Bus Policies & Guidelines  

 Carthage United Methodist Church

Bus Policies & Guidelines
General policy:  This policy governs the use of the CUMC bus used to transport members & guests or prospective members.  
Operating Policy
A.Use of the Bus
1.Eligibility: Any CUMC church group has approval & authority to use the bus.  No outside groups (i.e. groups not directly accountable to the CUMC Board of Trustees) shall use the bus.  
2.Applicability:  The policies apply to all members of CUMC, their guests & prospective members.
3.Number of Passengers:  The maximum number of passengers may not exceed 15, including the driver.
4.Scheduling Procedure:  All bus use requests should be submitted at least two weeks in advance for approval from the Board of Trustees, by completing the “Bus Reservation Form.”  The group leader using the bus is responsible for securing a driver from the list of approved drivers.  All trips must be placed on the master calendar in the church office.  Monthly scheduled users shall have priority as users.
5.Point of Origin:  The bus will leave from & return to the church parking lot.  Keys & the bus log are obtained from the secretary.
a.Riders will be dropped off at the same location they were picked up, if other than the church parking lot.  In order to make an exception, parents must give CUMC written permission.
b.No children will be allowed to leave church property with any adult other than their parent, unless arrangements were made in advance with the parent AND these instructions are in writing.
c.No youth (persons under 21 yrs) will be permitted to travel to any off-premise CUMC event originating from CUMC in a motor vehicle driven by another person under the age of 21, regardless of who owns the vehicle, except with the express written permission of the parent/guardian of both the youth driver & youth passenger(s).  Such permission must be secured before the event begins.
6.Trip Supervision:  It is the responsibility for the group using the bus to provide passengers with proper adult supervision.  The driver cannot be counted as an adult supervisor while driving.
7.Passenger Conduct:
a.All users of the bus are expected to conduct themselves in a Christ-like manner.
b.The Church reserves the right to deny use of the bus to passengers whose conduct becomes detrimental to the safety of the group.
c.Vandalism or property damage shall be paid for by the person or group responsible for the damage & constitutes due reason to deny use of the bus for future trips.
d.Trip leaders & adult supervisors shall have sole responsibility for passenger conduct.
e.Not allowed on bus: smoking, dipping or use of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, weapons or illegal drugs.
f.No obscene language or gestures are allowed on the bus.
g.No standing on the bus is allowed when the vehicle is moving.
h.No yelling, throwing anything, or hanging of any body parts out of the windows of the bus is allowed.
8.Bus Cleanliness:  There should be no open food/drinks inside the bus on trips.  Each group is responsible for cleaning the bus, including picking up all trash, cleaning debris & sweeping floors after use.  A fee of $25.00 will be assessed to the ministry area of the responsible group that does not adequately clean the bus.  Groups who fail to properly maintain the cleanliness of the bus may be restricted from further use as determined by the Gatekeepers Committee.
9.Trip Records & Documentation:  The driver is responsible for completing the “Bus Log & Trip Report” following the event.  The completed form should be returned to the church office to be filed in the Transportation Log Book.
B.Drivers:  The church recognizes that drivers are volunteering their time & their generosity is greatly appreciated.
1.Requirements:  The church office shall maintain a list of approved drivers for the church bus.
a.Drivers must be a member of CUMC, meet current age requirements, & have a current driver’s license.
b.Individuals must meet current insurance requirements & provide a copy of their driver’s license & personal auto insurance card prior to driving the bus. This information will be kept on file in the office and will be updated annually.
c.Other guidelines include:  no DUI, no reckless driving in the last 5 years, no more than 2 moving violations in the previous two years.
2.Availability:  the church will maintain a current list of approved drivers.  It is the responsibility of the group requesting use of the bus to secure a driver from the list.
3.Trip Responsibility:  The driver of the bus will have sole responsibility & authority in matters pertaining to the bus operation, maintenance & safety.  The driver is responsible for:
a.Complying with stated guidelines & policies.
b.Obeying all traffic laws of the city & state in which they are driving.
c.Drivers are personally responsible for any moving violations or parking violations.
d.Cell phones are not permitted to be used by drivers while the vehicle is moving.
e.Seat belts must be worn at all times.
f.Securing the bus when it returns to CUMC parking lot (all windows are closed & doors locked).
g.Returning the keys & the completed paperwork to the church office.
4.Church Spokesperson:  In the event of an accident or emergency involving the church bus, CUMC should be represented at the scene by only one person during any discussions with authorities, insurance representatives, etc.  The driver will be the spokesperson on the scene unless he/she is unable to perform this duty; in this case the adult group leader should assume the role.  Please reference the information pack (i.e. Laminated insurance card & contact numbers) in the glove box should an accident occur.  The pastor should be notified immediately & informed of the accident.
C.Operation & Maintenance
1.Budget:  An amount shall be allocated in the church budget to cover vehicle insurance & maintenance.  All other expenses shall be the responsibility of the group/ministry using the bus. 
2.Trip charges:  Each group shall pay for fuel consumed during their trip & will return the bus with a full tank of gas.
3.Maintenance:  The Board of Trustees will be responsible for operational maintenance of the vehicle (i.e. registration, plates, fuel, oil, tune-ups, etc.).
4.  A list of approved drivers will be kept in the church office.
D.Insurance: CUMC shall insure the bus.  Coverage shall include bodily injury & property damage, liability, medical payments, uninsured motorist, fire, theft, comprehensive & collision.  The cost of insurance shall be provided for in the church budget.
E.Safety:  At all times, the driver or group leader shall have final responsibility & authority in matters relating to the safety of the bus & its passengers.  Passenger discipline is considered to be related to safety.   Passengers are required to wear seat belts.
F.Accidents/Incidents:  In case of accident/incident, whether there is real or perceived damage, the driver is responsible for filling out all forms required by law enforcement as well as a CUMC Accident/Incident Form.  The pastor should be notified immediately.
May 2009/Revised September 2009

Carthage United Methodist Church

608 Main Street North

Carthage, TN 37030







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