PRM-014: Use and Management of University-Owned Vehicles

Date: 04/15/2010 Status: Final
Last Revised: 03/22/2013
Policy Type: University
Oversight Executive: Vice President for Finance, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Applies To: Academic Division, the Medical Center, and the College at Wise.
Reason for Policy:

These requirements (1) contribute to the safe operation and management of University-owned vehicles to protect the general public and the assets of the University; and (2) assist the University in complying with the State’s vehicle regulations in order to prevent denial of liability coverage.

Definition of Terms in Statement:
  • Driver:

    A person who is authorized to drive University-owned vehicles on University business. 

  • University–Owned Vehicle:

    A vehicle that is licensed for road use and is owned by the University as evidenced by the vehicle’s title, registration, and license plate (normally light blue in color with an S as the last digit), regardless of the source of the funding the University used to purchase the vehicle, or whether the vehicle was acquired through donation in accordance with University Policy EXT-006, Solicitation and Acceptance of Gifts of Real Property, Life Insurance, Personal Property, and Fine Arts.

Policy Statement:

University-owned vehicles shall be operated in accordance with this policy and the laws of the state or jurisdiction in which the vehicle is being driven. University-owned vehicles are to be used for official University business purposes only [Executive Order 89 (2005)]. Additionally, operation and management of University-owned vehicles must comply with the requirements of the State’s vehicle regulations in order to prevent denial of liability coverage, as explained in policy FIN-006, Insurance Coverage, Section 3. A.

  1. Use of University-Owned Vehicles – Oversight:
    Vice Presidents and Deans are responsible for oversight of:

    • vehicle utilization, fleet management, and insurance in compliance with this policy; and
    • any measures, beyond those listed in this policy, to ensure the safe operation of vehicles.
  2. University Accident Review Committee:
    The University Accident Review Committee is appointed by the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. Its charge is to evaluate each crash in which a University-owned vehicle is involved. The Office of Property Liability & Risk Management’s website describes the general responsibilities of the University Accident Review Committee and the responsibilities of the University community in complying with the Provisions of Section 52-4, of the Code of Virginia, of 1950 as Amended, Memo-2001-No.10, which requires each state agency to form an Accident Review Committee to review accidents that involve agency-owned vehicles.

  3. Vehicle Fleet Management – Departmental Responsibilities:
    All departments or units assigned University-owned vehicles must:

    1. Register all vehicles through Parking and Transportation, Inter-facility Transportation (Medical Center), or the University’s College at Wise Fleet Management.
    2. Have State license plates on the vehicles. Exceptions should be discussed with the Office of Risk Management.
    3. Adhere to all State regulations, policies and procedures governing State-owned vehicles such as the State Travel Regulations and Office of Fleet Management Services Policies and Procedures and Executive Order 89 (2005).
    4. Maintain each vehicle in safe operating condition and keep maintenance records on each vehicle.
    5. Record miles driven and report the annual fiscal year mileage for each University-owned and long-term leased vehicle to the Office of Risk Management within 2 business days following the end of each fiscal year (in order to comply  with State Police reporting requirements.)
    6. Monitor the mileage and age of the vehicle fleet for vehicle retirement consideration.
  4. Insurance and Accidents – Departmental Responsibilities:
    The Manager/Supervisor must:

    1. Contact the Office of Property Liability & Risk Management (924-3055) to arrange for insurance coverage upon purchase of a vehicle. Newly purchased vehicles must not be driven until insurance coverage confirmation is received.
    2. Inform the Office of Property Liability & Risk Management of changes in the vehicle fleet in order to maintain insurance coverage.  This includes responding to the annual Risk Management Vehicle Insurance survey by the prescribed due date.
    3. Review FIN-006, Section 3 for information regarding liability coverage, physical damage coverage, and accident reporting procedures.
    4. Obtain from the driver of a University-owned vehicle, a copy of the accident report for any accident occurring out-of-state or in the District of Columbia and send to the Virginia Department of State Police and to the Office of Property Liability & Risk Management as mandated by the Provisions of Section 52-4, of the Code of Virginia, of 1950 as Amended, Memo-2001-No.10.
    5. Maintain an Accident Reporting Packet (available from the Office of Property Liability & Risk Management) in each vehicle.  The packet contains procedures to follow if involved in an accident.
  5. Proper Vehicle UseDepartment or Unit Responsibilities:
    Each department or unit that is assigned University-owned vehicles must establish a system for authorizing vehicle use. The Supervisor/Manager must:

