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Campus Vehicle Policy

Note
This policy covers the use of vehicles on behalf of Whitworth University. If you are looking for the policy regarding use of personal vehicles on campus, please see the Vehicle Operations Policy.

Scope
This policy covers all Whitworth owned, leased or rented vehicles used by Whitworth students, faculty, and staff and approved volunteers, to transport persons and/or materials/equipment for the purpose of Whitworth sponsored events and activities.

If you would like to reserve a University motor pool vehicle for department or club use, please use the vehicle request form.

Definitions
Class I vehicle: Any vehicle designated as a light-duty truck, sedan or minivan.

Class II vehicle: Any light-duty truck or van for which a driver does not need a commercial driver's license, but which is designed primarily for cargo rather than passengers. Class II vehicles are typically larger, heavier and less stable than Class I vehicles; they have a wider turning radius, and they require a lengthy stopping distance when loaded.

Class III vehicle: Any vehicle for which a driver does not need a commercial license, but which is designed to carry 8-15 passengers. Class III vehicles are also larger, heavier, and less stable than Class I vehicles; they, too, have a wider turning radius and a lengthy stopping distance when loaded. Most accidents with this type of vehicle occur during sudden swerves or while a driver is backing up.

Rented vehicles: Rented vehicles are considered fleet vehicles. Driver qualifications are based on one of the Class I-III designations above. All other transportation policies also apply, as appropriate.

Non-licensed vehicles: Vehicles that are not licensed for road use and that may not be driven on public roads, except for very short distances as occasionally needed for property access.

Personal vehicles: When using a personal vehicle for Whitworth functions, faculty and staff certify that their personal vehicle meets the requirements of a Whitworth fleet vehicle as defined in this policy, including proper insurance, a written application, and driver training. The only legitimate personal vehicle use for functions is by individuals traveling on Whitworth-approved business.

General Requirements

  1. Cell phones: No drivers of fleet vehicles shall use cell phones at any time 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.
  1. Trailers: Special permission and licensing that authorizes drivers to pull trailers behind Class II or Class III vehicles must be obtained from Whitworth Facilities Services. No trailers of any sort are permitted with Class I vehicles.
  1. Vehicle top carriers: No vehicle top or other carrier is permitted with any fleet vehicles unless the carrier has been installed by Whitworth Facilities Services.
  1. Radar detectors: The use of radar, laser or other speed-monitoring detection systems is not permitted.
  1. Modifications: No modifications to fleet vehicles (ski or bike racks, antennae, stickers, signs, tow hitches, seat removal, etc.) shall be made, except by Whitworth Facilities Services.
  1. Medication: Before and during trips using Whitworth vehicles, drivers must not use medications, alcohol, drugs or other substances that may cause drowsiness or other physical or mental impairment.
  1. Portable music devices: If passengers are present, they and not the driver should operate any portable music devices. Personal headphones are prohibited for the driver of the vehicle.

Driver Qualifications
The vast majority of property damage, personal injury and death from motor vehicle accidents is directly attributable to driver error. It is a privilege and a responsibility to operate a university motor vehicle, particularly when passengers are involved. For this reason, Whitworth reserves the right to be highly selective in approving drivers. No non-student or non-employee of Whitworth University is permitted to drive vehicles, with the exception of volunteers who are 1) donating their time to drive for Whitworth University activities and 2) approved by EHSS and Whitworth Facilities Services. Effective upon the adoption of this policy, all drivers of university-owned vehicles will be qualified in the following ways:

A) Driving Qualifications

Class I vehicles:                                                                                                        
Any individual seeking (for the first time) a Whitworth University driving permit for Class I vehicles shall:

  • be a current Whitworth University student, employee, or approved volunteer;
  • have at least three years’ driving experience in the United States;
    • Exception No. 1: Student or employee drivers on or within one mile of university property must have completed high school; all other qualifications apply.
    • Exception No. 2: Employees who must drive as a regular part of their jobs and do not have three years’ U.S. driving experience will be hired on a probationary basis for 90 days. Preventable accidents or tickets for which these employees are responsible in that time will be grounds for termination. All other qualifications apply.
  • provide a photocopy of their current driver’s license, issued by one of the 50 United States;
  • complete the written application for a driver’s permit, allowing Whitworth University to verify driving record;
  • verify that he or she has read and understands relevant Whitworth University transportation policies;
  • complete alert-driving online training.


