Policy and Procedures Regarding University Vehicles

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Policy and Procedures Regarding University Vehicles

University vehicles include all motorized, licensed vehicles owned and operated by George Fox University to accomplish University business. This includes, but is not limited to all 12-passenger vans leased or owned by the University for transportation purposes as well as other automobiles and vans owned or leased by the University for transportation and/or other business functions. (NOTE: Separate, specific policies and training for non-licensed University vehicles - gators, tractors, riding lawnmowers, electric vehicles, etc. - are maintained and managed by Plant Services and are not included in this policy.) 

 The vast majority of property damage, personal injury, and death from motor vehicles are directly attributed to driver error.  It is a privilege and a responsibility to operate a university motor vehicle, particularly when passengers are involved.  For reasons of safety and liability, George Fox University reserves the right to be highly selective in approving drivers.

Policy for Driving University Vehicles

University vehicles must be used ONLY for university business, or sponsored curricular or co-curricular events. 

Reserving vehicles is on a first come, first served basis and if a student, requires a faculty or staff sponsor.  The sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the student driver and/or student group using the vehicle follows all policy guidelines and that all drivers are qualified per the requirements of this policy.

Every driver must be at least 21 years of age and a current university student, employee, or approved guest to be allowed to operate a 12-passenger van or other licensed University vehicle.

Vehicles are not to be kept overnight or over the weekend unless so reserved. They should be returned as soon as the trip has been completed so they can be made available as soon as possible to others wishing to use them.

All drivers must complete Vehicle Safety Training and be registered and approved by Plant Services before checking out or operating university vehicles. 

The training is required annually for student drivers and every three years for employees.

A person’s driving record will be checked through the applicable state’s motor vehicle department. This “check” is facilitated by the administrative assistant in the Finance Office and communicated to Plant Services.  This may result in a driver’s removal from the approved drivers list if the University is notified of violations as specified in section IV of this document.  

A list of approved drivers will be maintained by the Plant Services department. 

Procedures for Driving University Vehicles

Once a trip has been planned, the organizer must follow the relevant procedures outlined below:

Trip organizer requests trip approval from the sponsoring department/office.

If a George Fox vehicle will be used for transportation, a request for reservation of a fleet vehicle must be made with Plant Services.

At the time of the request, the applicant’s George Fox driving privileges will be verified.

If an employee, the designated driver must have completed the Plant Services training/certification process within the last three years. If a student, the training must have been completed within the last 12 months.

A motor vehicle report will be reviewed for any designated drivers to ensure that their driving records are acceptable (facilitated by the administrative assistant in the Finance Office).

When checking out the vehicle to a driver, Plant Services will check the driver’s current driver license and personal automobile insurance (even though the University’s insurance will be primary in an accident when a University vehicle is driven).

The following information will be recorded on the check-out log maintained by Plant Services:

Driver’s License

  • Driver’s License #

  • Expiration Date

Personal Automobile Insurance

  • Insurance Company

  • Policy #

  • Limits

We will check the driver’s license and verify that they have personal insurance and we just write down the company – not the policy number or limits.

If the applicant has not completed the Plant Services training/certification, process, he or she will be required to do so prior to being allowed to drive a university vehicle.

Each time a vehicle is used, the responsible party (the person who reserved and is using the vehicle or requested someone to check the vehicle out in their name) must completely fill out the vehicle reservation form with (1) date, (2) odometer reading, (3) vehicle number, (4) cost center and account number to which mileage will charged, (6) department name, (7) printed name, and (8) signature.  Failure to complete the form may result in extra charges and/or revocation of vehicle driving privileges. 

The driver will need to obtain keys and gas credit cards from the Plant Services office.  Vehicles must be picked up from and returned to the Fulton Street Parking Lot. 

Keys, gas credit cards, receipts for gas, and the vehicle reservation form must be returned to the Plant Services office within 24 hours.  There is a drop box available in front of the office. 

Keys should not be returned through campus mail.

The responsible party must ensure that all personal belongings and trash are removed from the vehicle, leaving it clean for the next user.  A minimum fee of $25 will be charged for vans returned unclean.

