The Duties of a Passenger Assistant
- Supervise the passengers when boarding or leaving the vehicle, taking particular care if they are leaving by the rear exit. If driving abroad in a country that drives on the right, be aware that some doors may open onto the roadside.
- Check that no passenger boards or leaves the vehicle until it is at a complete standstill, and safely parked by a pavement or other traffic free area.
- Ensure the driver does not move off until everyone is safely seated, facing the front and wearing a properly positioned and adjusted seat belt (if fitted), or using a securely fixed and properly adjusted special harness, seat or child restraint if appropriate.
- Check that ambulant disabled passengers are seated safely, passengers travelling in wheelchairs are safely secured and wheelchairs not in use are securely stored.
- Ensure that passengers behave in an acceptable manner during the journey and do not distract the driver in anyway. Boisterous play must not be allowed, neither must smoking nor drinking alcohol. Passengers must remain seated and wearing their seat belts (if fitted) throughout the journey.
- Ensure that all luggage is securely stored and that all gangways and exits are kept clear.
- Ensure that when passengers are dropped off, they leave the vehicle safely; that no parts of their clothing are caught in the vehicle’s doors; that there is someone to meet them (a parent, guardian or carer in the cases of children and/or persons with disabilities).
- Ensure that children are never left unsupervised in the minibus, or if the vehicle breaks down.
- Only operate the passenger lift and other specialist equipment if trained and qualified to do so.
- Keep a complete list of the passengers, including details of any special needs, and ensuring that all passengers have returned to the vehicle after any rest stops.
- In the event of a breakdown or accident, ensure that children remain supervised, are given clear and firm instructions and if necessary, help in evacuating the minibus.
- Help to direct the vehicle if the driver needs to reverse, but do not stand directly behind the vehicle out of the driver’s sight. Children must never direct a reversing vehicle.
Courtesy of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA)