Vehicle Services Policy and Guidelines

Policy Overview

Vehicle Services Policy and Guidelines

This policy establishes requirements and procedures for driving a university vehicle that is owned, leased, or rented in connection with University-related business or sponsored activities; for using personal vehicles in connection with University-related business or sponsored activities; for using a University vehicle for personal use; and for reporting accidents and damages. The term “University vehicle” includes all University-owned, leased, or rented vehicles, 12- passenger vans, golf carts, and utility vehicles. This Vehicle Services Policy and Guidelines apply to persons that are approved drivers under the University’s insurance policy when they have been authorized by their Director or Dean to drive for university-related business.

University departments are required to utilize Vehicle Services for all university-related travel. If a department demonstrates that cost savings can be realized by a vehicle rental from an external source, Vehicle Services will consider the request.

Department of Vehicle Services

The Purchasing Department oversees Vehicle Services which is responsible for maintaining the University of the Incarnate Word’s motor pool and supplying university vehicles for authorized university-related business. Vehicle Services is responsible for monitoring and ensuring that the mechanical, safety, and appearance conditions of each vehicle in its motor pool meets the University’s standards and that the sponsoring department is using the vehicle for the stated business purposes.

Vehicle Usage Rules

Approval as a driver and authorization to operate a vehicle on university business is a privilege rather than a right, and authorization to drive University vehicles may be revoked for reasons deemed appropriate by the University. The University regards the safety of its faculty, staff, students, and volunteers as one of its top priorities. Every time you drive for the University, you represent the University and are responsible for your actions as well as for the safety and security of your passengers.

  1. University vehicles are to be used only for authorized University businesses and operated only by authorized individuals who have been approved to drive.

  2. Any University employee or student driving a University vehicle will operate the vehicle in a safe and responsible manner, with respect for other drivers, and due consideration for acting as a representative of the University.

  3. Drivers must comply with all state and local traffic laws.

  4. Seat belts must be worn at all times by the driver and the passengers. Vehicles that do not have operable seat belts may not be used for University business.

  5. Drivers are responsible for payment of any fines resulting from a violation of motor vehicle regulations while operating a vehicle for authorized University businesses. 1

  1. Only passengers authorized by Vehicle Services may ride in University vehicles. Transportation of unauthorized passengers is prohibited. All non-employee passengers, including students, must be pre-approved by the director or dean and execute a release prior to riding as passengers.

  2. University-owned vehicles are to be housed on University property when not in use.

  3. For extended trips, the authorized driver may not drive longer than ten hours in one day (this

    does not include breaks). After ten hours, there must be a break of eight hours off the road.

    There will be no exceptions.

  4. The University prohibits the use of cell phones without a hands free device while driving a

    University vehicle.

  5. University owned vehicles should not be used to jump-start, push or tow other vehicles unless

    Vehicle Services provides specific permission or instruction.

  6. You must turn the vehicle off, remove the keys, and lock the vehicle when it is unattended.

  7. You may not drive the vehicle at speeds that are in excess of the posted speed limit or

    inappropriate for the type of vehicle or the road conditions.

  8. You may not drive the vehicle “off road” unless the vehicle is appropriate for that use.

  9. You must inspect the vehicle for safety concerns prior to use, including checking tires, lights and

    other safety equipment for observable defects. Report any defects to Vehicle Services prior to

    use.

  10. University vehicles must never be parked in accessible parking spaces or in areas that block

    accessible parking spaces in any way.

  11. All University vehicles must have signage visible to the driver directing drivers that it is against

    UIW policy to park University vehicles in areas that block accessible parking spaces in any way.

  12. You are subject to applicable University disciplinary procedures for violations of University policy

    or rules.

  13. Drivers must not drive when driving conditions are hazardous (this includes fog, heavy rain,

    snow or ice conditions).

  14. Authorized Area of Operation: University vehicles may be operated in the contiguous United

    States. University vehicles may not be operated in Mexico.

