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Transportation Providers

  • Driver Requirements

    If church vehicles are always operated by well-trained drivers, the risks involved in transporting groups to and from services and activities will be dramatically reduced. The lives of those under our care and supervision should be entrusted only to the most capable drivers, so transportation providers must be selected carefully.

    The following requirements and guidelines apply both to drivers of church-owned vehicles and drivers of privately-owned vehicles which are being used to transport individuals to and from church-sponsored activities. Drivers are required to:

    • Be at least twenty-five years of age.
    • Have a current valid driver’s license and a good driving record.
    • Be insured as required by state law.
    • Be physically able to assist those in the vehicle if an accident should occur.
    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Complete the online defensive driver training program provided by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Take the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this document.
    • Watch the video regarding how to give CPR posted online by the American Heart Association. This can be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9T25SMyz3A
    • Fill out and submit a Worker Application form upon completion of all training requirements. Applicants are asked to disclose any matter which may affect their suitability to work with children and youth. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of the form. (The information obtained through this process will be kept confidential.)

    In addition, we recommend that all church workers who interact with minors read the document “What You Can Do About Child Abuse,” published by the Oregon Department of Human Services (publication DHS 9061). It is available at https://apps.state.or.us/Forms/Served/de9061.pdf.

    Transportation staff must also be prepared to fulfill on an ongoing basis any additional training or recertification requirements established by the Apostolic Faith organization.

    These requirements must be completed and the certification recorded in the church office before an individual begins driving for the Apostolic Faith organization. Application and certification records are to be kept on file in the church office for insurance purposes.

    Anyone who has ever been convicted of child abuse will not be allowed to work with children. Other criminal offenses may also disqualify an individual from serving as part of the transportation staff.

     

     

  • Sunday School Van Attendants

    An authorized attendant must accompany the driver on each Sunday school route to assist children in getting on and off the vehicle safely, and to maintain order during transit. Van attendants for an Apostolic Faith Church sponsored activity for children or youth must be at least sixteen years of age, and of the same gender as the driver or a close relative of the driver. (Close relatives must be approved by the pastor or Sunday school superintendent.)

    Adult attendants must meet the following requirements:

    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Take the online child safety training recommended by the church insurance company. (Information on how to access this training is available at www.apostolicfaith.org/library/safety.) Print documentation which indicates successful completion of the training, and provide a copy to the pastor.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this document.
    • Fill out and submit a Worker Application form upon completion of all training requirements. Applicants are asked to disclose any matter which may affect their suitability to work with children and youth. Authorization to do a background check is included as part of the form. (The information obtained through this process will be kept confidential.)

    Attendants who are under the age of eighteen must meet the following requirements:

    • Read the Apostolic Faith Church Volunteer Handbook.
    • Be thoroughly familiar with the contents of this document.
    • Fill out and submit a Youth Worker Application form, which includes two personal references, and includes a commitment to abide by the guidelines and policies established by the Apostolic Faith organization. This application also includes parent/guardian consent and a release of liability.
  • Record Keeping

    Weekly records must be kept for each Sunday school van route recording names of the driver, attendant, and students who rode on the van. This information should be retained in the church office.

    Children who show up to ride on the van to Sunday school as visitors should be noted on the van log, and recorded on the Sunday school role as having visited on that Sunday. The names and addresses of adult visitors who ride on the van should also be recorded in the weekly van record.

    All Sunday school students who regularly ride on church-provided transportation must have a Sunday School Registration form on file in the church office. This form, which must be signed by the parent/guardian includes permission for the child to ride on church vehicles, and includes a liability release.

    For church-sponsored events other than regular Sunday school transport, all minors who are driven to and from church activities must have a Youth Activity Permission Form filled out by the parent/guardian in order to ride on church-provided transportation. This form should be kept on the van during transport. Van drivers are responsible for obtaining the permission forms for minors they are transporting. At the conclusion of the event, the permission information must be retained on file at the church office.

