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:
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:
Attendants who are under the age of eighteen must meet the following requirements:
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
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:
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:
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:
Ice and snow
If a vehicle breaks down while being used to transport individuals to or from a church event, the driver should take the following steps.
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:
In event of a vehicle accident, the driver should take the following steps:
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