Ward vehicles

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rexgj
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Ward vehicles

Postby rexgj » Sun May 31, 2009 8:03 pm

It is my understanding that wards and stakes may not own, license, or insure vehicles, trailers or other highway or off highway vehicles. However, I have been unable to find verification. Anyone know the answer or reference?

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Postby lajackson » Sun May 31, 2009 8:32 pm

rexgj wrote:It is my understanding that wards and stakes may not own, license, or insure vehicles, trailers or other highway or off highway vehicles. However, I have been unable to find verification. Anyone know the answer or reference?


Start with the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, page 280.

The Scouting handbook also has some instructions on off-highway vehicles.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Jun 02, 2009 3:19 pm

lajackson wrote:Start with the Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 2, page 280.

The Scouting handbook also has some instructions on off-highway vehicles.


I should expound for the benefit of those who do not have access to the CHI.

The CHI reference will tell you that organizations should not own vehicles. It provides further information on the best means of transportation to use for Church activities.

The (LDS) Scouting handbook actually is not the place where I read about other vehicles. My memory is not as good anymore as . . . I forget. However, the BSA Guide to Safe Scouting is quite clear on the subject of off-highway vehicles. It is available online, and will tell you that all-terrain vehicles (three- and four-wheeled) are banned from BSA program use.

Since the BSA bans them, I personally would not feel comfortable using them in any Church activity, whether a part of Scouting or not. Of course, with that BSA policy, they cannot be used for a Scouting activity.

Hope that helps.

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Postby jbh001 » Wed Jun 03, 2009 7:29 am

You seemed to address everything except trailers. So a ward/stake cannot own and license a trailer for hauling canoes or camping equipment? Hmmm.

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Postby lajackson » Wed Jun 03, 2009 2:18 pm

jbh001 wrote:You seemed to address everything except trailers. So a ward/stake cannot own and license a trailer for hauling canoes or camping equipment? Hmmm.


Well, you are very observant and noticed that. Everyone I have ever talked to will discourage it, the FM Group will tell you not to store a trailer on the Church property, and most folks will have fits if you do it. And, personally, I would not allow it if I were in a position of leadership that had any say over it.

(To clarify: I would not allow the organization, i.e., ward/branch, to own it.)

However, as far as I know, there is nothing in the handbooks that I am aware of on that subject.

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Postby nbflint » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:52 am

Boy Scout troops can own trailers and many do. My Scout troop owned two, one for hauling gear and one for hauling canoes. The trailers were stored in a members yard when not being used.


rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:07 pm

Scout troops, or more correctly, "wards" DO own trailers, which is quite different from "CAN" own trailers.

The church does not sanction vehicle ownership by wards and stakes. So a ward decides to buy a trailer for hauling scout equipment, they buy the trailer, license it (in the ward's name), and insure it with tithing money (budget allowance). The scoutmaster hooks up to the trailer, loads up the equipment and the boys and heads out on the freeway for their weekend campout.

Six miles down the freeway, the trailer comes loose, gyrates wildly, crosses over the narrow median, flips and crashes head on into an oncoming car filled with an attorney and his family on their way to Disneyland.

Within a few days, the church gets notice that it is being sued because of negligence on the part of an LDS driver, towing a trailer owned by the LDS Church. You see where this is going. This is the problem, and this is why the church prohibits ward ownership of vehicles--of any kind.

I was recently releases as bishop and faced this trailer ownership issue. Our scoutmaster wanted to donate his trailer to the church--well, no, it didn't happen, and the issues are kind of endless. So if any of you are bishops, call The Church and ask to talk to an attorney regarding vehicle ownership by a ward. You will be connected to a McConkie and McConkie attorney. Please let us know how the conversation goes.

rexgj
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Postby rexgj » Fri Jun 05, 2009 8:25 pm

A few other thoughts.

In the church we transport youth all the time, to the temple, to girls camp, to scout camp, to adventure camp, to Day Camp, and a myriad of other activities. But this is all done in private vehicles, and the owner's insurance will cover damages and liability in the event of an accident.

But when a church owned vehicle is used, especially one the church is unaware of, has not approved, and has forbade it's use--we tred on thin ice and open up the church to lawsuits, and possibly the bishop and other local leaders.

Can you imagine a capable lawyer, in court, asking a bishop to explain why the church does not allow local ownership of vehicles, and yet he licensed and insured a vehicle that was involved in an accident? Can you imagine the field day a good attorney would have with that issue?

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Postby russellhltn » Fri Jun 05, 2009 9:10 pm

While liability is a concern, we need to stick with policy and not get into legal speculation.
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Postby rexgj » Sat Jun 06, 2009 7:47 am

RussellHltn wrote:While liability is a concern, we need to stick with policy and not get into legal speculation.

Agreed, I was only making the point that policy, in this instance, is probably driven by legal realities.


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