Top 10 Minibus Driving Tips
The MinibusClub.co.uk provides a useful guide for driving a minibus. In this article I have selected their top 10 tips for driving safely. Some may seem obvious but they are all worth mentioning. As a minibus driver you are ultimately responsible for your passengersâ€™ safety and the safety of other road users.
1. If your minibus is fitted with a microphone do not use it while the vehicle is moving, unless in an emergency.
2. Do not use a mobile phone. It is now illegal to use a hand held mobile phone or similar device when driving in the UK. It is not illegal to use a mobile phone earpiece or a speaker system but this is not advisable. The police can still prosecute a driver if they are not in proper control or driving carelessly whilst using the phone.
3. Do not engage in conversation with your passengers unless it is a short statement to inform them of safety issues, operational matters or the vehicleâ€™s location.
4. Ensure your passengerâ€™s behaviour does not endanger other road users or the safety of your vehicle. Do not allow anything to be thrown out of the windows. Advise passengers to stay seated and do not allow running in the aisle. Try to prevent boisterous behaviour and prevent passengers distracting you whilst driving.
5. Allow sufficient stopping distance from the vehicle in front. The stopping distance in a minibus is far greater than that of a car. Remember to add your reaction time to that stopping distance. Extra care needs to be taken when travelling at speed on a motorway or in wet conditions.
6. Brake firmly only when travelling in a straight line. Braking on corners will cause instability. Reduce the minibusâ€™s speed before cornering. When descending a steep winding hill, brake firmly on the straights and ease off on the bends.
7. If taking children to school in a minibus with a passenger capacity of 8 or more, it is obligatory to display the 2 yellow retro-reflective warning signs bearing the symbol of 2 school children.
8. When driving on a motorway try to stay in the left hand lane. A minibus can use the fast lane of a motorway to overtake only if its gross weight does not exceed 7.5 tonnes.
9. Do not use your minibus horn when reversing unless there is danger to a pedestrian or another moving vehicle.
10. Do not park your minibus so that it may cause an obstruction to others. If parking at night, the vehicleâ€™s side and rear lights must be left on. It must always be parked on the nearside of the road unless in a designated parking space.
Driving your minibus safely will prevent accidents. It will also save you money on your minibus insurance as it will increase your no claims bonus. For more minibus advice, visit the Minibusclub.co.uk.