Voluntary groups using their own minibus should get their drivers trained, according to Adrian Hide, director of the Road Safety Services division of the TTC Group.
Drivers with a normal car licence who meet the “most basic criteria” are allowed to volunteer to drive a 3.5 tonne 17 seater minibus without any formal training – and carry children to social or sports events – revealed Mr Hide.
He cited Staffordshire-based Burton Venture Trust, which organises training for all its volunteer drivers, as an example for others to follow.
Adrian Hide said: “Thousands of children all over the country benefit from educational and recreational visits organised by dedicated people, such as those at Burton Venture Trust. Sadly though, not all will take their view that managing safe driving is something that they should do.
“Every organisation, regardless of whether they are a commercial company or a charity, must manage safety and this extends to driving, even if it is conducted purely by volunteers.”
Graham Marshment, Burton Venture Trust joint activity leader & trustee, who is also a former head teacher, said: “I don’t think just anyone should get into a minibus and drive it. It’s not a big car and handles very differently when fully laden.
“We have always put our volunteer drivers in for training. Being a good driver doesn’t mean that you know how to safely manage a bus full of excitable young people. Parents have to be confident about who is driving their child around.”