What is a Minibus? |
Legally defined, a minibus is a vehicle seating for between eight and sixteen passengers. Anything with more seating capacity is considered a coach. When classifying vehicles, manufacturers include the driver's seat in the passenger count, so a seventeen-seat minibus will have room for 16 passengers.
Who Can Drive a Minibus? Minibus drivers fall into two classifications - those licensed before January 1997 and those licensed after.
I Was Licensed before 1997 - Can I Drive a Minibus? Yes. You must meet the following requirements to drive Group A or B vehicles:
• You must be 21 years of age or older. • You cannot drive a minibus for payment of any type or for hire. • The minibus may not have more than seventeen seats, including the driver.
Keep in mind that you will be permitted to drive a minibus in the United Kingdom, but face restrictions throughout mainland Europe.
I Was Licensed after 1997 - Can I Drive a Minibus? Yes. You'll be required to pass a variety of capability and medical tests to secure a D1 license. To drive for hire or financial reward, you'll be required to obtain a permit.
• You again, must be 21 years of age or older. • You must have held a category B car license for a minimum of two years. • Service must be provided on a voluntary basis. • The maximum weight of the minibus may be no more than 3500 kg. • Drivers aged 70 or older will be required to maintain health standards for holding a D1 license.
Preventing Minibus Driver Fatigue
Minibuses are required to monitor the time that commercial drivers spend on the road, to maintain compliance with European Union and domestic rules. Tachometers must be maintained on all minibuses to enforce these rules. Volunteer drivers are not required to abide by these rules.
Traffic Regulations for Minibuses
On Class A roads, minibuses are limited to a top speed of 50 mph. On dual carriageways, that limit is increased to 60 mph, and motorways allow minibuses to travel at 70 mph, though all minibuses produced after 2007 are legally required to install governors, which limit a maximum speed to 62 mph. Seat belts are required to be worn by all passengers at all times. The driver is responsible for each passenger's compliance with seat belt regulations, and can be fined for failure of any passenger to not buckle up.
First aid kits and fire extinguishers are required on all minibuses for safety compliance. Any minibus en route to or from a sporting event is barred from carrying alcoholic beverages. This guide is generalized advice, not designed for legal use. Please consult legal counsel with any questions regarding intricacies of the law.
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