Operation and Use of University Vehicles

Policy Number: I.30
Policy Level: Operating Policy

Originally Issued: May 30, 2019

Policy Owner: Vice President for Financial Affairs
Policy Implementation: Director of Human Resources

I.  Policy Statement and Purpose

Athens State University maintains a fleet of vehicles for the purpose of conducting University business. For the purposes of this policy, a University vehicle includes all vehicles that are owned or leased, or rented by the University, including vans and golf/utility carts.

Effective Fall 2019, only current University employees are eligible to drive a University vehicle on University business and those employees must be in compliance with this policy.

Failure to comply with this policy and its procedures may result in suspension or termination of University vehicle operating privileges, and/or in disciplinary action in accordance with University policy, up to and including termination of employment.

II.  Driver Requirements

To be authorized to operate a University vehicle, an employee must:

  1. be at least 21 years of age
  2. possess a valid driver’s license, issued in the United States. The license must

be appropriate for the type of vehicle the driver is seeking authorization to operate.

  1.   have an acceptable Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) (see below),
  2. successfully complete the online driver training course provided by the University within 30

days of receiving authorization and as may be required annually.

  1. successfully complete any vehicle-specific training required by the University.
  2. contact the security office to be assigned a fuel card PIN.

III.  Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Review and Approval

Any employee that seeks or is required to operate a University vehicle must submit his/her driver’s license information to the Human Resources Office and authorize the University to access and review the driver’s MVR.  The Human Resources Office will review the driver’s MVR, and will determine whether or not the MVR is either acceptable or unacceptable for purposes of operating a University vehicle.  If the MVR is unacceptable, then the employee may not be granted permission to operate a University vehicle.  A University employee may not be granted permission to operate a University vehicle until the MVR is reviewed and approved.

Upon the initial adoption of this policy, the Human Resources Office will require the review of an MVR for every employee that has been issued a University fuel card PIN by the Security Office.  Employees who have not previously been issued a fuel card PIN should allow up to two weeks for an MVR check to be completed before they are allowed to operate a University vehicle.

The University may, annually or at any other time, require the review of a MVR for any University employee that may operate a University vehicle.

The University’s determination of whether a MVR is acceptable or unacceptable for purposes of operating a University vehicle is for internal use/purposes only and based on the discretion of the administrator reviewing the MVR.  It does not, in any way, constitute any assurance by the University to any person concerning the driving record, abilities, or competency of the employee, nor does it provide any predictive statement or guarantee as to the driver’s actions in the future.

IV.  Personal Vehicle Use for University Business

An employee may use their personal vehicle while on University business with approval (prior to travel) of their respective Dean/designee or Vice President/designee.  If the employee does so, then he/she does so at their own risk, as the University will not be responsible for any damage, repairs, or maintenance to the personal vehicle.  Personal vehicles may not be used for the transportation of students.  Employees using their personal vehicles must use and rely on their own personal insurance coverage, rather than that of the University, with respect to any damage, harm, or injuries associated with the use of the personal vehicle.  Athens State University strongly recommends the use of University vehicles for conducting University business.

V.  Self Reporting and Driving Record Changes

Employees who have been authorized to operate a University vehicle must report any change in their license/driving status immediately (i.e., if license has been suspended or revoked) to the Human Resources Office within one working day of any such change.  If the license is revoked or suspended, then the employee’s privilege to operate a University vehicle is similarly revoked or suspended.

VI.  Mechanical Problems/Accident Procedures

Any maintenance and/or mechanical issues related to a University vehicle should be reported immediately to the Security Office.

All accidents involving a University vehicle, or the personal vehicle of an employee while on University business, including but not limited to any use that results in any injury, harm, damage, or vehicular collision (however minor) must be reported to campus security and the driver’s supervisor within 24 hours.

The following procedures apply to operators of University vehicles following an accident:

  1. Off-campus, call 911 or appropriate law enforcement agency.   Find out from the investigating Officer the accident report number and how /where a copy can be obtained.
  2. On campus accidents, contact the security office at 256.233.8222.
  3. Do not admit fault or indicate that the University will pay for damages to the other vehicles or medical bills, towing, rental cars, taxi service or any other charges incurred by another party resulting from the accident.
  4. Exchange contact information with the other driver(s) involved and obtain contact information(name, address, phone number) of witnesses.  Make sure to provide the other driver with the name, address and phone number of the University’s insurance carrier that is kept in the glove compartment of all University vehicles.
  5. If there is personal injury, obtain relevant information as well as the hospital the person was taken, if any; the name and address of any ambulance used; and the extent of injuries, if known.

VII. Requirements and General Prohibitions

The following rules apply to all employees operating University vehicles.  Failure to comply with these requirements may delay future use of University vehicles or result in appropriate disciplinary action.

  1. Consumption or transportation of alcohol or drugs by drivers and passengers is prohibited in University vehicles.
  2. Smoking is prohibited in University vehicles.
  3. Pets may not be transported in University vehicles.
  4. Upon returning the University vehicle, the employee must turn in all receipts for fuel purchases charged to the University fuel card to the security office.

VIII.  Loss of Driving Privileges

An employee operating a University vehicle could face termination or suspension of driving privileges of University vehicles, along with other appropriate disciplinary action, for any of the following:

  1. Operating a motor vehicle without a valid driver’s license.
  2. Failing to report the suspension or revocation of his/her driver’s license.
  3. Failing to obey University and local traffic regulations.
  4. Operating a University vehicle outside of the scope of the destination and University related activity.
  5. Operating a University vehicle in a reckless or unsafe manner.
  6. Driving which results in the intentional destruction of property.
  7. Failing to report an accident involving a University vehicle to your supervisor and Campus Security.
  8. Operating a University vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

In addition, drivers are responsible for all fines, penalties, legal fees or other costs resulting from a citation or traffic/parking violation issued while operating a University vehicle or operating a personal vehicle while on University business.

IX. Responsibility for this Operating Policy

Policy Owner

As part of the initial approval of this policy by the President and subsequent to the original dissemination of the policy, the President has assigned the Vice President for Financial Affairs as the policy owner for the ongoing evaluation, review, and approval of this policy.  Subsequent reviews and revisions to this policy must be in accordance with approved operating policy procedures and processes.

This policy will be reviewed every three years or more frequently as needed by the Policy Owner.  Revisions will be reviewed/affirmed by the Cabinet and approved by the University President.  This policy will be updated/published in the University’s Policy Library.

Responsibility for Policy Implementation

The President has assigned the responsibility of implementing this policy to Director of Human Resources, under the direction of the Vice President for Financial Affairs.