Motor Vehicle Operator Policy for University Vehicles
Policy Number: RM-2
Effective Date: July 1, 2003
Responsible Officer: Senior Vice President for Student Life and Administrative Services
The following guidelines for the operation and maintenance of motor vehicles have been adopted in accordance with Drexel University’s desire to provide a safe and healthy environment for students, employees, and visitors. This policy is intended to safeguard people, protect equipment, reduce operating costs, and reduce the frequency and severity of accidents involving University Vehicles both on and off campus. Driving a University Vehicle is a privilege. Drexel University reserves the right to deny or revoke driving privileges in the event that the University determines that the individual’s use of the University Vehicle poses a risk to the University or the public.
University Vehicle- any owned or leased vehicle by the University and/or any vehicle rented for University business and intended to be insured by the University’s automobile insurance policy. MVR-Motor Vehicle Record At-Fault Accident-Accident that is deemed chargeable or is on the driver’s MVR Violation-Any motor vehicle driving violation other than a parking ticket.
I. Policy Scope
This policy applies to every University employee, student, or any person to whom the University grants the privilege of operating a University Vehicle.
II. Eligible Driver Classifications
In order for an individual to be (“Eligible”) to drive a University Vehicle, the individual must fall within one of the classifications below:
- University employee who is a licensed driver, 18 years or older and authorized to drive by their supervisor.
- Graduate student who is a licensed driver, 18 years or older, and who holds the position of Research Assistant (“RA”), Teaching Assistant (“TA”) and/or Graduate Assistant (“GA”) and is authorized to drive by their Department Head in direct performance of University business. Under no circumstance will undergraduate students, graduate students not holding an RA, TA or GA position or someone who is no longer employed by or enrolled at the University be considered to be Eligible.
Even if an individual meets the requirement to be Eligible, the University will not grant the privilege to drive University Vehicles unless the driver meets the requirements set forth in this Policy.
III. Driver Requirements
The University may grant the right to drive a University Vehicle to a driver, if the driver is Eligible and meets all of the criteria set forth in section A and does not violate any provision of Section B. The University may revoke a driver’s right to drive a University Vehicle in the event that the driver fails to meet the criteria set forth in Section A, violates any provision in Section B or fails to follow the requirements of this Policy.
- All drivers must comply with the following:
- Have a valid United States driver's license for the class of University Vehicle that the individual drives or seeks to drive.
- Immediately notify their supervisor or manager if their driver’s license has been suspended or revoked or has had limitations placed upon it. The supervisor must notify the Office of Risk Management.
- Meet the insurability standards set by the University's automobile insurance carrier.
- Observe all applicable federal, state and local motor vehicle laws, ordinances, and regulations.
- Report all incidents in accordance with procedures outlined in Section V. (Accident Reporting and Analysis) and cooperate in any investigation of the incident and any subsequent proceedings.
- Wear a seat belt at all times and ensure that all passengers do so as well.
- Operate the vehicle in a courteous and safe manner.
- Submit a completed MVR release form authorizing the University to check the driver’s MVR.
- Maintain a motor vehicle record that meets the University standards set forth in this policy (“Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record”).
- All persons granted the privilege of operating a University Vehicle may NOT engage in the following:
- Knowingly operate an unsafe vehicle.
- Offer rides to hitchhikers or person unknown to the driver.
- Unauthorized personal use of the University Vehicles.
- Permit unauthorized persons to ride in University Vehicles.
- Smoke in University Vehicles.
- Consume or be under the influence of alcohol or any substance that may
cause impairment while operating a University Vehicle.
- Engage in any activity that exposes a risk to the University or the public.
- Before the University shall grant the privilege to drive a University Vehicle, the University must determine that the individual is Eligible and has met the requirements of this Policy, including having an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
- In order to make a determination that a driver has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record, the driver must submit a copy of his/her Driver’s License and a completed MVR release form to the Department of Human Resources authorizing the University to obtain the driver’s MVR. The driver’s department is responsible for the cost of the MVR and must submit an account number to charge on the MVR release form.
- The University may at any time review a driver’s MVR to determine if the driver still has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record. The University expects to review the driver’s MVR at the time of hire, annually or at a more frequent interval.