NOTE: In addition to expectations already stated, unlicensed and/or specialty vehicles (such as gator utility vehicles, riding lawnmowers, utility trucks, vans, and vehicles operated by plant services, event services, athletics, and other University departments) must be operated safely with appropriate training provided by Plant Services. Drivers who have on-the-job accidents while operating any University vehicle will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the director of environmental health and safety or his/her designee. This could result in losing driving privileges or losing one’s job if driving is a significant component of his or her job.

Policy and Procedures for Driving Personal Vehicles on University Business

Students and employees will be allowed to drive on University business if they have had a current valid U.S. state driver license for at least one year and are at least 18 years of age.

 When driving a personal vehicle on University business, the driver’s personal insurance serves as the primary insurance and is the extent of the driver’s’ protection. Students and employees need to be comfortable with their own auto insurance coverage and limits and assume all risks and responsibility for transporting other individuals in their vehicle.

 When an employee or student uses a personal vehicle on University business OR if the University arranges the transportation for an activity or event and a student or employee is asked to transport others in their personal vehicle, that person/driver must be on the approved driver’s list maintained by Plant Services indicating the following:

  • An acceptable motor vehicle driving record as defined in this policy

  • Driver’s License # and Expiration Date (recorded as a part of the approval process)

  • Completion of the online training provided by Plant Services

  • Current personal automobile insurance including the insurance company name, policy #, and adequate limits (recorded as a part of the approval process)

When the University is NOT providing or arranging for transportation to an event or activity (i.e., the event begins at the designated location), the driver understands that she or he is assuming all risk and liability. Of course, it is still important to only drive and transport others when there is a good driving record, current valid driver license, and personal automobile insurance with sufficient limits.

In all cases, the driver/owner of the vehicle must follow all traffic laws and regulations and ensure that the personal vehicle is in good operating condition and safe to drive

Policy for Renting and Driving Rental Company Vehicles on University Business

It is the responsibility of any employee renting and/or driving a rental company vehicle on University business to ensure that they are on the approved drivers list maintained by Plant Services.

Employees not on this list should not rent or drive a rental company vehicle for University business.Being an “approved driver” means that the individual has an acceptable motor vehicle driving record (as defined elsewhere in this policy), has successfully completed the training course provided through Plant Services, has provided information regarding his or her current driver license, and has verified that he or she has current personal automobile insurance with sufficient limits.

Non-Qualified Drivers

While driving records will be verified for eligibility as a driver, students or employees should self-identify and voluntarily excuse themselves from driving if any of the following apply.

Any of the following  appear on your motor vehicle record within the past five years:

  • a conviction for reckless driving;

  • a citation for leaving the scene of an accident;

  • a citation for being at fault in a fatal accident;

  • a felony conviction for any crime committed involving a vehicle;

  • a conviction for any alcohol and/or drug related driving offense;

Two or more moving violations in the past year, or three or more in the past two years, including but not limited to violations for the following:

Citation(s) for being at fault in the past 365 days in two or more accidents that are recorded on your motor vehicle records;

A recorded instance of one of the following within the past three years:

  • driving without insurance;

  • driving with a suspended license;

  • driving illegally with an instruction permit

NOTE:  Driving records for new employees will be reviewed for the three years prior to their employment at George Fox University. 

Policy Exceptions

Drivers who do not meet the criteria set forth in this policy will not be allowed to drive University –owned vehicles or transport employees, students, or others on university business in any vehicle until they are reinstated.  If driving is an essential requirement of an employee’s position, further disciplinary action may be imposed, up to and including termination.

Any exceptions to this policy are rare and must be approved by the respective vice president or provost and the vice president for Student Life based on a sound rationale.

General Operating Rules

Operating Rules Specific to University Vans

Vehicle Capacity:  Vehicle capacity for University vans is limited to 12 passengers (including the driver).  Transporting more than 12 passengers is prohibited.

Extra Load:  GFU does not provide trailers or roof top carriers.  Use of them is prohibited unless authorized by Plant Services for fleet vehicles.

Travel to Mexico:  Drivers of university vehicles are prohibited from driving into Mexico because of issues of stranded vehicles and lack of insurance coverage.

Animals:  No animals are allowed in University vehicles except service animals.

