Risk Management Protocols for School District Drivers
Director of Education & Government Practice
School districts are faced with a number of hiring challenges right now, and a prevalent driver shortage is an additional stressor. Almost every school district is struggling with a driver shortage, making it difficult to find transportation for students to extracurricular activities.
Many districts feel that they have no other option but to ask teachers, coaches, and volunteers to provide transportation for students. However, drivers for school districts shouldn’t be just anyone with a driver’s license – there are specific risk management protocols that school districts should follow when choosing the drivers that are responsible for students’ safe transport.
Driver requirements for school districts
Wisconsin school districts should be following all requirements for drivers and vehicles set forth in Wisconsin Statute 121.55: Alternative Methods of Providing Transportation.
This particular statute requires MVR checks of drivers, which the Wisconsin DMV PARS system makes available to public schools for free.
What constitutes an acceptable driving record?
School districts can take note of the criteria that the state of Wisconsin uses for its drivers:
Drivers may not drive for the state, if their driving record reflects any of the following conditions:
- Three or more moving violations* and/or at-fault accidents in the past two years
- An Operating While Intoxicated (OWI)/Driving Under the Influence (DUI) citation within 12 months
- Suspension or revocation of driver’s license
*The violation occurs when the citation is issued, not when the final court decision is made.
In addition, Wisconsin has an entire manual with rules and regulations regarding the use of state-owned vehicles that your district could implement as it sees fit for district-owned vehicles. However, before making changes to your district’s policy, please check to see if there are any existing board policies related to drivers and vehicles.
All of these rules, regulations, and risk management protocols will help keep your students, staff, and community safe as you work to address the driver shortage.
School districts should keep risk management protocols in mind as they choose drivers to transport students to extracurricular activities. Even though a driver shortage may limit options, it is imperative that safety be front of mind when it comes to student transport. Please reach out to your M3 account executive with any questions that you may have about your district’s driver protocols.