Environmental Health & Safety

15 Passenger Van Policy


January 2010

Effective immediately, Amherst College shall prohibit the purchase and/or rental of 15 passenger vans for reasons of safety and liability.

Following the warning issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration entitled "The Rollover Propensity of 15 Passenger Vans", the above referenced vehicle is considered to be far less stable than a passenger vehicle, placing the occupants and driver at considerable risk.

The center of gravity, which shifts for 15 passenger vans, is adversely affected by the increased number of passengers and the manner in which the vehicle is loaded, increasing the potential for rollover by three times when compared to a vehicle with less than 10 occupants.

Weather conditions, accident avoidance procedures such as quick maneuvers, sharp turns, drivers that are not properly trained or experienced in operating these vehicles will significantly increase the risk of rollovers, serious injury and fatalities.
Driving a vehicle such as a 15 passenger van with knowledge of hazard is an unacceptable risk. Operators could be held responsible for any accident.

The College has already replaced our fleet of 15 passenger vans. For those persons responsible for planning trip, attempts should be made to obtain vehicles that do not exceed 8 passengers and shall not utilize vans with a seating capacity in excess of 12.

Exception:

Buses that are hired or otherwise obtained by the College can be utilized, provided a professional driver holding the appropriate commercial driver's license operates the vehicle.

  • For additional policies and requirements on the general use of College vehicles, see the Vehicle Safety Policy
  • If you have any questions, comments or concerns about this policy, contact the Campus Police Department or the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.