It is essential that adequate, safe, and responsible transportation be used for all Scouting activities. Because most accidents occur within a short distance from home, safety precautions are necessary, even on short trips.
General guidelines are as follows:
1.0 Seat belts are required for all occupants.
2.0 All drivers must have a valid driver's license that has not been suspended or revoked for any reason. If the vehicle to be used is designed to carry more than 15 people, including the driver (more than 10 people, including the driver, in California), the driver must have a commercial driver's license (CDL).
3.0 The driver must be currently licensed and at least 18 years of age. Youth member exception: when traveling to and from an area, regional, or national Boy Scout activity or any Venturing event under the leadership of an adult (at least 21 years of age) tour leader, a youth member at least 16 years of age may be a driver, subject to the following:
1.0 Six months' driving experience as a licensed driver (time on a learner's permit or equivalent is not to be counted)
2.0 No record of accidents or moving violations
3.0 Parental permission granted to the leader, driver, and riders
4.0 Trucks may not be used for transporting passengers except in the cab.
5.0 All vehicles must be covered by automobile liability insurance with limits that meet or exceed requirements of the state in which the vehicle is licensed. It is recommended that coverage limits are at least $50,000/$100,000/$50,000. Any vehicle designed to carry 10 or more passengers is required to have limits of $100,000/$500,000/$100,000.
6.0 Obey all laws, including the speed limit.
7.0 Driving time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours and must be interrupted by frequent rest, food, and recreation stops. If there is only one driver, the driving time should be reduced and stops should be made more frequently.
8.0 Travel and rest time is limited to a maximum of 10 hours in one 24-hour period, regardless of the number of drivers available. The intention is to include sleep and thorough rest breaks while traveling long distances.
9.0 Drivers should refrain from using cell phones (including hands-free units) and text-messaging devices while driving.
The commercial general liability policy is excess over any insurance which may be available to a volunteer for loss arising from ownership, maintenance, or use of a motor vehicle while engaged is an Official Scouting Activity. Scouting youth (under age 18) are not insured under the Boy Scouts of America commercial general liability policy.
Don't drive drowsy. Stop for rest and stretch breaks as needed. Fatigue is a major cause of highway accident fatalities.
Campers, Trailers, and Trucks
Trucks are designed and constructed to transport materials and equipment, not people. Under no circumstances are passengers to be carried in the bed of or towed behind a pickup truck. Trailers must never be used for carrying passengers. Tour plans will not be issued for any trip that involves carrying passengers in a truck except in the cab. This includes vehicles converted for that use unless they are licensed as buses and meet all requirements for buses.
Use caution in towing trailers or campers, as a vehicle's performance, steering, and braking abilities will be altered. Consider these safety tips:
Get the correct trailer for the vehicle and the correct hitch for the trailer. Distribute and anchor the load.
Allow extra time to brake. Changing lanes while braking can jackknife the trailer.
Add safety equipment as dictated by common sense and state laws (mirrors, lights, safety chains, brakes for heavy trailers, etc.).
Park in designated areas.
The Driver's Pledge
I will not text or talk on my phone while I am driving. Texting and talking take my eyes off the road, hands off the steering wheel, and my mind off what I am doing.
◾I will put my phone in my backpack or in the glove box before I get behind the wheel. I will only check it when I have safely parked the vehicle.
◾I will not become distracted by things going on inside and outside the vehicle. I will concentrate on my driving and my travel plans.
◾I will not drive when I feel fatigued. I realize that when I am fatigued, I process information more slowly and less accurately and this impairs my ability to react in time to avoid accidents.
◾I will arrange my schedule so that several days before a Boy Scout "driving trip," I will get a good night's sleep every night to avoid the cumulative effect of not getting enough sleep.
◾I will make trip preparations far enough in advance so that last-minute preparations don't interfere with my rest.
◾I will make travel plans and drive only during the part of the day when I know I will be alert.
◾I will be smart about engaging in physical activities during Scouting outings and will make sure that I will be ready to drive alertly.
I am the only person who can make these decisions for me. I will:
1.Follow this driver's pledge.
2.Be risk ready.
3.Do everything that I can to keep Scouts safe.