Class II and Class III vehicles:
All individuals seeking (for the first time) a driving permit for Class II vehicles will fulfill all the requirements for Class I vehicle permits outlined above. In addition, they shall pass a road handling and driving test administered by Whitworth. This requirement applies to all Class II and Class III vehicles, whether university-owned or rented.

B) Driver Disqualification

Driving privileges will not be granted to, or will be revoked from, individuals with any of the following:

  1. any of these citations on their motor vehicle record:
    • 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;
    • a record of refusal to submit to a blood-alcohol test;

  2. 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:
    • running a red light;
    • ignoring a stop sign;
    • speeding;
    • passing a stopped school bus

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

  4. a recorded instance of one of the following:
    • driving without insurance;
    • driving with a suspended license;
    • failure to appear in court;

  5. a record of falsifying information on a written permit application;

  6. evidence of failure to comply with any license restrictions (e.g., corrective lenses);

  7. evidence of having used a  fleet vehicle on personal business;

  8. evidence of having lent to another person or department a vehicle checked out to them.

Any student driver involved in an accident with a Whitworth vehicle may lose driving privileges for 365 days. If an accident investigation determines that a) the student was not legally at fault in the accident, and b) the student was driving defensively and could have done nothing further to prevent the accident, the student may apply to Whitworth Facilities Services for reinstatement. Employees are expected to report significant driving citations that have been issued to them. Driving privileges will be suspended for any employee who is cited for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or reckless driving; a review of the employee's driving record will then be conducted to determine whether driving privileges will be reinstated.

C) Revalidation of Employee Driving Permits

In order to maintain a Whitworth University driving permit, each employee will do the following:

  • submit a photocopy of his or her renewed driver’s license in years of license expiration;
  • undergo driver training as required below;
  • pass a written driving exam after any driving accident;
  • pass a road test after any driving accident for drivers of Class II and Class III vehicles

D) Driver Training

  • Basic training
    • Before being issued a Whitworth University driving permit, all first-time applicants will take an online safe-driving course administered by Whitworth Facilities Services.
  • Refresher training
    • All employees who drive as a regular part of their jobs will complete a refresher online driving course every three years.
  • Remedial training
    • Any employee who is involved in an accident determined to be preventable will undergo remedial training in skill areas designated by facilities services.
  • Specialized training
    • Specialized training is required for operators of unusual vehicles, those transporting particularly hazardous cargo, and those encountering special hazards on particular routes, etc., as determined by facilities services.

NOTE:  Whitworth Facilities Services reserves the right to deny or revoke an individual’s driving privileges should that individual exhibit poor judgement of any kind while driving university vehicles.

Passengers and Cargo

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

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

C) Front Passenger Seat: On any trip with one or more passengers, the driver should make sure that the front passenger seat is occupied and that the person sitting in this seat remains awake. The driver should remind 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.

D) Hitchhikers: Picking up hitchhikers is not permitted.

E) Loads:  Hauling loads that could structurally damage the fleet vehicle is prohibited. If bulky, awkward or hazardous cargo must be hauled, drivers must consult with facilities services to ensure that they have checked out a vehicle equipped to handle such cargo, and that the cargo will be properly stowed and hauled.

Trip and Route Safety

A) Grounding the Fleet

Whitworth Facilities Services retains the right to ground immediately the entire fleet, or such portions of it as are deemed necessary, including rental or charter vehicles, in case of inclement weather or potential safety hazards. If the grounding is due to mechanical or other problems and weather and safety otherwise permit, facilities services will make every effort to arrange other transport for affected departments; this transport is not, however, guaranteed. In such cases of cancellation, no charges would be assessed to the affected departments.