  15. Due to safety issues identified by the National Transportation Safety Board, fifteen passenger

    vans may not be used for University-related activities.

  16. No transportation of dangerous chemicals, flammable items, or other hazardous materials

    without prior approval of Vehicle Services.

Who May Drive a University Vehicle

Only persons authorized by their dean or director and Vehicle Services to drive a university vehicle, that meet all university driver standards, that otherwise hold a valid driver’s license for the class of vehicle being driven, and that have been approved as a driver by the university’s insurance company, may drive a university vehicle.

The following groups may otherwise be authorized to drive a university vehicle:

  1. Student:
    • An enrolled student, including registered student organizations and academic groups, who have obtained authorization for travel in furtherance of educational or group objectives. The authorization must be provided by dean if the travel is connected to an academic department, or the director, if the travel is connected to a business unit.
    • A University Athletic Team that has obtained approval for travel in furtherance of educational or team objectives.
  2. Employees: University Faculty/Administrator/ Staff: Full-time staff, administrator or faculty members who have obtained authorization for travel in furtherance of educational or group objectives. The authorization must be provided by dean if the travel is connected to an academic department, or the director, if the travel is connected to a business unit.

Approved Driver Qualifications Under the University’s Insurance Policy

Only persons that are approved as a driver by the university’s insurance company may drive a university vehicle. To be placed on the university’s insurance carrier’s list of Approved Drivers to drive, a person must:

  • Complete the Driver Authorization Form and submit it to Vehicle Services to allow for a three year driving record check. This record check may be performed annually and may require submittal of a new authorization.

  • Must be at least 21 years of age.

  • May not be greater than 72 years of age, unless you provide a medical clearance that is

    approved by the insurance company.

  • Submit a copy of the valid, unrestricted driver’s license (except for corrective eyewear) required

    by the state where each applicant driver claims residency.

  • Valid United States Drivers or Canadian Driver’s License.

  • Meet all other requirements as set forth by the insurance company

University Driver Standards

Only persons that met these driver standards are authorized to operate a university vehicle:

  • Driver must be an approved driver, and therefore insurable, under UIW’s Insurance policy.

  • Driver must be a student or employee of the University, or working in an official capacity for a department with authorization provided by dean if the travel is connected to an academic department, or the director, if the travel is connected to a business unit.

  • No more than two (2) moving violations and/or chargeable accidents in the most recent year.

  • No more than three (3) moving violations and/or chargeable accidents in the most recent three (3) years.

  • No “major convictions” within the last three (3) years. Major convictions include:

    • Driving while intoxicated or "under the influence" of alcohol or drugs.

    • Leaving the scene of an accident

    • Careless or reckless driving violations

    • Homicide or assault

    • Attempting to elude a police officer

    • Racing

    • Permitting a minor to operate a vehicle

    • Vehicle abuse or misuse

Loss of Driving Privileges

The following actions may result in suspension or termination of driving privileges and in appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the University’s applicable policies and procedures:

  • Operating a vehicle outside of the scope of the destination and school related activity or business.

  • Operating a vehicle in a reckless or unsafe manner.

  • Failing to report an accident immediately after an accident occurs, and preferably at the

    accident site, to the local law enforcement agency.

  • Failing to report an accident involving a university owned vehicle, a rental vehicle, or your

    personal vehicle, as soon as is practicable, but in no event greater than 24 hours of the next

    business day to your dean or director and to Vehicle Services.

  • Operating a vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

  • Parking in accessible parking spaces or in areas that block accessible parking spaces in any way.

  • Immediately report to Vehicle Services any change in driving status as it may impact driving

    qualifications. Example- Suspension or revocation of a license, traffic citation.

Personal Use

Personal use of a university owned vehicle is strictly prohibited. Exceptions to this policy may only be granted by the Vice President for Business and Finance.

Rental Vehicles

Enterprise: The University maintains a relationship with Enterprise Rent-A-Car.

