Vehicle Safety Policy

G.1

 

  1. POLICY STATEMENT

    The University of Southern Indiana (USI) Vehicle Safety Policy is designed to ensure that only qualified Authorized Drivers utilize USI vehicles, set expectations for safe use of USI vehicles, and establish accident reporting requirements.

    The safety of USI’s employees, students and the public is paramount. This policy is intended to reduce the potential risk of vehicle accidents and to provide safe conditions and equipment for employees, students, campus visitors and the general public. USI’s policy on VEHICLE SAFETY is based on the following two principles:

    1. Safety will take precedence over expediency or short cuts.
    2. Compliance by each USI Authorized Driver with traffic laws, local vehicle ordinances and USI vehicle safety policies and rules while operating a USI vehicle or other vehicle on USI business.

     

  2. SCOPE

    The procedures and responsibilities listed in this document apply to each USI driver who is engaged in the operation of any USI vehicle as defined in this policy on either public or private property.

  3. DEFINITIONS

     

    1. USI vehicle: a USI owned, leased, rented or loaned licensed motor vehicle or any personal vehicle used for USI business purposes, as well as any USI owned, leased, rented or loaned licensed or unlicensed golf/utility cart.
    2. USI “Potential” Driver: Must be 18 years of age or older and have a valid driver’s license and meet all requirements in Section IV of this document in addition to being:
      1. Employee (faculty, staff) of USI whose job description requires driving as a condition of employment.
      2. Employee of USI on official business travel per USI Travel Policy https://www.usi.edu/travel-services/travel-policy/ .
      3. USI student (undergraduate, graduate) working in a paid position on campus who is either traveling on valid USI business or whose job description requires driving as a condition of employment.
      4. Other individual who may be permitted on an occasional basis to drive on valid USI business.
    3. USI “Authorized” Driver: A USI employee, USI student or other individual who has met all requirements of Section IV and V of this policy.
    4. “Conditional” Driver: An Authorized Driver who must comply with assigned conditions, per Appendix B, to continue to drive a USI vehicle.

     

