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Volunteer Drivers Guide - Section 7

Managing Vehicle Operations

This section contains guidelines for the day-to-day management of vehicles, including private vehicles, used to provide passenger transportation services.

Inspect the Vehicle Daily

Vehicles used to provide passenger transportation should be inspected daily to ensure the safety of both the passenger and the volunteer driver and make sure that all of the vehicle equipment is in proper working order. This is commonly called a pre-trip inspection. This is should be done with both POV's and the Sponsoring Organization's vehicles, and should be completed prior to departing to pick up a rider. To accomplish this:

  1. All drivers should be provided with information on how to properly inspect the vehicle. [Form 29a: Pre-Trip Inspection Narrative]
  2. Drivers should complete a pre-trip inspection even when using their own vehicle to provide service. [Form 29b: Pre-Trip Inspection Form]
  3. The Sponsoring Organization should periodically include "safety reminders" with the volunteer mileage reimbursement vouchers.

What is a Trip Plan?

Trip plans are designed to ensure the safety all drivers, including those who use their own vehicles. Sponsoring Organizations should have procedures for volunteers to follow in the event of a breakdown or accident during normal service delivery hours. [Form 30a: Back-Up Plan]

Back-up plans should also be prepared for all trips provided when vehicles are loaned to other organizations or when volunteers are traveling outside the normal service area and/or service hours. [Form 30b: Back-Up Plan (For Out-of-Area Operations)]

What Should Be Done During Inclement Weather?

Every program should have a comprehensive plan for inclement weather. As technology advances accurate information is available through a variety of media including the Internet. Use the following guide when developing an Inclement Weather Plan:

  1. If the Sponsoring Organization attempts service on inclement weather days, the driver can decline service if the driveway leading to the rider's location or if assisting the rider to or from the vehicle, is dangerous due to weather conditions. Sometimes the decision is made upon arrival at the rider's location.
  2. If weather and road conditions deteriorate through the day, only return trips should be attempted. The Manager can determine whether hazardous road conditions warrant ceasing services.
  3. Requests for urgent medical rides and life-sustaining medical trips should not be provided in private cars in inclement weather. Appropriate referrals should be made to other modes including ambulances.
  4. During inclement weather, If the trip is not urgent or life sustaining (e.g., dialysis), riders should be encouraged to reschedule.