Vehicle & Driving Safety Management Plan
Purpose and Scope
Driving and the transportation of passengers presents the most significant risk of any of the activities offered by Travel Beyond. For this reason, driving and vehicle management requires this dedicated document (VDM) which explains, all of the mechanisms by which risk is reduced to a quantifiably acceptable level.
All driving staff must have the license appropriate for the vehicles they are expected to drive. Along with a minimum of first aid (20 hours) or equivalent.
Vehicle License Requirements
- Car: Has eight or fewer seats, can be driven by staff with European Category B
driving license. Must not be used to transport clients unless the driver has a
valid CPC entitlement. Cars must be registered as ‘ferðaþjónustuleyfi’ if used in a
- Minibus: Has between nine and sixteen seats, can be driven by staff with a
European Category D1 license and valid meirapróf (CPC) entitlement.
- Bus/Coach: More than sixteen seats, can be driven by staff with a European
Category D license and valid CPC entitlement.
Job descriptions & responsibilities of specific roles within Travel Beyond
Driver Guide (DG)
- Deliver Travel Beyond tours with an exceptional standard of safety and professionalism.
- Maintain a level of proficiency in first aid.
- Adhere to the Travel Beyond SMP and all supporting documents, without exception.
- Report guides who deviate from the SMP to GSM or similar (See Section 1.3.2.).
- Deliver ‘Shadow Training’ to AG when required.
- Continued professional development in the research of Icelandic history, folklore, geology flora and fauna.
Highlands Driver Guide (HDG)
- Travel Beyond´s private tours that involve driving Highland or F-Roads on modified vehicles and spending extended periods in rural and/or mountainous terrain.
- Maintain a level of proficiency in knowledge and skills required to operate modified vehicles.
- Maintain a high standard of knowledge and proficiency in First Aid and following the contingency plan when accidents happen.
- See Driver Guide Responsibilities.
Self-driven Expeditions Leaders (SEL)
- Maintain a high standard of knowledge and skills required to lead a convoy of vehicles travelling in the Highlands of Iceland.
- Maintain a high standard of knowledge to navigate with maps, compass, and GPS.
- Maintain a level of proficiency to give necessary instruction that might occur during the tour.
- Instruct drivers how to drive through obstacles, such as technically difficult sections and river crossing.
- See Driver Guided Responsibilities.
- See Highlands Driver Guide Responsibilities.
Aspiring Guide (AG)
- Shadowing other guides on tours.
- Continued professional development in all areas of the industry.
Icelandic Traffic Law
The Icelandic traffic laws apply to all Travel Beyond vehicles and their operation,
without exception. A brief overview of traffic laws is detailed below. More information is
available on how-to drive-in Iceland.
Overview of Regulations
- Speed Limits: The general speed limit is 50 km/h in urban areas, 80 km/h on
gravel roads in rural areas and 90 km/h on asphalt roads outside of urban areas.
- Annual inspection: All vehicles must have a valid skóðun
- Appropriate Equipment: Both summer and winter tires are allowed all year round.
The following legal restrictions and requirements apply to tread depth of tires and to studded tires:
- 1 November – 14th April: Studded tires may be used (but not compulsory)
- Minimum tread depth of studded tires is 3mm
- 15 April – 31 October: Studded tires prohibited.
- Minimum tread depth of summer and winter tires is 1.6 mm.
Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol is strictly prohibited.
No smoking in the vehicles.
All vehicles must have the appropriate licensing to carry passengers commercially, as
required by The Icelandic Transport Authority (Samgöngustofa):
General Operating License (Rekstrarleyfi):
All companies that drive passengers on a commercial basis must hold a general operating license for passenger transport. This license applies to all vehicles registered to carry more than 9
passengers. One of the conditions for obtaining a general operating license is that the applicant can demonstrate a positive equity position. Adequate financial position means having access to sufficient capital to set up a business and ensure its safe operation. The applicant must have equity and funds equivalent to ISK 1,150,000 for the first vehicle and ISK 640,000 per vehicle in excess of that.
To qualify for an operating license one staff member from Travel Beyond must undergo a week-long operating license course held by The Icelandic Transport Authority at The Driving School in Mjódd. The applicant’s knowledge in the areas of the field shall be tested. The Icelandic Transport Authority shall prepare a curriculum in consultation with the stakeholders involved in the field and in accordance with Article 8. of the above Regulation (EC) no. 1071/2009. The participation fee
must be specified in the curriculum and is paid for by Travel Beyond.
Travel Agency License (Ferðaskrifstofuleyfi):
In accordance with the Tourism Act, a travel agency denotes a party, whether an individual or a legal entity, which organizes, offers and sells package tours for a professional purpose, whether on own initiative or in response to a customer’s request, within Iceland or abroad. A travel agency can also undertake and provide all the travel-related services of a tour operator, whether in the form of package tours or not. The concept of a travel agency covers both travel wholesalers and travel retailers in accordance with Act No. 80/1994 with regard to package tours. Travel Beyond is a Licenced Travel Agency.
Means and Usage
Drivers must always be contactable by Dispatch during their work hours, the
primary means of communication is mobile phone, with the addition of a VHF radio when applicable and for tours in the highlands:
- Dispatch should only directly contact staff during their driving hours in the event of an emergency, in order to minimize distractions.
- Communication with guides whilst driving can occur only over a hands free microphone, and should never become a distraction to the driver.
Highland Driving and River Crossings
Travel Beyond offers tours into the highlands which involve driving on F-roads, mountain roads, trails and river crossings. These tours may be driver-guided or as guided 4×4 self-driven expeditions, the restrictions differ considerably depending on the precise nature of the tours. All operations in the highlands must be within the boundaries stipulated below.
- All guides operating these tours must meet all the criteria listed in the above
for Highland Driver Guide and Self-driven Expeditions Leaders.
- The vehicles used to access the highlands must meet the stipulated minimum vehicle requirement.
- All operations must be within the following F-roads boundaries, roads and trails found Icelandic maps & GPS. No offroad driving is allowed.
The SEL instructs drivers when needed on how to drive through obstacles, such as technically difficult sections and river crossings. If drivers are not comfortable driving across the guide will drive through the section for them. If conditions are too difficult the guide will turn back and find a different way to continue.
Travel Beyond operates tours using F-roads and gravel roads throughout the Country. Some areas have specific restrictions / boundaries put in place to help reduce the risks associated with this type of terrain. All of the dates included in this section are contingent on the roads opening and receiving the appropriate maintenance. Road openings can be viewed at road.is. Travel Beyond may operate tours using F roads and other mountain roads and tracks found on Icelandic maps and GPS. All trips must adhere to the minimum vehicle requirements.
It is vital to ensure all vehicles are in working order before transporting clients around the country, and so the following procedures are followed.
- Daily Checks: Passenger carrying vehicles must be checked according to the Daily Vehicle Checks from.
- Defects: All defects are reported to dispatch using the Vehicle Defect form as soon as they are discovered. Any defect affecting safety or performance of the vehicle must be rectified before the vehicle is used.
- Repairs and services must be conducted by a professional mechanic.