  4. RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. The Risk Management Department is responsible for screening and authorizing of each Potential Driver of a USI vehicle based on the criteria in this policy and the provisions of USI’s Employee Handbook.
    2. Each Potential Driver of a USI vehicle is required to meet the qualifications of this policy, which include (1) the successful completion of all required training, (2) read the Vehicle Safety Policy, (3) agree to operate a USI vehicle in accordance with these policy requirements not only for the Driver’s own safety, but for the safety of USI and all others as well.
  5. DRIVER QUALIFICATIONS
    1. The following qualifications must be met to be an Authorized Driver.
      1. DEPARTMENT AUTHORIZATION. Department Head must identify (via email) to Risk Management the employee(s) or student(s) as a potential driver(s) for USI business.
      2. MVR CHECK. Each identified Potential Driver must consent to a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check per the approval requirements set forth in this policy. Situations which may affect driver approval consist of any combination of violations or convictions which total five or more points in the previous three years. Indiana law assesses a point value for each conviction of moving violations. The point value relates to the seriousness of the offense in posing a risk to traffic safety. Point values for offenses vary depending on the violation. Risk Management will convert violations from outside the state of Indiana to the Indiana point system, based on violation, to ensure fairness as much as possible. Potential Driver must have an acceptable driving record (preventable accidents and moving violations) as determined by USI’s Risk Management Department in conjunction with USI’s Office of Public Safety based upon the driver’s motor vehicle record.
      3. DRIVING EXPERIENCE. Potential Driver must have a minimum of FIVE (5) years licensed driving experience. Exception: An employee or student of USI who is at least eighteen (18) years old, has a minimum of one (1) year of driving experience with a valid driver’s license, and meets all other requirements of this section may operate a USI vehicle in the course of assigned duties, but ONLY within Vanderburgh County and the four (4) adjacent counties (Posey, Gibson, Warrick and Henderson). When a vehicle is rented from a rental agency, the rental agreement requirements must be met regarding age of driver.
      4. MANDATORY TRAINING. Each Potential Driver of a USI vehicle must first successfully complete the online defensive driver training and the golf/utility cart safety training. This training is available at http://afi.lezage.com/login.cfm?dp=7. For Login password contact the Risk Management Department at 812-465-7003 or 812-461-5366. Once initial training is completed, retraining must be completed every four (4) years, unless a work related accident requires more frequent retraining.
      5. POTENTIAL DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT. Potential Driver must have read this Vehicle Safety Policy and have a signed Potential Driver Acknowledgement form that is to be retained on file by the Risk Management department.
      6. FINAL AUTHORIZATION. Before authorizing employee or student to utilize a USI vehicle, Risk Management will notify department head that potential driver has met all qualifications and been declared an Authorized Driver to drive a USI vehicle.
  6. AUTHORIZED USE OF A USI VEHICLE
    1. Each USI vehicle is to only be used for official purposes and not be abused. Any USI vehicle may not be used for personal business, including commuting to and from work (i.e., traveling to and from the employee's residence to the work station) and commuting to restaurants, clubs, social engagements or other personal activities where no USI business is transacted. The only exception is a vehicle provided for an approved USI employee. Any family member of a USI employee with an assigned USI vehicle must meet the requirements of this policy to be able to drive such vehicle.
    2. If an accident occurs or a claim arises out of unauthorized personal use of a USI vehicle, the Authorized Driver may be personally responsible and required to pay for the damages to the USI vehicle as well as for claims from third parties including passengers. An Authorized Driver may contact his/her auto insurance agent with any questions to be sure appropriate personal coverage is in place.
    3. Any passenger in a USI vehicle is limited to employees of USI, students and others on USI business, official guests of USI or individuals to whom USI wishes to extend this courtesy. Any family member who is not an employee of USI may ride in a USI vehicle only with appropriate travel authorization. Picking up hitchhikers or casual riders is not permitted.
  7. STUDENT DRIVER OF A USI VEHICLE
    1. A student who meets all driver qualifications, including mandatory training, may be authorized to drive a USI vehicle.
  8. USE OF A PERSONAL VEHICLE ON USI BUSINESS
    1. If a USI employee who is an Authorized Driver drives a personal vehicle on official USI business, that employee is eligible for reimbursement of the business miles driven subject to prior approval of the employee’s supervisor and the employee’s department financial manager. The business mileage rate includes all costs of operating the vehicle including gas, depreciation and insurance. The current business mileage rate can be found at https://www.usi.edu/travel-procurement/mileage-rate/.
    2. If an accident occurs during such operation of the personal vehicle on USI business, the vehicle owner's insurance is the sole insurance available to protect the vehicle owner, driver and any passenger. USI’s business auto policy only applies in excess of the policy limits of the personal vehicle’s insurance and then only for the protection of USI.