  • Rentals where the point of origin is within a 100 mile radius of San Antonio, Texas, shall be handled by Vehicle Services.
  • Accessible Vehicles rentals shall be handled by Vehicle Services.
  • Rentals where the point of origin is greater than a 100 mile radius of San Antonio, Texas, please contact at CTP/Rennert Travel to make a reservation.

Make certain to inspect your rental vehicle for damage prior to leaving the rental lot at the time of pick up. Make certain a written notation of any damage is made on the rental agreement by the rental agent.

Inspect your rental vehicle at the time of return to the rental company. Make certain a written notation of the damage is made on the rental agreement by the rental agent.

Contact Enterprise as soon as possible concerning special circumstances affecting the pick up or return of a vehicle.

Insurance Guidelines for Entering into Domestic Car Rental Contracts: The University’s commercial automobile liability policy provides physical damage and liability coverage for rental cars; therefore, it is not necessary to purchase the insurance provided by the rental agency. As such, the University recommends declining the “collision damage waiver” and “liability insurance waiver” offered by car rental firm, except when leasing a car in a foreign country. The University’s automobile liability does not cover any loss to personal effects or baggage. The Renter can purchase this type of coverage by purchasing Personal Effects Cargo (PEC) coverage. PEC benefits apply to personal effects belonging to the vehicle renter; however, it will not be considered a University-reimbursable expense.

International Auto Rental: Renter must purchase the maximum limits required by law in the country where travel is to take place for physical damage and liability, but not for luggage.

Use of Privately Owned Vehicles

Drivers shall utilize a university vehicle whenever possible and if not available, then Vehicle Services shall seek alternative transportation options such as rental cars, public transportation or charter services.

In the normal course of business, students and employees are not authorized to transport students and employees in their personal vehicles on university business. In rare circumstance and only with advance approval of the dean or director, students and employees may transport students and employees in their private vehicles on University business; however, the driver must be an approved driver and is subject to the requirements of this policy. For the purposes of this provision, employees and students who transport students on a trip that is a business or course requirement or at the direction of their dean or director are considered to be on “University business.” For this rare situation, a release is found at: https://orgsync.com/9997/forms/14852

Approved drivers operating their personal vehicle for authorized University business shall be reimbursed for mileage at the annual Standard Rate found on the Payroll website.

Insurance Coverage

The University maintains commercial automobile liability coverage and physical damage coverage on University-owned or hired vehicles. There is no insurance coverage for theft of personal items from University-owned, hired or your personal vehicle. Drivers are encouraged to consult with their personal lines insurance provider to determine if coverage for property in vehicles is included in their homeowner’s insurance policy.

Personal Vehicles: Faculty, staff and students that are approved drivers using their personal vehicle on University business or sponsored activities are required to carry auto liability insurance with minimum limits as required in Texas. In an accident involving a driver’s personal vehicle, the university policy will cover liability only (claims made against the driver by third parties) and not physical damage to the driver’s vehicle. In this regard, the driver must use his/her individual automobile insurance coverage as the primary insurance. The University’s liability coverage will apply when the vehicle owner’s policy has been exhausted. Further, the University will not reimburse a driver, or other private owner, or his/her insurer for any deductible or liability claim paid by their personal auto insurance policy or for any damage to the vehicle.

Employee - Injury and lost wages: When traveling on University business and within the course and scope of employment and in furtherance of university business at the time of the accident, employees are covered by the university’s workers’ compensation Insurance.

Student Organization Travel

Registered student organizations may make off-campus trips that are approved by the organization and Director of Student Center and Leadership Activities (SCLA). In order to use a University owned vehicle, the trip must be sponsored by a recognized student organization and a UIW employee must accompany the group.

Vehicle Services will not approve a vehicle for use by the student organization until it has been provided the document entitled “Event Approval Form” confirming that the Director of SCLA has approved the use of the university vehicle and event, that the student is an approved driver, and that the SCLA has reviewed with the student and provided a copy of the Vehicle Services Policy and Guidelines.

