Subject: 15 Passenger Van Seat Removal
From: Barry Law
Date: Wed, 07 Feb 2007 09:22:44 -0700
To: nmsu-abcd@nmsu.edu

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration issued a warning
expressing their concern over 15 passenger van rollover frequency.
There have been over 400 deaths attributable to rollovers involving 15
passenger vans, many of which were College students.  When the vans are
fully loaded they handle differently than when unloaded; the center of
gravity alters, causing the vehicle to be highly susceptible to
rollover whenever an abrupt maneuver is taken.

Although the larger vans are a great benefit to the University,
assisting with the transportation of students and cargo, their liability
exposure is too great to just ignore.  In light of these concerns and
the potential liability exposure faced by the University, the current
mode of operation of these vehicles must change.  Transportation
Services has taken the initiative of removing all the rear seats from
their 15 passenger vans.  We are recommending that all departments,
operating 15 passenger vans, do likewise and remove the rear seat.  The
removal of the rear seat, will in effect, limit the number of passengers
and alter the center of gravity, lessening the chances for rollover.
This does not remove however, the driver's responsibility to ensure that
all passengers are wearing seat belts, and that the vehicle is operated
in a safe manner.

If you are needing assistance removing the rear seats, need storage
space for the seats, or have any questions or concerns, please direct
those to Barry Law, Director of Transportation at 646-3295.