    3. Any deductibles on the personal auto insurance policy are the responsibility of the individual and not USI. Contact your personal auto insurance agent for any questions about your insurance.
  9. OPERATION OF A USI VEHICLE
    1. It is the responsibility of each Authorized Driver to drive in a safe manner conforming to all applicable USI, local and state traffic laws and regulations. It is recommended that headlights be on at all times when the vehicle is being operated and to take frequent rest stops. In addition, each Authorized Driver is responsible for the conduct and actions of each passenger in the vehicle.
    2. Any Authorized Driver failing to adhere to this Vehicle Safety Policy may have his/her driving authorization withdrawn and may be subject to disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal in accordance with USI’s Employee Handbook.
    3. Citations received for failure to abide by any applicable traffic and/or safety law is the responsibility of the driver, including any financial responsibility, and not USI.
  10. OPERATION OF A PASSENGER VAN
    1. The largest van that can be utilized, rented or leased is a fifteen (15) passenger van. Due to the handling characteristics of this vehicle, extra care should be taken in its use, operation, and maintenance including inspecting the tires regularly for wear, deterioration and inflation. Both passenger weight and baggage weight (including but not limited to coolers, supplies, backpacks, etc.) are to be loaded towards the front of the vehicle first so that passenger and baggage weight are in front of the rear axle as much as possible.
    2. Only a more experienced Authorized Driver will be permitted to operate such a vehicle.
    3. No luggage or cargo is to be loaded on the top of the van roof. No trailer towing is permitted.
    4. Take frequent rest stops on longer trips.
    5. Fifteen (15) passenger vans used by Admissions for campus tours may be driven on campus only while loaded with 15 passengers, including the driver and may not exceed the 15 mph posted speed limit on campus.
  11. MANDATORY SEAT BELT USE
    1. Each Authorized Driver and each passenger in a vehicle being used on official USI business shall be required to wear seat belts at all times. It is the driver’s responsibility to enforce this rule.
    2. Exception: Seat belts are not required in golf/utility carts where manufacturer provided seat belts do not exist.
    3. Tickets received for not wearing a seat belt are the financial responsibility of the employee not wearing the seatbelt, not USI.
  12. AUTHORIZED DRIVER RESPONSIBILITIES
    1. AUTHORIZED DRIVER SHALL:
      1. Insure the number of passengers transported shall not exceed manufacturer’s specifications, including the driver. Each passenger shall be seated in a factory- standard automobile seat which is equipped with a seatbelt and properly attached to the vehicle. No passengers are allowed to be transported in the beds, sides or rear of the vehicle except in the case of an injured person on a backboard.
      2. Insure each occupant wears a safety belt when the vehicle is in operation or while riding in a vehicle. Passengers younger than eight years of age are required by Indiana law to be properly secured in a child restraint system such as a child car seat or booster seat. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) as a part of the United States Department of Transportation and the National Safety Council recommends putting children younger than twelve (12) years of age in the back seat. Go to https://www.nhtsa.gov/equipment/car-seats-and-booster-seats for more information.
      3. Golf/utility cart passengers must be in seats designed for such use. No standing on carts in operation is permitted at any time.
      4. Not operate a vehicle at any time when his/her ability to do so is impaired, affected, or influenced by alcohol, illegal drugs, prescribed or over-the-counter medication, illness, fatigue, or injury.
      5. Report the suspension or revocation of driver’s license immediately to supervisor and Risk Management utilizing the Self-Disclosure Form (Appendix C). If not reported immediately, employee may receive disciplinary action.
      6. Utilize appropriate signals when turning or changing lanes.
      7. Not engage in activities that would distract from the safe operation of the vehicle including, but not limited to, electronic device use, text messaging or reading while operating the vehicle. An Authorized Driver on USI business who wishes to use an electronic device in the vehicle must follow these procedures:
      8. Use an external speaker and microphone to allow hands-free operation.
      9. Refrain from placing outgoing calls, text messaging or responding to other electronic communication devices while the vehicle is in motion.
      10. Limit incoming calls.
      11. For any vehicle equipped with a cellular telephone that does not meet the above equipment specifications, use of the telephone or any other electronic communication device is authorized when the vehicle is safely parked.
      12. Public Safety is granted exception to this Section XII, 7.
      13. Not wear headphones or listen to loud radio sounds that may prevent hearing traffic warning devices.
      14. Not engage in “horseplay” while operating a vehicle.
      15. Insure the safe transport of materials and goods by securely fastening all loads, fastening all doors, securing tailgate and providing warning flags on all oversize loads.
      16. Comply with all USI, local and state traffic laws, including all of USI’s Traffic and Parking Regulations (https://www.usi.edu/public-safety/parking/traffic-and-parking-regulations/).
  13. VEHICLE ACCIDENT REPORTING PROCEDURES