    A record must be kept in the local church office of all approved transportation providers, including a copy of current drivers’ licenses and certification that the online training required by insurance has been completed. Drivers should report any change in their driving status to the pastor and/or transportation supervisor.

     

  • Requirements Regarding Vehicle Use

    • Drivers must comply with all traffic laws and regulations.
    • Drivers and attendants are prohibited from the use, possession, or being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs while traveling with children.
    • The number of passengers must not exceed that approved for the vehicle, and a functional seat belt must be available for each passenger.
    • Seat belts are to be used by all occupants of a vehicle at any time the vehicle is moving. It is the responsibility of the driver to ensure that all occupants are securely belted before starting the vehicle.
    • Sunday school vans must be equipped with proper child safety seats and booster seats, and child passengers in the following weight/height/age categories must use these seats when riding in church vehicles.
    •  Child passengers must be in an approved child safety seat until they weigh 40 pounds.
    • Children over 40 pounds must use a booster seat until they are 4’9” tall OR age 8.
    • Personal use of church-owned vehicles is not allowed unless pre-authorized by the pastor or an appointee.
    • Circumstances which leave one child and one adult alone in a vehicle must be avoided.
    • Regular Sunday school routes should be arranged to keep at least one extra seat available in the van, in case a regular attendee wants to bring a visitor.
    • Vehicle accidents must be reported immediately to the pastor or the transportation supervisor.

     

     

  • Safety Precautions

    The Apostolic Faith organization is committed to doing everything possible to ensure the safety of the children we transport to church-sponsored functions. With that goal in mind, church drivers must:

    • Carry a cell phone for use in event of an emergency. However, cell phones are not to be used while driving.
    • Prohibit children from putting their arms or heads out the windows.
    • Prohibit fighting or roughhousing among the riders. If the children get too rowdy, pull the van over to the side of the road and remain there until the rowdy behavior ceases.
    • Discuss ongoing discipline problems on a Sunday school van with the Sunday school superintendent and/or the transportation supervisor.
    • Shut off the engine and take the keys when leaving the vehicle.
    • Never leave the vehicle unattended while minors are in it.
    • Make certain that children go home in the same van they came in. Any other arrangements must be made in advance with the parent/guardian.
    • Transport children directly to the specified destination, and return children directly to their home or designated drop-off location. Any other arrangements must be made in advance with the parent/guardian.

     

  • 15-Passenger Van Usage

    Despite alerts from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), the number of rollovers and other accidents involving 15-passenger vans continues to increase. The NHTSA has found that 15-passenger vans are far more likely to roll over than any other vehicle. They are nearly three times more likely to roll over when carrying ten or more passengers than the same van carrying five or fewer passengers because the passenger weight raises the center of gravity and shifts it to the rear.

    Drivers of 15-passenger vans should take the following precautions:

    • Make sure passengers sit in front of the rear axle.
    • Limit the number of vehicle occupants.
    • Do not overload the vehicle. Keep the rear area as free of luggage or equipment as possible.
    • Do not use a roof rack or strap on cargo to the back of the van. As the weight inside a van increases, so does the van’s propensity to roll over.
    • Make sure van tires are properly inflated.

     

  • Driving in Hazardous Conditions

    At times, drivers who provide transportation to and from Sunday school or other church-sponsored functions may face inclement weather causing hazardous road conditions. If drivers have any doubt about their ability to safely operate a vehicle in such conditions, they should discuss their concerns with the pastor or transportation supervisor.

    Following are suggestions for driving during the most common types of hazardous conditions:

    Reduced visibility

    • Turn on headlights. Low beams are recommended for driving in fog or snow.
    • •Use the center line and edge of roadway as guides.
    • If a safe distance ahead cannot be seen, reduce speed or pull off the road.

