Legislated RequirementsTransportation / Operator Permits:
Before an organization or individual may transport passengers for gain, they need to obtain a public operating licence. This approves the organisation as a formalised company in good standing.
The professional driving permit (PrDP)
Unlike the old public driving permit (PDP), which was only required for drivers of public carrier vehicles, the professional driving permit (PrDP) is also required for drivers employed by companies carrying their own goods.
Drivers of the following vehicles must hold a licence card, endorsed with an appropriate PrDP:
- Heavy goods vehicle, loaded or empty, (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC)
- Breakdown vehicle
- Bus above 3 500 kg GVM (codes C1, C, EC1 and EC)
- Bus or minibus with seating for more than 12 including the driver
- Taxi or other vehicle carrying paying passengers (e.g. an ambulance)
- Vehicle carrying more than 12, including the driver, whether or not it has enough seats and irrespective of its weight
Certificate of Fitness (COF):
A certificate of fitness (CoF) is a regular check to ensure that your vehicle meets required safety standards. Legally you must have your vehicle inspected for a CoF every 12 months. Vehicles requiring this certification are:
- Heavy vehicles - trucks, larger trailers, motor homes
- All passenger service vehicles - taxis, shuttles and buses
- Rental vehicles
It is the operator’s responsibility to keep their vehicle in CoF condition at all times. For example, while the tyres on the vehicle may pass on the day of your certificate inspection, they will need to be replaced as soon as the tread gets to the minimum depth as indicated by the minimum depth indicator on the tyre or 4mm. Should this be left until the next inspection the operator may run the risk of receiving a fine.
What a CoF inspection covers:
The CoF inspection is a general safety check, where various operating aspects of the vehicle are inspected according to legislated requirements, these include:
- Tyre condition (including tread depth)
- Brake condition and operation
- Structural condition (rust is not allowed in certain areas)
- Towing connection condition and certification
- Load restraints such as load anchorages, log bolsters, or curtain systems for condition and applicable certification
- Certificate of loading (display and validity)
- Transport service licence number (if required)
- Lights (are all bulbs working)
- Glazing (is your windscreen safe?)
- Windscreen washers and wipers
- Doors (do they open and close safely?)
- Safety belts (must not be faded or damaged; buckles must work properly)
- Airbag (if fitted)
- Speedometer (must be working)
- Steering and suspension (must be safe and secure)
- Exhaust (there must be no leaks and the exhaust must not be smoky or louder than the original exhaust system)
- Fuel system (there must be no leaks)
Passenger liability cover is available and provided to protect the owners and drivers of the vehicle for any legal liability to their passengers whilst traveling in the insured vehicle.
This provides cover against any claims that may arise while a client is in the motor vehicle, whether moving or stationary. This includes the embarking and disembarking of the vehicle.
Please Note: Many people confuse this with public liability, which only takes effect when the client is outside the vehicle. Should an operator/guide transport people to any location such as accommodation, places of interest, etc, Passenger Liability is needed.
The pre-requisite here, is that the driver needs to be correctly licensed according to the regulations of the province in which they drive.
Who needs Passenger Liability Insurance?
Any individual or organisation transporting tourists, students, commuters (including fair paying passengers), the operator of a shuttle service, game viewing operator and so forth, require this cover.
Transportation of passengers by:
- Land: Shuttle, Transfer and Coach vehicles
- Sea: Yacht, Ski-boat, Houseboat, Canoe, Rafting
- Air: Fixed wing, Rotor wing, Hot Air Balloons
- Tour Operators, Tour Brokers, Tourist Guides
- Corporate Transport Operators
- Hire of Vehicle with Driver – Tourism
- Scholar Transport
Without this liability cover, organizations are fully exposed to the risk of liability claims, which not only threatens their financial survival, their employees’ jobs and the claimant’s chances of being fully compensated, but also impacts negatively on the general tourism industry and the country at large as a viable and attractive tourist destination.
Here one must also consider that even if the action against the organization is successfully defended in the court of law, the legal fees incurred over the often lengthy process of defending the case can often exceed the amount of the initial action.
What are the Typical claims incurred on Passenger Liability Insurance?
Common law claim for damages by someone who is injured or suffers some form of quantifiable financial loss while in the insured’s care. Legal liability arising from accident or other incidents which might occur, for example, during guided tours, safaris, transportation where you have been deemed to have been negligent.
Take Note: Negligence is simply doing something without a reasonable amount of care, or failing to have done something without a reasonable amount of care, or failing to have done something that might reasonably have been done to prevent the incident from having occurred in the first place.