- If a new employee’s position requires that the new employee operate a University Vehicle, employment will be contingent upon the University determining that the new hire has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record and meets the requirements of this Policy.
- The University will determine that a driver has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record by reviewing 2 categories of Violations:
- Type 1
If the driver has been cited for any one of the following Violations within the prior five years, the driver will, at a minimum, no longer have an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record and will not be permitted to drive a University Vehicle:
- Reckless Driving or Driving to Endanger
- Driving under a suspended or revoked license
- Any Hit and Run, eluding a police officer or fleeing the scene of an accident
- Vehicular homicide or assault with a motor vehicle
- Use of a motor vehicle in the commission of a felony
- Driving Under the Influence (DUI), Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or operating a vehicle while impaired
- Filing a false accident report. Commission of any of these offenses may also subject the driver to action as outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy, up to and including termination. Once five years has elapsed since the date of the Violation(s) listed in E1, the University will no longer consider the Violation in its determination of whether the driver has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
- Type 2
If the driver has been cited for or involved in the following listed below, the driver will, at a minimum, no longer have an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record and will not be permitted to drive a University Vehicle:
- More than 4 Violations other than those listed in Section E1.
- Two (2) or more At-Fault Accidents
- A combination of Violations in E2 or At-Fault Accidents so that the total number of Violations in E2 and At-Fault Accidents is more than four (4).
Commission of any of these offenses may also subject the driver to action as outlined in the Performance Improvement Policy, up to and including termination. Once three years has elapsed from the date of the Violations or the At-Fault Accident (s), the University will no longer consider the moving violation (s) or At-Fault Accident (s) in its determination of whether the driver has an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
- The University may at any time review the activities or MVR of a driver to determine whether the driver meets the requirements of this Policy and is still permitted to drive a University Vehicle.
- Drivers receiving traffic citations or violations while operating a University Vehicle shall be responsible for paying in full any outstanding fines in accordance with all applicable federal, state and local laws.
V. Accident Reporting and Analysis
The purpose of the accident investigation is to determine what factors, conditions, and/or practices contributed to the accident involving a University Vehicle, so that proper action can be taken to prevent recurrence. A complete accident investigation includes gathering pertinent data and making objective evaluations of facts, statements, and related information, which should lead to recommendations for preventive measures. An insurance identification card and accident information kit, located in the glove compartment of all University Vehicles, lists the procedures to follow when involved in an accident.
- In the event of an accident:
- Stay at the scene of the accident, check for personal injury, and seek medical attention if necessary.
- Set emergency signals to prevent further damage or injury.
- Call the local police and notify your supervisor immediately. In the event the accident is on campus, notify the Department of Public Safety as well.
- Stay calm. Be courteous. Avoid arguments. Secure assistance of police and request that an accident report be completed. Make no statement concerning the accident to anyone except the police. Obtain the police officer's name and badge number. Do not admit fault, make no promises, settlement, or excuses.
- Record the names, addresses, and phone numbers of the occupants of involved vehicles and all witnesses.
- Obtain the names, addresses, and phone numbers of all persons injured, regardless of how minor the injury. Try to learn where the injured were sent.
- Record the insurance carrier of the other party, policy number, agent's name, address and phone number.
- Drive vehicle only if it has been determined by law enforcement authorities to be safe to do so.
- Before leaving the accident scene, verify that all the facts have been obtained.
- Risk Management must be notified within 24 hours of the accident. A completed Driver Accident Report form, as well as the Public Safety report (if applicable) must be submitted to Risk Management no later than two (2) business days of the accident. A police report must be submitted to Risk Management no later than seven (7) business days of the accident. It is the responsibility of the driver and/or supervisor to obtain the necessary police and Public Safety reports.
- The University will charge departments the insurance deductible for repair work caused from an accident involving a University Vehicle.
The Department of Risk Management will determine if further investigation is needed by the Department of Public Safety.
- At-Fault Accidents and Violations
- The University has established an Accident Review Committee (“ARC”) whose role is to determine whether it is still in the best interests of the University to permit the driver to continue to drive a University Vehicle after an accident or a Violation has occurred. The ARC consists of representatives from: the Office of Risk Management, Facilities Administration for Transportation, and the Department of Public Safety.
