Safe Scouting - International
David D. Miller +49 6221 404405 (DDM@DHDIBM1.BITNET)
Fri, 22 Nov 1991 10:10:46 CET
Having just sent a note on mixing regulations from between BSA and VCP,
I just had to send this query.
Both "A Guide to Safe Scouting" and its 'sister' publication
make it quite clear that BSA/GSUSA Scouts can't travel in a vehicle
with more than 15 seats unless the driver holds a Commercial Drivers
Licence. The agreement on this would seem to indicate that this is a
As part of my plans for next summer, I intend to lead a group of Scouts,
including BSA/GSUSA, on a trip to Scotland to a Jamborette there. I am
well aware that the Jamborette organisers will stick within British
transport law in organising the transport during the event.
British Law has special provision for sixteen seater minibuses
which can be driven by any driver aged 21 with enough experience.
The regulations include a 50mph speed limit on the vehicles,
plus other safety features - signposted exits, first-aid kit,
fire extinguishers, etc. - not required on cars.
In addition, most vehicles are insured with "named drivers only"
and an age limit of 25 instead of 21.
The equivalent to a CDL is very rare, and is only valid while
driving commercially, thus larger vehicles need to have a paid driver.
The minibus regulations are in place especially for Scouts and similar
How can things be arranged to satisfy BSA regulations without
telling the Jamborette organisers that none of the Americans in my
party can take part in any activity off site unless the minibuses have
2 seats removed?
(British Scouts travelling in Continental Europe have a similar
problem. They've got to take the seat count down to *nine* before
crossing the Channel. However, any vehicle with less than 12 seats
is liable for a hefty Special Car Tax. Because of the tax, a short
wheelbase Land Rover with 9 seats costs roughly the same as a long
wheelbase 12-seater. A vehicle with seats removed is suddenly liable
for the Tax, but putting the seats back in doesn't qualify for a
Our solution is a Special Permit from Her Majesty's
Inspector of Customs and Excise which allows us to drive the converted
vehicle in the UK for two days: just long enough to get out of the
country and long enough to get back home. The vehicle has to be
presented for inspection the evening before departure and the morning
after return, and the drive out of the country is about 14 hours. :-(
That still doesn't remove the problem of the conversion itself.
In the LWB Land Rover, the two 3-person bench seats in the back
have to be replaced with 2-person benches which are about 3 inches
shorter than the originals. Helping to build the new seats counted
as a service project for one of the Venture Scouts.)
David D. Miller
Scouting in Europe - a unique experience
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City