We sympathize with the challenge this presents, but because of liability issues, we must insist that all children who are being transported in a church vehicle are in a secure seatbelt. It’s the law! It is part of the van attendant’s responsibility to help by monitoring this situation. We recommend that drivers begin to “retrain” any recalcitrant riders by asking the attendant to alert them whenever a child neglects to strap in after getting on the van. They should just calmly state that they are not permitted to put the van in motion until everyone is safely buckled. They should not start the van until the child complies.
If a passenger unbuckles when the van is in motion, the attendant should inform the driver so he can pull to the side of the road and wait until the child buckles up. In most cases, it likely will not take more than a few times of sitting on a motionless van for the children to realize that we are serious about not proceeding until everyone is safely secured according to the law.
If a child continues to resist this requirement after several attempts to encourage compliance, the driver should discuss the matter with the Sunday school superintendent, who will address the matter with the parents. If that does not bring cooperation, we ultimately will need to ask the child/parent to find another way to come to Sunday school. We simply cannot accept the liability of having unbelted children on our vans.