Colorado group tightens van policy

Posted on April 1, 2002

DENVER — An insurance pool that provides coverage to 130 of the 178 school districts in Colorado has approved a plan that will curtail the use of non-conforming vans for student transportation. The Colorado School Districts Self Insurance Pool (CSDSIP) voted to stop adding new or used 15-passenger vans (used for transporting students) to its policies beginning July 1. Coverage of 15-passenger vans put into service before July 1 will continue until 2007, but with a minimum surcharge of $1,500. After Jan. 1, 2007, the pool will not insure any 15-passenger vans. In a memo to superintendents and transportation supervisors of participating districts, Cheryle Sullivan, executive director of CSDSIP, said the four-and-a-half-year phase-out period gives districts ample time to replace vans with Type A school buses or allowable alternate vehicles. “CSDSIP realizes that by taking this proactive measure it will affect members financially and considered this when developing the plan,” Sullivan said in the memo. “However, we do believe the No. 1 priority is the safety and security of students.” Bruce Little, Colorado’s state pupil transportation director, said the insurance pool took matters into its own hands. “Since the General Assembly is not interested in phasing out the vans, the insurance company will,” he said. The measure also eliminates coverage of rented or leased 15-passenger vans beginning July 1. Vans used for purposes other than student transportation, such as in maintenance or food service, will still be eligible for coverage. The following table shows van use by state as of January 2002. At least a half-dozen states have changed their stance on the use of non-conforming vans for school transportation since we last gathered this data two years ago. The movement is universally in one direction — toward prohibiting the use of 10-plus passenger vehicles that don’t meet school bus safety standards. Van Use By State

Van Use By State
State Approved for home-to-school Approved for activity trips
Alabama No No
Alaska No Yes
Arizona No Yes
Arkansas No No
California No No
Colorado Yes Yes
Connecticut No Yes
Delaware No No
Florida No No
Georgia No n/a
Hawaii No No
Idaho Yes Yes
Illinois No Yes
Indiana Yes Yes
Iowa No No
Kansas No No
Kentucky No No
Louisiana No No
Maine No No
Maryland No No
Massachusetts Yes Yes
Michigan Yes Yes
Minnesota Yes Yes
Mississippi No No
Missouri Yes Yes
Montana No No
Nebraska No No
Nevada No Yes
New Hampshire No No
New Jersey No No
New Mexico n/a n/a
New York No No
North Carolina No Yes
North Dakota No No
Ohio No No
Oklahoma No No
Oregon No No
Pennsylvania No No
Rhode Island No Yes
South Carolina No No
South Dakota No No
Tennessee No No
Texas No Yes
Utah No No
Vermont Yes Yes
Virginia No No
Washington No No
West Virginia No Yes
Wisconsin Yes Yes
Wyoming No No
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