.If you are capable of tackling the fire, use the fire extinguisher and empty it through the small gap available when the bonnet lock is released.
Burst Tyre If the minibus becomes unstable and difficult to steer you may have had a puncture or blow-out. In the event of the situation arising: a. Try not to panic. b. T ry to keep the minibus on a straight course by holding the steering wheel firmly. c. B ring the minibus to a gradual stop at the side of the road. d. If possible try to get the minibus away from other traffic. If on the motorway use the hard shoulder. e. D O NOT attempt to change the wheel unless you are confident that you know how to do it safely or if it requires to you come into close contact with traffic (if the damaged tyre is on the drivers side of the minibus). The RAC cover for each
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Emergency procedures cont... minibus includes changing a wheel, so you are encouraged to use this service. f. If you do change the wheel, make sure the bus is parked on a level surface and the hand brake is firmly applied before you begin. g. T he jack and wheel brace are located behind a panel in the drivers side foot well. h. T he spare wheel is located under the rear of the minibus and is released using a winch. Unscrew and lift out the pin, then insert the end of the wheel brace or jack handle into the guide hole located in between the rear doors and turn it to winch the tyre down. i. Loosen the lug nuts BEFORE you raise the minibus off of the ground using the jack. j. If you do change the wheel, make sure the wheel nuts are securely tightened once you are finished.
The RAC cover for each minibus includes returning the vehicle and all passengers to your choice of destination. You should ask for the minibus and passengers to be returned to the South Kensington Campus of Imperial College, postcode SW7 2AZ. Otherwise you will need to facilitate the return of the minibus to Imperial College at your own cost.
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First Aid If necessary and you are capable and trained to do so, administer first aid. DO NOT remove a motorcyclist’s helmet unless it is absolutely necessary to do so. Keep any casualties warm and comfortable and monitor everyone involved, not just those with visible or obvious symptoms. A first aid kit is provided in each minibus. You must notify the Student Activities Centre if you use it. • Shock can develop several hours after an accident. In case of shock lie the casualty down with elevated legs. Loosen any tight clothing, keep them warm and comfortable and reassure them until the emergency services arrive. • Bleeding should be treated by raising the wounded limb and applying a pressure via a bandage or compress. Under no circumstance should a tourniquet be applied. • In case of third degree burn, where the skin has charred or cut, DO NOT try to apply any ointment or liquids. Simply cover the skin with non-stick material (plastic bag or cling film) and seek emergency treatment as soon as possible. In case of first or second degree burn then apply a cold compress or hold under running water.
Economical driving Check your revs Shift up a gear before reaching 2000rpm in the minibuses. Minibuses KYA, KYW and KYZ have a green indicator arrow that illuminates when the most efficient time to shift up a gear is. Anticipate road conditions and drive smoothly. Avoid sharp acceleration and breaking. This will reduce your fuel use. Step off the accelerator when slowing down or driving downhill, remain in gear but take your foot off the accelerator early. This reduces fuel flow to the engine to virtually zero.
Switch the engine off when stuck in traffic. Modern minibuses use virtually no extra fuel when they are re-started without pressing the accelerator. Turn off the engine if you’re going to be stationary for more than a minute or two. Plan your journeys to avoid congestion and road works, and to make sure you don’t waste fuel or time getting lost.
Driving within the speed limit is safer as well as being the law and reduces fuel consumption.
Accessories such as roof racks, bike carriers and roof boxes significantly affect the minibuses’ aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency, so if you are using the roof racks try to load them as low as possible.
Use the cruise control
Check tyre pressure
Some of the minibuses (FXC, FXE, FXG & FTN) have cruise control features. On long stretches of highway or motorway driving, cruise control can save fuel by helping the minibus maintain a steady speed. Note that cruise control features can have a lulling effect on a driver. Take plenty of breaks when driving a long distance and DO NOT DRIVE WHEN TIRED.
Under inflated tyres are dangerous and increase fuel consumption. Make sure you stop and check that the tyres are inflated to the correct pressure if you suspect under inflation. The correct tyre pressures are contained in the vehicle folder.