Personal Use and Intended Use:  It will be the responsibility of the sponsoring department and the driver to ensure that any group signing up for a trip uses the vehicle only for the purpose specified on the “Vehicle Reservation Request” form. The use of vehicles for personal use BEFORE, DURING, or AFTER the group’s function is prohibited. In addition, destination changes are not allowed without notifying Plant Services in advance.  If the vehicle is driven by an unauthorized driver or used for a function for which it was not assigned, the offending group and/or individual may have their vehicle usage privileges suspended.

Children:  No children under 13 years of age, including children of students, staff, or faculty of George Fox are allowed to ride in any of the University vehicles unless granted special permission by the director of environmental health and safety or his/her designee.
Operating Rules for ALL Vehicles Used for Transporting Others for University Sponsored Events

Laws and Regulations:  Drivers are required to comply with all local, state, and federal traffic laws and regulations. 

Parking and Traffic Fines:  Drivers are personally responsible for any parking and traffic fines.

Seatbelt Usage:  While a driver is operating a vehicle on behalf of George Fox University, all occupants of the vehicle must at all times use the restraints as they were designed to be used. 

Cell Phones and Distracting Devices:  Drivers are not to use cell phones or other distracting devices while vehicles are in motion or waiting at stoplights, stop signs, traffic jams, etc.  Cell phones are only to be used by passengers or by drivers who have pulled over and stopped in a safe location.  Drivers of personal vehicles may use a hands free device, following applicable state law.

Speed Limit:  Drivers must comply with all speed limit laws without exception. 

Passenger Capacity:  No driver shall transport more passengers in a vehicle than the vehicle is designed to carry.  In most cases, capacity is the same as the number of factory-installed seat belts in the vehicle.

Medications:  Before and during University sponsored trips, drivers must not use medications or other substances that may cause drowsiness or other physical or mental impairment.

Front Passenger Seat:  On any trip with one or more passengers, the driver must ensure that the front passenger seat is occupied and that the person sitting in this seat remains awake and serves as the navigator.  The driver should inform this passenger that it is his or her responsibility to help the driver stay alert and to assist with directions and maps.  A driver going off duty should not become the navigator unless there is no other passenger who can serve as navigator.

Hitchhikers:  Picking up hitchhikers is prohibited.

Weather:  Drivers and department sponsors of student trips are responsible for obtaining weather information before and during daily travel to determine whether road or weather conditions present hazards on the planned travel route.  If vehicles are already on the road and weather conditions become hazardous, it is strongly recommended that the sponsor must stop the trip and delay or cancel travel planned for that day in order to insure the safety of all passengers and drivers.  If traction devices or chains are required or needed, the driver must be able to put them on properly; otherwise, the trip must be delayed or canceled.

Authorized Passengers:  Only University faculty, employees, registered George Fox students, and other authorized passengers are allowed to be transported in fleet vehicles.  Authorized passengers must be approved by the sponsoring department and would include guests, spouses, or volunteers traveling with staff involved with a University event. 

Driving Time Limit:  For University sponsored business or curricular or co-curricular events, no individual driver is allowed to drive more than 8 hours in any 24 hour period.  For daytime travel, drivers are allowed to drive 4 hours without a break.  For nighttime travel, they are allowed to drive only 2 hours without a break.  Driving is prohibited between the hours of 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. without the permission of a provost/vice president, dean, or the athletic director. 

Personal Property:  The University is not responsible for lost, damaged, or stolen personal property.   

Accidents and Reporting Policy

Fleet vehicle operators are responsible for reporting ALL accidents to the Plant Services Department and the director of the sponsoring department as soon as possible, but not longer than 24 hours after the accident.  This includes completing the accident report located in the fleet vehicle packet provided in the vehicle and turning it into Plant Services when the vehicle is returned.  Plant Services is responsible for accident investigations as circumstances permit and is required to submit reports to the insurance carrier as soon as possible.  The university’s insurance carrier requires notification and reporting of accidents within 72 hours.

If an accident in a university vehicle or a privately-owned vehicle on university business involves a serious injury or fatality:

  • Call 911 and get emergency help,

  • Report to Security Services as soon as possible (503) 554-2090.

  • Contact Plant Services and the sponsoring department head as soon as possible. 

(NOTE: If the University is required to pay an insurance deductible for an accident, the sponsoring department will be responsible for paying 50% of that deductible.)

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