Crowdfunding appeal for BUSK legal opinion on school trip duty of care
BUSK is using a crowdfunding appeal to get a legal opinion on whether tour companies are failing in a legal duty of care if they do not provide suitable accommodation for drivers to rest and sleep on school trips. It has launched an appeal to raise £5,000 to fund work by its lawyer Mike Imperato.
The appeal states: “We need to raise £5,000 for a legal opinion of whether tour operators have a case to answer when they fail to provide adequate sleeping arrangements for coach drivers who may just be driving your child on school trips abroad.
“A European Commission Report showed that 30 per cent of coach crashes were linked to driver fatigue with the figure likely to be much higher.
“In 2016 a British coach driver admitted in court that he fell asleep at the wheel. He crashed, resulting in the death of a teacher. Many other pupils travelling on the coach sustained serious permanent injury. Pupil and teacher safety is compromised every time a school books a trip abroad with a tour company that cuts corners by not providing adequate accommodation that allows each driver to relax, rest and sleep to ensure they are safe to drive.”
BUSK is also calling attention to the use of adventure holiday sites where drivers are expected to sleep in tents.
“Tents cannot stop noise entering them so drivers just don’t sleep the way they need to,” says the BUSK appeal. “We must all remember that drivers are not on a camping holiday with the pupils...they are working and must have adequate sleeping arrangements. And it’s not only the amount of sleep, but the quality of sleep that is so important.”