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Taking a minibus to Europe Currently the Union has two minibuses which can be taken to other European Union countries - they have 9 seats and a large amount of loading space for equipment. You must have at least two drivers if you are taking a minibus to Europe. Restrictions on driving minibuses in Europe are different to those in the UK and you must contact the email@example.com before considering taking a Union minibus abroad. This should be done as far in advance as possible and bookings can be confirmed further in advance than the normal two weeks. There are different regulations for each country in Europe so check that you have all the necessary information and for each country. For all minibuses that are taken to Europe you will also have to pay ÂŁ60 for additional breakdown cover. If you are considering taking a minibus to a country outside of the European Union then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org as far in advance as possible.
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Useful Links Transport Contact email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org General information imperialcollegeunion.org/driving Terms and Conditions imperialcollegeunion.org/driving Request form Via eActivities - eactivities.union.ic.ac.uk Current Usage https://eactivities.union.ic.ac.uk/admin/bookings/vehicles Trip Registration Via eActivities - eactivities.union.ic.ac.uk Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency http://www.dvla.gov.uk
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Appendix One - Use of roof rack tarpaulins
First attach the roof rack tarpaulin by fitting the corners of the fitted cover to both sides of one end of the roof rack.
Always secure the tarpaulin to the roof rack by hooking the bungee cord attached to the tarpaulin to the hooks on the underside of the roof rack. These hooks run along the whole roof rack, ensure the cover is attached on all sides.
Once the tarpaulin is attached to the roof rack and secured with the bungee cord, attach ratchet straps. Always make sure that the straps run between the two metal bars that attach the roof rack to the minibus at each end of the bus, this should ensure that the ratchet straps will not loosen. Details of how to use the ratchet straps can be found in Appendix Two.
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Appendix Two - Use of ratchet straps
Thread the blue strap through the ratchet as shown in the two images above. Connect the metal hooks together ensuring that each hook passes through the eyelet on the other connector, as shown below.
To loosen the ratchet strap after use, pull the spring loaded catch allowing the ratchet to move free to a horizontal position, as shown below.
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Appendix Three - Use of snow chains
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Appendix Three - Use of snow chains cont...
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Appendix Three - Use of snow chains cont...
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Appendix Four - Guidance for College staff The College has issued some guidance for members of staff around driving minibuses, where they are being paid as part of their normal employment. The information is contained within Financial Information note 2007/1, found online at http://www3.imperial.ac.uk/finance/commontasks/policyandprocedures/ financialinformationnotes The following is an extract from Financial Information note 2007/1 of the points particularly applicable to driving minibuses, but staff members are encouraged to read the whole document. All the Union’s minibuses comply with the requirements below and the Approved Driver introductions satisfy the training requirements. 6. Particular care is required when assessing licensing requirements for minibus drivers. Standard UK/EU driving licences issued on or after 1 January 1997 do not include the “D1” endorsement required in order to legally operate a minibus. Drivers with licences issued after 1996 must pass a specific test prior to operating a minibus. Drivers who obtained licences in countries outside the EC/EEA may also not have the D1 endorsement. 7. If a minibus driver is paid or rewarded for the time they are behind the wheel whilst on College business, or if passengers are charged a fare or contribution for the right to travel in a College minibus, the driver is deemed to be driving for “hire or reward”. Drivers who drive minibuses for hire or reward must have a full PCV D1 licence and must meet higher medical standards. This effectively restricts the use of minibuses for College and club activities. 8. However, providing the following provisions are met, the requirements in para 7, above, do not apply and a reasonable charge may be collected from passengers to cover the cost of transport, and the driver may be paid his or her usual salary whilst driving the minibus. a. a “Section 19” Community Bus permit is displayed on the minibus b. the minibus driver has received and passed training from an approved body (eg ROSPA), c. the minibus is used for legitimate College educational or club-related activities d. the driver carries out and records “drivers’ checks” prior to his or her first use of the vehicle each day e. The driver is 21 or over
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