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I drive a mini bus for our seniors home. It has space or 6 ambulatory and 8 wheelchair passengers. Is there a requirement for us to have a written report of our Pre and Post trip inspections?
The vehicle carries 15 people, 14 passengers and a driver, so it is a bus:
"bus" means a motor vehicle designed to carry more than 10 persons;
This means that you have to carry out pre- and post-trip inspections that cover at least the following:
Pre-trip and post-trip inspections
37.22 (1) No carrier shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle unless the requirements of this section are met.
(2) The driver or a person specified by the carrier shall satisfy himself or herself that the commercial motor vehicle is in a safe operating condition including, but not limited to, the operating condition of the following items:
(a) service brakes, including trailer brake connections and brake adjustments;
(b) parking brake;
(c) steering mechanism;
(d) lighting devices and reflectors;
(g) windshield wipers;
(h) rear vision mirrors;
(i) coupling devices;
(j) wheels and rims;
(k) emergency equipment;
(l) load securement devices.
(3) The inspection referred to in subsection (2) shall be performed daily before the first trip of the day.
(4) If a trip lasts more than one day, the inspection required by subsection (2) shall be carried out on the second and every subsequent day of the trip no later than the first rest stop of the day.
(5) If a commercial motor vehicle's first trip of the day is to provide relief from an earthquake, flood, fire, famine, drought, epidemic, pestilence or other disaster by transporting passengers or goods, the inspection required by subsection (2) shall be carried out before the commercial motor vehicle's first trip that is not for that purpose.
(6) The driver or the person specified under subsection (2) shall, (a) at the end of the final trip of the day, or (b) where a trip lasts more than one day, on every subsequent day of the trip at the final rest stop of the day, inspect the commercial motor vehicle and record in the trip inspection report defects observed as a result of this inspection or while in charge of the commercial motor vehicle.
The Motor Vehicle Act Regulations set out who has to do a written trip inspection report:
Trip inspection report
37.23 (1) This section applies to a commercial motor vehicle to which Part 1 of Division 25 of this regulation applies under section 25.01 (2), but does not apply to
(c) a 2 axle vehicle with a licensed gross vehicle weight not exceeding 14 600 kg, excluding a bus, school bus, special activity bus or special vehicle,
(2) A carrier shall require every driver employed or otherwise engaged by the carrier or a person specified by the carrier to prepare the trip inspection report in accordance with this section.
(3) The driver or the person specified by the carrier under subsection (2) shall prepare, for each commercial motor vehicle driven, the trip inspection report in accordance with this section in legible writing before driving the commercial motor vehicle for the first time in a day.
(4) The trip inspection report shall
(a) state the licence plate or unit numbers for the commercial motor vehicle,
(b) specify any defect in the operation of each item listed in section 37.22 (2),
(b.1) specify any defect in the operation of the commercial motor vehicle if that defect, not otherwise described under paragraph (b), may affect the safe operation of the commercial motor vehicle,
(c) state that no defect was discovered or came to the attention of the driver, should that be the case,
(d) state the date the report is made, and (e) contain the signature of the driver or other person making the report.
(5) No carrier shall permit a driver to drive, and no driver shall drive, a commercial motor vehicle unless the driver has the current trip inspection report in his possession.
(6) A driver shall, on the request of a peace officer, produce to the peace officer for inspection the current trip inspection report.
Interpretation and application
25.01(2) This Part applies to
(b) a bus, including a school bus in respect of which a permit has been issued under Division 11,
To make a long story short, yes, you must always do a written pre-trip report. You are only required to do a written post-trip inspection report if your post-trip inspection reveals a defect.
Of course, company policy can also mandate written reports where the law does not require them.
Aside from the obvious safety implications, this can be a significant benefit when done properly as it can provide protection in the even of an incident. The case law article Little v Einarsen explains.
The ICBC site has various publications, viewable online or downloadable pdf, etc. You can also pick up a free copy at any ICBC office.
Driving Commercial Vehicles Chapter 10 should cover any other questions about Pre-Trip Inspections.
In BC, demonstrating your ability to conduct a Pre-Trip has been part of every commercial Road Test since classification of licensing was introduced in 1973 or thereabouts. And of course, you need to hold a Class 4 Unrestricted license to drive that vehicle with passengers on board.
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