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Pastor, Church & LawMember access only

by Richard R. Hammar, J.D., LL.M., CPA

Risks Associated with the Use of 15-Passenger Vans

§ 10.20
Key point. Many churches own 15-passenger vans, and most use them exclusively to transport children and adults on church-approved trips. These vans are designed to transport cargo, not people, and that they lack the many safety features required of school buses. The safety of these vans has been questioned by several "safety advisories" issued by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA). This advisory warns that the "rollover" rate of 15-passenger vans increases nearly seven times when they are driven with more than 15 occupants. The rollover rate is three times greater for 15-passenger vans with 10 or more occupants than for vans with less than 10 occupants. Churches should consult with legal counsel before using such vehicles.

You don't have to drive very far before encountering a 15-passenger van. The federal government estimates that there ...

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