Before you hit the road, review this Scouting transportation checklist

When you’re planning a road trip, you likely have a checklist.

Map? Check. Vehicle in good shape? Check. Snacks? Check.

When you’re planning a road trip for your Scouting unit, you should add another checklist to review before you leave.

Use the SAFE Transportation Checklist and Pre-Trip Inspection in your plans. These lists are designed to help you manage the risks associated with transporting Scouts.

What to review

Staying safe doesn’t start when you reach your meeting place or campsite; staying safe is what we do in all of Scouting. Driving requires safety attention as it can be very dangerous. See the Transporting Scouts Safety Moment here.

Here are some areas to focus on when transporting Scouts:

Supervision

Youth should be supervised by qualified and trustworthy adults who set the example for safety by obeying all traffic laws. Two-deep leadership is needed for the trip’s duration.

Assessment

Plan the route and the passenger list, both to and from the destination. Breaks should be planned. Drive time should be no more than 10 hours within a 24-hour period.

Make sure you meet vehicle liability insurance minimums and all passengers are in seats with factory-installed seat belts. If you’re operating a 15-passenger van, the manufacture date needs to be after 2005.

Fitness and Skills

Drivers are adults, 18 years old or older, with a valid license. Don’t drive when fatigued. Follow all applicable traffic laws.

When operating a tow vehicle, the driver must have the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate the vehicle with the attached unit.

Equipment and Environment

Adult leaders need to inspect their vehicles before the trip. Tires on each vehicle should be no more than 6 years old.

Leaders should monitor the environment for changing conditions, like the weather and road conditions. Have a communication plan in place.

If there is an incident, like an accident, first find a safe place and take care of any injuries. Preserve and document the evidence. Take photos, if appropriate. Immediately complete an incident report and notify your local council.

For more information on incident reports, go here. Review the Transportation Policy in the Guide to Safe Scouting here.

About Michael Freeman 295 Articles
Michael Freeman, an Eagle Scout, is an associate editor of Scout Life and Scouting magazines.