15 Passenger Van Policy
The Military College of South Carolina
171 Moultrie Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29409
Revised 17 December 2013
USE AND OPERATION OF 15-PASSENGER VANS
The purpose of this memorandum is to establish The Citadel policy related to the operation and use of 15-passenger vans.
On April 9, 2001 the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) issued a "Consumer Advisory" warning to the users of 15-passenger vans that, under certain load conditions, these vehicles have an increased risk of rollover. Research indicates that as the number of passengers carried in 15-passenger vans increases so does its center of gravity, thereby increasing the possibility of rollover in single vehicle accidents.
While not specifically addressed by the NHTSA in the advisory, recent tests have shown that towing trailers with heavily loaded 15-passenger vans significantly changes the handling characteristics of the vehicle and adds to the variables that could contribute to a serious accident.
In addition to the concerns addressed in the NHTSA advisory, section 56-5-195 of The South Carolina Code of Laws prohibits any entity from using 15-passenger vans purchased after July 1, 2000 to transport pre-primary, primary, or secondary school aged children to or from school, school-related activities, or child care.
Accordingly, the following policy is promulgated as an addition to The Citadel’s existing Motor Vehicle Management Policy, and is intended to minimize the risk of personal injury and provide guidelines for the use of these vehicles. This policy applies to the use of any 15-passenger van for college business, including those vans that are leased or owned by The Citadel or the State of South Carolina, rented or leased from rental companies, or those personally owned or borrowed when being used for college activities. Violation of this policy may expose occupants of the vehicle to personal injury and/or property damage. In addition, anyone who violates this policy will be deemed utilizing a vehicle outside of the college’s vehicle use policies, subjecting them to possible personal liability with no indemnification from The Citadel, and disciplinary action.
Effective immediately, all drivers of 15-passenger vans used for any college business must have successfully completed a 15-Passenger Van Driver’s Safety Course, approved by the State of South Carolina’s Office of Fleet Management.
15-passenger vans shall not be used by Citadel faculty, staff, students, or volunteers for transporting more than eleven people (driver + 10 passengers). This policy applies to all 15-passenger vans including but not limited to those owned, borrowed, rented, or leased.
15-passenger vans shall not be used by Citadel faculty, staff, students, or volunteers to transport school-aged children (pre-primary, primary, or secondary) at anytime. Those college activities that have a need to transport students who fall into this age group must use vehicles that meet current federal school bus safety standards. This policy applies to all 15-passenger vans including but not limited to those owned, borrowed, rented, or leased.
Towing with a 15-passenger sized van is prohibited.
Drivers and all passengers traveling in 15-passenger vans must wear proper vehicle seat restraints and will refrain from excessive loading of the vehicle. Any items or cargo carried behind the rear seat shall not exceed 100 lbs in total weight. Using the roof or exterior of these vehicles to carry loads of any kind is prohibited.
Anytime that a 15-passenger van is operated with less than ten (10) passengers, all passengers must sit as far forward in the vehicle as possible. Any cargo carried inside of the vehicle must be positioned as far forward as practical.
4. CONTACT INFORMATION:
Questions concerning this policy or any 15-passenger van issue should be referred to the Physical Plant’s Motor Pool Dispatcher for clarification (843-953-6851).
FOR THE PRESIDENT:
CHARLES B. REGER
Colonel, USAF, Retired
Executive Assistant to the President