    • Allow only drivers with valid licenses to operate a University-owned vehicle. Students who do not have an employment relationship with the University should not be authorized to transport passengers on behalf of the University. Additionally, others who do not have an employment relationship with the University who are under 21 years of age should not be authorized to transport passengers.
    • Initiate through Human Resources annual driving record checks for employees currently driving University-owned vehicles as a requirement of the job.
    • Notify Human Resources of any position that requires driving so that the initial driving record check can be completed on those who apply for the position.
    • Equip each University-owned vehicle with a copy of the Driver’s Responsibilities and provide a copy to each individual authorized to operate a University-owned vehicle.
    • Provide authorized drivers with adequate training on specific features and handling followed by driving practice for unfamiliar vehicles.
    • Not use 15-Passenger vans for passenger transportation.
    • Not transport groups of high school and younger students in the University’s care in 12 and 15-passenger vans, or other vehicles designed to transport 10 or more passengers that do not meet school bus standards. These standards can be found in CFR Title 49-Transportation Chapter V Part 571 Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards 571.220 – 222.
  6. Driver Record Checks – Human Resources’ Responsibilities:
    Upon notification from a department or school, Human Resources should request a driver record check when:

    1. a condition of employment for a position requires driving a University-owned vehicle;
    2. the employee’s role changes to include driving responsibilities as a requirement of the job; or
    3. the supervisor of an employee currently driving a University-owned vehicle makes such a request.
  7. Proper Vehicle Use – Driver Responsibilities:
    The driver of the vehicle has ultimate responsibility for seeking and possessing information about driving safety and road regulations. The driver must:

    • Have a valid driver’s license, at least 2 years of driving experience, and, if required, appropriate license certification for the type of vehicle he/she is operating.
    • Grant permission to the University to conduct checks of the driving record with the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles or the motor vehicle authority where licensed.
    • Notify the supervisor of any change in license status.
    • Never drive with any known medical condition that precludes the safe operation of a motor vehicle.
    • Never operate a University-owned vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or substances in violation of the law and University policy STU-001, Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Prohibition of Other Drugs.
    • Never use a cell phone (blackberry, smart phone) while driving a University- or State-owned vehicle (per 4/29/09 memo from Governor Kaine).
    • Comply with both the 4/29/09 memo from Governor Kaine regarding the ban on text messaging while driving in Virginia and the Code of Virginia Section 46.2 -1078.1: Use of handheld personal communications devices in certain motor vehicles; exceptions; penalty).
    • Never smoke in any University or State-owned vehicle.
    • Park a University-owned vehicle that is not operating properly or presents an unsafe condition and notify the supervisor for further instructions.
    • Wear a seat belt at all times while the vehicle is in operation.
    • Not leave a University-owned vehicle unattended with the engine running.
    • Lock University-owned vehicles at all times prior to leaving the vehicle unattended when locks are available.
      EXCEPTION: If this would significantly impact fulfillment of the department’s mission, then the Department Head may exercise judgment and grant necessary exceptions provided the following are adhered to by the driver. The:
      • vehicle’s keys must never be left with an unoccupied vehicle;
      • driver must take appropriate measures to prevent the theft of University property left in the vehicle; and
      • vehicle must always be locked at the end of each work shift.
    • Limit passenger transportation to University business.
    • Prohibit passengers from riding in the bed of a truck during operation.
    • Report all accidents.
      1. The driver shall utilize the accident packet in the vehicle and complete an Automobile Loss Notice. If the accident involving a University-owned vehicle occurred in another state or the District of Columbia, the accident should be reported to the State Police, Highway Patrol, or local police department having jurisdiction. The driver should obtain the name, address, and policy number of insurers of other involved vehicles and a copy of the accident report and pass this information to his/her immediate supervisor.
    • Follow these steps when parking a University-owned vehicle on a slope where the vehicle has the potential to roll and endanger people or property:
      1. Vehicles with 20,000lbs and higher GVWR (Gross Vehicle Weight Rating = vehicle weight plus load weight) when loaded, being loaded, or being unloaded: the driver must make sure to engage the parking brake, make sure the vehicle is in gear for standard transmissions or in park for automatic transmissions, and block the wheels.
      2. Vehicles with 9,000lbs and higher GVWR when connected to a loaded trailer or when connected to a trailer being loaded or unloaded: the driver must make sure to engage the parking brake, make sure the vehicle is in gear for standard transmissions or in park for automatic transmissions, and block the trailer wheels.
      3. All trailers with GVWR of 4,000lbs or higher, when loaded, being loaded, or being unloaded shall have the trailer tires blocked whenever parked on a slope.
    • Read and adhere to these Driver’s Responsibilities. (A printed copy is also located in the glove compartment of each University-owned vehicle.)

For detailed information, see:
Auto Incident/Accident Claim - Automobile Loss Notice

Related Information:

To schedule vehicle repairs, contact:
Parking and Transportation (4-6780), Inter-facility Transportation Shop (5-8332 for Medical Center vehicles), or the College at Wise Fleet Management (276 328-0101).

FIN-006, Insurance Coverage, Section 3. A.
SEC-001, 15-Passenger Vans
SEC-028, No Smoking or Vaping
STU-001, Use of Alcoholic Beverages and Prohibition of Other Drugs

Medical Center Vehicle Management Program

Major Category: Physical Resource Management
Next Scheduled Review: 04/03/2021
Approved by, Date: Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, 04/15/2010
Revision History: Edited Procedures, 4/3/18; Updated 3/22/13.