- The ARC meets quarterly to review the facts relating to the accident or violation to:
- In the event of an accident:
Determine if the accident was chargeable or non-chargeable.
If it is determined the accident was chargeable, then the accident will be deemed an At-Fault Accident and used to evaluate whether the driver continues to have an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
- In the event of a Violation:
The driver’s MVR will be reviewed in conjunction with the new Violation to determine whether the driver continues to have an Acceptable Motor Vehicle Record.
- The ARC will notify the driver and his/her supervisor of the ARC findings and required actions. Required actions may include training, suspension and/or revocation of driving privileges.
- In the event that driver refuses to cooperate in the reporting and investigation of the accident or provides false information, the accident shall be deemed an At-Fault Accident.
The University reserves the right to require training for all drivers. If the University determines that such training is necessary and the driver fails to complete the training within 90 days of notification by the University, the University shall revoke the driver’s privilege to drive a University Vehicle.
VII. Vehicle Inspection
- Drivers must complete a "walk-around" check of their vehicle for body damage prior to each use and immediately report any signs of new body damage to their supervisor and the Office of Risk Management.
- Drivers who suspect that their vehicles are unsafe must report it to their supervisor. The vehicle is not to be driven until the safety issue has been addressed.
Managers shall assure that each vehicle under his/her control receives appropriate scheduled preventive maintenance and Pennsylvania State and Emissions Inspections if required.
IX. 15 Passenger Vans
- No one is permitted to purchase, lease or rent 15 passenger vans for University activities or business.
- 15 passenger vans currently owned by the University may be used only if retrofitted by the Facilities Management Department and driving loads are restricted to 9 occupants or less including the driver.
- Forward seats should be loaded first at all times. Do not leave a front bench seat unfilled while placing passengers in a rear bench seat.
- Storage is NOT permitted on the roof of the van. Storage behind the last row of seats must be limited to 100 pounds.
X. Car Rentals
The University does not carry any insurance for physical damage (collision damage insurance) or theft (comprehensive insurance) of a rental vehicle. The collision damage and comprehensive coverage must be purchased when renting a vehicle for University business unless you rent the vehicle using the University’s Purchasing Card. The Purchasing Card provides coverage for collision and theft subject to the terms and conditions of the card. Certain vehicles are excluded. Please obtain a copy of the coverage offered by the Purchasing Card from the Department of Purchasing prior to renting a vehicle. The Purchasing Card must be in the driver’s name for coverage to be valid. If you do not have a Purchasing Card, you must purchase the coverage offered by the rental agency for collision and theft. The University will reimburse such expense to the traveler.
The University does carry automobile liability insurance (coverage for injury or damage to other vehicles/persons). This coverage should not be purchased at the rental agency. If an employee is involved in an accident during University business that results in an auto liability claim, a deductible will be charged to the department. If the accident was due to another party and the University is able to recover its expenses, the deductible will be reimbursed to the department. All accidents must be reported according to the guidelines in Section V. (Accident Reporting and Analysis).
XI. Car Rentals: Foreign Countries
Employees renting vehicles for University business in any location other than the Continental United States must purchase all insurance provided by the rental agency, including automobile liability insurance. In some foreign countries, it is illegal not to purchase the local insurance offered.
XII. Recommended Safety Tips
Use headlights 1/2 hour before sunset and after sunrise and during reduced visibility (i.e. rain, fog, snow). Headlights must be on if windshield wipers are in use. Acquaint yourself thoroughly with routing/road map prior to departure when traveling on unfamiliar roads. Reduce speed according to weather and road conditions. Use turn signals. Exercise caution when backing up a vehicle. Turn off ignition, remove key, and lock vehicle when unattended. Allow plenty of time for contingencies when planning the time to arrive at your destination. Do not allow the number of passengers to exceed the number of seat belts.
The information contained in this Policy is subject to change by the University at any time. Users of this Policy should consult with appropriate University offices to verify the current text or status of the policies, procedures, or information contained in this Policy and to determine whether information in this Policy or other publications has been superseded or changed.
Inquiries regarding this policy can be directed to the Office of Risk Management at (215) 895-2292.