    Wet pavement

    • Be aware that roadways are the most slippery just after rain begins to fall.
    • Reduce speed and increase following distance.
    • Negotiate curves and corners cautiously.
    • Keep to the right to allow maneuvering to the side of the road if evasive action becomes necessary.
    • Do not lock the wheels when braking, but apply the brake pedal intermittently. For vehicles with an anti-lock braking system, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

    Ice and snow

    • Accelerate gently and release the clutch slowly.
    • If tires begin to spin, ease up on the accelerator.
    • Do not lock the wheels when braking, but apply the brake pedal intermittently. For vehicles with an anti-lock braking system, follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Remember that downshifting is often more effective than brake application.
    • Increase following distance.
    • If possible, stop in clear or sanded portions of roadway to improve traction when you start up.
    • Remember that other drivers may have trouble stopping, and evaluate this when stopping to discharge passengers.

     

  • Emergency Procedures

    Vehicle Breakdown

    If a vehicle breaks down while being used to transport individuals to or from a church event, the driver should take the following steps.

    • Call for assistance. Phone numbers for the church, Sunday school superintendent and/or transportation supervisor should be attached to the visor or be in the glove compartment.
    • Turn on the emergency flashers or hazard lights, and raise the hood.
    • Stay in the vehicle and wait for help.

    Passenger Injury

    If a child is injured while getting on the van, the driver or attendant should immediately notify the parent or guardian, leaving one staff member with the children already on the van.

    If the injury occurs during transport or while on church property, the driver should take the following steps:

    • Provide first aid for minor injuries, scrapes, and bruises (for example, applying adhesive bandages), or take the child to the leader of his/her Sunday school department for attention.
    • For injuries requiring medical treatment beyond simple first aid, the child’s department leader or teacher should contact the parent and/or guardian to decide what the next step should be. If warranted by circumstances, emergency medical assistance will be summoned.
    • If a child must be taken to the hospital, a staff member should accompany the child, staying with him/her until a parent or emergency contact arrives.
    • In the case of injuries requiring treatment by a medical professional, an Accident/Incident Report form must be completed by the driver or Sunday school department leader once the child has received appropriate medical attention. This form should be retained in the church records. If an insurance claim results, the information should be sent to headquarters.

    Vehicle Accident

    In event of a vehicle accident, the driver should take the following steps:

    • If possible, move the vehicle to the side of the road and out of the flow of traffic. If the vehicle cannot be moved, the driver, attendant, and passengers should remain in the vehicle with seatbelts fastened until help arrives.
    • Turn on hazard lights.
    • Ascertain the condition of the passengers and summon emergency medical help if needed. Injured passengers should not be moved unless they are in greater jeopardy by remaining where they are.
    • If another vehicle was involved, exchange information with the other driver, including name, address, telephone number, insurance provider, policy number, driver’s license number, and license plate number. A Vehicle Accident Information Form should be in the glove compartment for this purpose. Insurance policy information should be kept above the visor or in the glove compartment.
    • If a camera or cell phone is available, take pictures of the accident scene and the damage to both vehicles.
    • Be polite, but do not tell the other driver or the police that the accident was your fault, even if you think it was.
    • Report the accident to the police according to state law.
    • Notify the pastor or transportation supervisor regarding the accident. (Pastors must send a copy of the Vehicle Accident Information Form to the headquarters office for insurance purposes.)

     

     

Introduction
Those who provide transportation to and from Sunday school or other church-sponsored events fill a vital role in the Apostolic Faith outreach program. However, each year many thousands of lives are lost in vehicle accidents across the United States. Most of these occur as a result of basic safety violations or poor vehicle maintenance.
While there is no foolproof formula to ensure safety on the road, it is the purpose of the Apostolic Faith organization to maintain safety procedures and policies that will reduce the possibility of accidents and facilitate the safe operation of vehicles used in church-sponsored events.

About Us

The Apostolic Faith Church is a worldwide Christian organization, with headquarters in Portland, Oregon. As a Trinitarian and fundamental church, our doctrinal beliefs are the basic Bible truths, including the definite experiences of salvation, sanctification, and the baptism of the Holy Ghost.

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info@apostolicfaith.org

6615 SE 52nd Avenue

Portland, Oregon 97206

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