    It is the responsibility of an Authorized Driver to report any accident, regardless of damage, that involves any USI vehicle or a personal vehicle used on USI business.

    1. USI Public Safety or Local Law Enforcement
      1. On Campus Accidents: Contact USI Public Safety at 812-464-1845 (non- emergency) or 812-492-7777 (emergency).
      2. Off Campus Accidents: Contact 911 or the local law enforcement agency.
    2. Facility Operations & Planning’s Motor Vehicle Operations & Department Head
      1. Each driver should follow the accident reporting procedures found at http://www.usi.edu/media/4162574/owned-and-locally-rented-vehicles.pdf or in the kit provided with the keys (no kit is provided for golf/utilities carts).
      2. Any accident shall be reported immediately to driver’s department head and to Facility Operations & Planning’s Motor Vehicle Operations office at 812-464- 1729. If contact cannot be made to the department head or Motor Vehicle Operations, call USI Public Safety dispatcher, who is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 812-464-1845.
    3. Risk Management
      1. Contact Risk Management as soon as possible after an incident once any injured personnel receive appropriate medical attention. Risk Management can be contacted by telephone at (812) 465-7003 or (812) 461-5366 or email at riskmgmt@usi.edu. Failure to report an accident, however small, to Risk Management is a violation of this policy.
      2. The completed Accident Report Form (https://www.usi.edu/media/5606915/vehicle-accident-report-form.pdf) is to be given to USI Risk Management Department as soon as possible so Risk Management can notify the appropriate insurance company as required.

     

 

Appendix A

POTENTIAL DRIVER ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

Read and complete the information below, check the appropriate boxes and return to Risk Management. (This form may be completed using Qualtrics. Contact Risk Management for appropriate link.)

Download Form

Appendix B

Each Potential Driver must consent to a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check to ensure compliance with approval requirements set forth in this policy. Situations which may affect Potential Driver approval consist of any combination of violations or convictions which total eight or more points in the previous three years. Indiana law assesses a point value for each conviction of moving violations. The point value relates to the seriousness of the offense in posing a risk to traffic safety. Point values for offenses vary depending on the violation.

MVR Point System for USI Employees

 

  Acceptable Monitored Conditional Requirements Must be Completed Unacceptable
Moving Violations 0-4 points in the past 3 years 5-7 points in the past 3 years 8-12 points in the past 3 years

Conditional requirements must be met in the timeframe given otherwise status will be moved to Unacceptable.
13 or more points in the past 3 years

Receiving an additional moving violation after being placed on conditional status

Drivers with active suspensions

Suspension or revocation in the past 3 years due to a traffic-related offense
Suspension - Non felony offense, i.e., failure to appear, failure to submit proof of insurance or failure pay a fine     Risk Management will review and make final determination on status Status will be determined by Risk Management Committee
Major Offenses       A single incident in the past 3 years for any felony crime committed with a vehicle or leaving the scene of an accident

A single incident in the past 5 years for any alcohol or drug- related driving offenses or refusing to take a substance test

MVR Point System for USI Student and USI Student Employees

 

  Acceptable Monitored Conditional Requirements Must be Completed Unacceptable
Moving Violations 0 - 4 points in the past 3 years 5-7 points in the past 3 years   8 or more points in the past 3 years

Drivers with active suspensions

Suspension or revocation in the past 3 years due to a traffic-related offense
Suspension - Nonfelony offense, i.e., failure to appear, failure to submit proof of insurance or failure pay a fine     Risk Management will review and make final determination on status Status will be determined by Risk Management Committee
Major Offenses       A single incident in the past 3 years for any felony crime committed with a vehicle or leaving the scene of an accident

A single incident in the past 5 years for any alcohol or drug-related driving offenses or refusing to take a substance test

For the purposes of this policy, the Indiana Driver’s License Point’s value system is being used. Risk Management will convert violations from outside the state of Indiana to the Indiana point system, based on violation, to ensure fairness as much as possible.

Any Authorized Driver who falls under the CONDITIONAL and MONITORED categories will be subject to:

MONITORED:

  1. Email every 4 months (or each semester) from Risk Management checking for any additional violations
  2. New MVR check ran every 6 months

 

CONDITIONAL:

  1. Every 3 months email from Risk Management to Conditional Driver checking for any additional violations
  2. New MVR check ran every 4 months
  3. Other restrictions as appropriate per Risk Management and Public Safety

Appendix C

USI Risk Management Office Self-Disclosure Form