Transportation of Children in Smith College Vehicles
In April 2008, Governor Deval Patrick signed Senate Bill 2018, dubbed the Booster Seat Bill, into law. Effective July 10, 2008, this enhancement of the Massachusetts Child Passenger Safety Law requires that all children riding in passenger motor vehicles must be in a Federally-approved child passenger restraint that is properly fastened and secured until they are 8 years old or over 57 inches tall. This significantly increases the number of children who are required to ride in a booster seat.
When children outgrow their booster seats (usually around age 8 but more importantly when they are 4 feet 9 inches tall), they can use the adult seat belt in the back seat if the belt fits properly.
College programs or activites requiring transportation should not be approved for children under the age of 8. Any deviations from this practice should be checked by contacting Risk Management.
- If for any reason a child under the age of 8 and who is shorter than 4’9” (57”) must be transported in a college vehicle, the parent is required and responsible for providing appropriate child passenger restraints for their child and for installing such restraints into the vehicle to be used.
- A parent or guardian must accompany his or her child in the college vehicle. It is preferred that the parent provide the transportation and the Smith student accompany the child and parent in the parent-owned vehicle.
College programs and activities may not use private vehicles to transport minors.
Drivers are responsible for ensuring that all passengers are wearing safety belts at all times. If a passenger removes their safety belt while the vehicle is moving, the driver must stop as soon as it is safe to do so and instruct the passenger to refasten their safety belt. The vehicle may not proceed until all passengers are wearing their safety belts.
If the passenger is a minor and refuses to wear the safety belts, the driver should call the program or activity director for support. The director may reach out to campus police for assistance, call the parents, or take other necessary action to remove the child from the vehicle so that the program/activity and vehicle may proceed.
Vehicles that are transporting minors should always have two adults (may be two Smith students as long as they are over 18) accompanying the children. One adult is responsible for driving; the other is responsible for supervising the children.
Driver must carry a copy of the permission form for each child when transporting children.
Drivers must also follow the policies and procedures as outlined in the College's Vehicle Use and Safety Handbook. This includes driver credentialing and training prior to any College vehicle use.