B) Driving Safety Before Departure

Late-term fleet vehicle cancellations due to weather or travel hazards will not result in fines or charges if prompt notice is given to facilities services.

C) Driving Safety During Trips

Drivers and departmental sponsors of student trips are responsible to obtain weather information before and during daily travel to determine whether road or weather conditions present hazards along the planned travel route. If university vehicles are already on the road and weather conditions become hazardous, the sponsor must stop the trip and delay or cancel travel planned for that day to ensure the safety of all passengers and drivers.

D) Athletics Events

Athletes are not permitted to drive university fleet vehicles or personal vehicles to or from athletics events, unless they meet the following criterion: a team member who did not compete may drive if s/he is a university-permitted driver. All such drivers must notify the coach or sponsor before using a university vehicle. An exception is granted for events within 50 miles of the Whitworth University campus.

E) Driving Time Limits

1) Driving time limits for all university-licensed drivers are as follows:

a) daytime travel: three hours at one time without a break;

b) nighttime travel: two hours at one time without a break.

2) Within 15 minutes of reaching a driving limit, the driver should exit the highway to a safe rest area. The driver must take at least a 15-minute break before resuming driving, or another university-licensed driver who has not been driving must assume driving responsibilities.

3) On trips longer than 20 miles, no driver of university fleet vehicles carrying passengers may commence driving after 11 p.m. or before 5 a.m. Trips and events must be planned so that no driver is expected or pressured to begin driving between these hours.

F) Maximum Driving Time

When the total trip is expected to be completed within 30 minutes beyond the appropriate driving limit, one driver may drive the entire trip without a break. However, if poor weather or heavy traffic threatens to lengthen the trip, the driver should exit the highway to a safe rest area within the normal driving limits.

No driver may exceed eight total hours of driving time in any 24-hour period.

No trip segment shall exceed 18 hours. After18 hours the driver(s) must stop for at least seven hours. This rule is to be observed even if there are multiple approved drivers on the trip.

G) Backing Up

Most fleet vehicle accidents, particularly with vans, occur while the driver is backing up. In order to prevent losses from vehicles operating in reverse, . . .

1) drivers will always enter the driver’s door only after walking around the rear of the vehicle to note potential obstacles and the distance to them;

2) if a driver is not accompanied by passengers and is planning to back into a tight space, and if safety permits, he or she must stop the vehicle and walk around it to observe obstacles and distances before backing up;

3) if the driver is accompanied by passengers, one passenger must disembark and direct the driver during the backing operations if it is safe to do so.

Maintenance

A)
Class III vehicles will contain flare/reflector kits and fire extinguishers as required by law.

B) Preventive Maintenance on Trips

    1. Fluid levels
      It is the responsibility of the driver to maintain proper oil and coolant levels if the vehicle is being used for an extended time period or driven an extended distance.

    2. Mechanical failures
      Developing mechanical problems that might make a vehicle unsafe to drive should be reported to Whitworth Facilities Services via telephone. In case of actual breakdown or mechanical failure, facilities services should be contacted t at 509.777.3254 before tow trucks are summoned or repairs are made. Costs for unauthorized repairs will not be reimbursed.

C) Maintenance of Records

Whitworth Facilities Services will be responsible for maintaining driver and vehicle records.

1) Driver records

A file (separate from employment records) will be kept current for each individual to whom driving privileges are granted. The file will contain the following:

    • written permit application

    • a photocopy of the driver’s valid motor vehicle license

    • current annual motor vehicle record/driving record information

    • accident reports, if any

    • complaints, if any, received about the person’s driving

    • results of written driver’s exams

    • results of road tests

    • records of training events attended

These files will be reviewed and updated on an annual basis.

