Category E: Support Services
Procedure E5: Transportation Of Students Using Privately-Owned Vehicles
Whenever possible, students should be transported to school-related activities in authorized vehicles owned by or contracted by the District. Privately owned vehicles may be used for student transportation only when, in the opinion of the principal, the use of private vehicles constitutes the most practical, or only possible, method of transportation.
District administrators are advised to exercise caution in authorizing staff or parent-volunteer transportation of students in private vehicles and must adhere strictly to the requirements set forth in this guideline. Staff and parent volunteers are forbidden from transporting students for school purposes without prior authorization by the principal.
In cases of emergency—situations of real and imminent danger to persons or property—students may be transported in private vehicles without complying with the provisions set forth here. Even in these situations, however, the staff driving must possess appropriate vehicle registration and inspection and an appropriate driver’s license.
In all cases, staff members and parent volunteers are required to have liability insurance in order to be approved to transport students. The private vehicle being used must be insured in the amounts of $100,000-$300,000 personal injury liability and $25,000 property damage. The districts’ have extended, non-owned automobile liability insurance coverage which applies only beyond the limits of the staff member’s personal automobile liability coverage, up to the Massachusetts statutory limits of governmental immunity. Comprehensive and collision damage to private vehicles is not provided by the district’s insurance policy. The district assumes no liability unless the staff person has prior authorization for student transportation.
The following procedure shall be followed in the rare instances in which staff request approval to transport students:
- The staff member shall submit a request to the principal for approval. This shall be done in sufficient time prior to the activity to make all necessary arrangements, whether the specific request is approved or disapproved.
- Each staff member or parent volunteer agreeing to transport students will be required to sign a document indicating understanding of, and agreement to, issues of liability.
- The principal or her/his designee will verify that the vehicle is appropriately inspected and registered. The principal must also verify that the driver holds a valid Massachusetts Driver’s License. Drivers must be at least 21 years of age.
- In no instance may district personnel or a parent volunteer drive a personal vehicle that exceeds a six-passenger capacity when transporting students.
In case of inclement weather, the superintendent or his/her designee will determine whether trips may proceed in private vehicles. If cancellation is necessary, the superintendent will notify the principal as soon as a decision is made.
The only exception shall be for parents/guardians who are transporting their child to or from a school-sponsored activity such as a sporting event. In this instance, the Athletic Director or other staff member responsible for the activity must be contacted in advance and must authorize this transportation. Arrangements for regular transportation by a parent may be made with the Athletic Director or other staff person.
Policy CHA: Development Of Regulations