15 Passenger Van Guidelines

With the current safety problems associated with 15-Passenger Vans, you must use the following guidelines as you travel for anything BSM related. Please read this article from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) so you understand the risks.

  1. Limit the number of passengers to eleven (including the driver) in a 15 passenger van with bench seating

  2. Do not pull trailers

  3. Enforce seatbelt usage

  4. Do not travel between midnight and 5am (no all night travel unless you are using a contracted bus company)

  5. Perform pre-trip and post-trip maintenance checks

  6. Buy high quality tires

  7. Keep gas tank as full as possible to lower the vehicle’s center of gravity

  8. Ensure that all drivers are trained to safely operate a 15-passenger van

  9. Make sure all drivers are on the approved drivers list (look at all drivers’ licenses & insurance just to make sure they are still valid).

  10. In a 15 passenger van with bench seating, it is important that the backseat be taken out and only 11 people allowed - all times, no exceptions. This is for your safety!

  11. Pay attention to where the weight is. Fill the front seats first. In a 15 passenger van with bench seating, remove the back seat or forbid people to sit on it and do not allow luggage to be higher than the seat

  12. Prohibit vans from being driven in excess of 70 miles per hour

  13. No texting. Cell phone use is prohibited. Let the passenger do the talking and texting.

  14. Drive conservatively

  15. Never load items on the roof of the vehicle

Older Bench Seating

Older vans with bench seating need to remain at a 10 passenger plus 1 driver limit (empty back seat) and continue to follow the above guidelines as you travel for anything BSM related. Also, be sure to read the GuideOne Center for Risk Management 15 Passenger Van Page.

Newer Individual Seats

Newer vans with individual seats and seat belts are safer and have a safer wheel base design as well. Therefore, we are allowing those newer vans with individual seats to be loaded to the 15 passenger capacity. You must follow the above guidelines as you travel for anything BSM related. Here is a link to information about the newer vans from the NHTSA.

Be sure to read over the BSM Insurance Info page.

Travel Restrictions Between 11:55pm and 5:00am

It is imperative that you understand that under NO circumstances should ANY BSM group travel between the hours of 11:55 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless a professional driver has been hired (i.e. chartered bus). This is a serious liability issue and you must abide by this policy - no exceptions.

© Texas Baptist Student Ministry | collegeministry@texasbaptists.org | 214-828-5250 | Updated 07/26/2020