To: Member Associations/Club Teams
Fr: BC Ringette Association
Re: Team Transportation Insurance Coverage

November 3, 2008

To ensure the safety of its members, BCRA would like you to circulate the following information to your membership. Especially to those who may be responsible for transporting other BC Ringette members such as players and in particular to those who may operate large multi-passenger vehicles for team travel.

BC Ringette volunteers receive, in particular, liability insurance coverage as part of their membership with BCRA. This is especially important should there be some sort of accident resulting in a lawsuit in which they are named.

It is important to note that coverage under BCRA’s insurance program for volunteers in these situations is based on the level of qualification or certification the driver has under the Province of British Columbia’s vehicle licensing program. To maintain their BCRA insurance coverage, members are restricted to operating vehicles for which they are rated by the province of British Columbia. No matter where they are.

As an example, if a BC Ringette registered volunteer is transporting players in a 15 passenger vehicle, their British Columbia driver’s license should be rated to permit that; regardless of whether they are operating the vehicle in BC or any other province.

BC Ringette members who operate larger vehicles than their BC license rates them to operate are NOT covered by BCRA’s insurance program.

Thank you

Wayne Leslie
Executive Director

Risks Associated with Driving 15-Passenger Vans

(Information from a report by the University of Alberta)

Fifteen-passenger vans are popular modes of transport for various people including: community groups, schools, universities and tour operators. Since these vans became available in the 1970’s, there have been a number of collisions involving rollovers and fatalities. In a three-month period in 2000, there were four rollovers involving university sport teams and this probably stimulated the analysis by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

While driving 15-passenger vans is not always inherently dangerous, there are some situations that can result in erratic vehicle response that an inexperienced driver might not be able to control and which could result in a collision or rollover.

Some factors that contribute to rollovers include: heavy loads, road and weather conditions, tire failure, excessive speed, consumption of alcohol, driver inattention and driver over-steering during an emergency maneuver. Many of the factors reside with the driver including: a lack of knowledge about effects of load on van driving response and inexperience in controlling this type of vehicle in different situations. This is why the University of Alberta requires drivers to have specific training to handle these vehicles. Common sense is not enough.

The Problem:
Because of their design, and relative to passenger automobiles, these vehicles are:

  • More prone to loss of control when heavily loaded
  • More difficult to recover after they go out of control
  • More prone to rollover after a driver has lost control

The reason for the increases frequency of rollovers when the vans are heavily loaded is because the centre of gravity for the vehicle is raised as more weight is added and the higher the centre of gravity, the less force is required to cause the van to rollover (the effect of base width and raising the center of gravity on tipping can be appreciated if you consider how hard it is to topple a brick that is laid on its side versus one that is stood on end). In addition, as load is increased, the proportion of weight on the rear axle increases and this makes the vehicle more difficult to control.