2) Maintenance records

Written maintenance and inspection records shall be kept in a separate file for each fleet vehicle. Records will include the following:

    • vehicle identification: make, model, serial number (VIN)

    • a university vehicle inventory number (if assigned)

    • the name, address, and phone number of the department or individual responsible for the vehicle, if the vehicle is on permanent assignment

    • tire size, ply, type and serial number, if applicable

    • date and nature of maintenance work performed

    • name of garage/facility where maintenance was performed

    • special equipment or component parts involved

    • for each inspection: items inspected, repairs made, date completed, mileage, and name of inspecting mechanic

    • oil change/lubrication dates and mileage

    • date/mileage for next scheduled inspection and preventive maintenance

    • summaries of any accidents involving this vehicle

D) Pre- and Post-Trip Inspections

1) Pre-trip inspections
A driver should not operate a vehicle until s/he completes and signs a pre-trip inspection form, including a dent/damage check, according to procedures developed by Whitworth Facilities Services. Drivers should be satisfied that all necessary parts and components are in good working order.

2) Post-trip inspections
Post-trip inspections will be conducted by drivers after trips with fleet vehicles not permanently assigned to a department. Unusual noises, awkward operation, or other problems should be reported according to procedures developed by facilities services. Signed post-trip forms and mileage logs are to be turned in with vehicle keys to facilities services.

E) Service, Inspections, and Repairs

1) All university fleet vehicles will be maintained and serviced by the university’s auto shop. Vehicles will be serviced and inspected according to the university vehicle checklist for preventive maintenance. Whitworth Facilities Services will remove a vehicle from operation if repairs are necessary.

2) The auto shop will coordinate Washington Department of Transportation inspections as required:

    • annually for vehicles weighing more than 10,000 pounds and all vehicles that carry more than 16 persons;

    • semi-annually for 15-passenger vans;

    • as required for other vehicles.

Accidents and Reporting

Accidents are events that result in damage to vehicles or property, or in personal injury.

A) Post-Accident Procedures

Whitworth vehicles have an auto-accident kit in the glove compartment or in the pouch in the driver’s door. This kit contains forms and instructions for reporting any accident. In case of an accident involving a university-owned vehicle, the driver must follow the procedures in this kit. Failure to report accidents or damage to vehicles will result in a $500 fine.

B) Accident Investigations

All accidents may be investigated by representatives from EHSS, the safety committee, and facilities services. If possible, the accident site will be examined.

1) All accidents will be designated as having been either “preventable” or “non-preventable” by actions of the university vehicle driver. The following are some of the criteria constituting preventable actions by the driver:

    • failure to follow defensive driving practices as outlined in training course;
    • failure to adjust speed to conditions of light, weather, road or traffic;
    • failure to recognize and adjust to driver’s own temporary physical, mental or emotional condition;
    • failure to adjust to clearance at top, sides, front or rear of vehicle;
    • failure to observe conditions at the rear of a vehicle while backing;
    • failure to yield right of way when necessary to avoid an accident;t
    • failure to control speed to be able to stop within assured clear distance ahead;
    • failure to observe traffic laws and ordinances;
    • failure to observe Whitworth University operating rules or special instructions;
    • failure to observe safe practices taught in Whitworth University driver’s training or supervisory bulletins.

2) After an accident, the driver will be given the opportunity to explain what happened and to hear the accident committee’s determinations. If an accident is determined to have been preventable, and if the driver involved is:

  • a student, his or her driving permit will be revoked;

  • an employee whose job does not require regular driving, the driver will be given a written warning and be required to attend an appropriate driver-safety training session selected by facilities services. Two preventable accidents within a five-year period will result in the revocation of a driver’s permit;

  • an employee whose job requires regular driving, the driver will be given a written warning and be required to attend an appropriate driver-safety training session selected by facilities services. If a driver has two preventable accidents within a one-year period, or three preventable accidents within a two-year period, Whitworth Human Resource Services will work in conjunction with EHSS to determine appropriate consequences.

3) All completed accident-report forms will be kept on file in the EHSS department for seven years from the date of the accident, to aid in loss-trend analysis and in analyzing the effectiveness of safety-training programs.

 



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