Accidents

Damages to Vehicle: An accident is defined as any incident that causes damage to persons or property. Report accidents or damage involving a university owned vehicle, a rental vehicle, or your personal vehicle immediately, but in no event greater than 24 hours of the next business day to your dean or director and to Vehicle Services.

Guidelines in the event of an accident:

  1. Keep calm and do not argue with other persons involved in the accident.

  2. Notify the local law enforcement agency immediately after an accident occurs, and at the accident site (unless it would be unsafe), and request that an accident report be completed.

  3. Check for the University’s Insurance ID card in the glove compartment of University-owned vehicles. The ID card is required by law and provides evidence of the University’s fleet insurance coverage.

  4. Cooperate fully in responding to requests for information from law enforcement officials. It is also permissible to state that you are driving a university vehicle and that it is insured under a university policy.

  5. If injury is involved, get immediate medical aid.

  6. Report injuries you or your passengers sustain to your director or dean, Health Services, and Human Resources.

  7. Discuss the accident only with police officers, the University’s insurance representatives or University officials. Refer all questions from lawyers, other involved parties, and others to the General Counsel.

  8. Take down as much information as you can on all other party(ies) to the accident (e.g., insurance company, driver’s name. license number, plate number, make of car, model of car, year, how accident happened, witness, addresses, phone numbers, etc.).

  9. Do not undertake or authorize any repairs (other than emergency repairs to safely return to the lodging/destination). Authorization may only be provided by the Director of Vehicle Services.

Garaging

Operators must take all reasonable precautions to prevent damage or theft of University Vehicles when parked and not in operation.

  1. Roll up all windows.

  2. Lock all doors.

  3. Remove all valuables and conspicuous items, and if unable to remove, hide from sight and lock

    all valuables in the trunk so that they are not visible.

  4. Where possible, park in a lighted area or where security protection exits.

Fuel and Fueling

  • University vehicles shall be returned with a full tank of gas.

  • Fuel cards are issued by Vehicle Services to authorized users.

  • Fueling vehicles locally will be accomplished by the card the driver was issued (i.e. Valero, Shell and Fuelman).

  • Retain all fuel receipts and provide to Vehicle Services when returning the vehicle.

  • Fueling when the university’s gas card is not available: The driver may fuel by using his/her personal credit card and shall be reimbursed at the time of the travel settlement with Accounts Payable.

Golf Carts and UTV Program

Purpose: The Golf Cart and Utility Terrain Vehicle (UTV) program ensures the safe operation of golf carts and utility vehicles while operated on the campus. The Vehicle Services Policy and Guidelines are applicable to employees, students, and contractors/vendors that own and/or operate golf carts and UTVs. In this policy, all references to “golf carts” includes UTVs.

All owners and operators of golf carts have specific responsibilities to ensure safe operation of golf carts and good maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.

Driver standards:

  • Approval to operate a UIW golf cart is the same as a licensed vehicle, except the minimum age is 18, rather than 21.

  • You must be issued a Golf Cart Operator’s Permit.

  • Successful completion of a Golf Cart Safety Program.

    Golf Cart Operational Procedures: Golf carts shall be operated with the utmost courtesy, care and consideration for the safety and convenience of pedestrians. Golf carts shall be operated in accordance with following specifications:

    1. Pedestrians shall be afforded the right-of-way at all times.

    2. Operators are prohibited from driving or removing golf carts from UIW Property.

    3. Golf carts are prohibited on the property of the Generalate and the Village at Incarnate

      Word.

    4. Golf carts are restricted to campus streets.

    5. Driving on sidewalks or grass is prohibited except when working requirements dictate otherwise. For security reasons, golf carts containing tools and equipment may park on the grass within the site of the work area.

    6. A golf cart may enter the courtyard solely for the purpose of loading and unloading, but may not park in the courtyard. The time may not exceed 10 minutes.

    7. Golf carts are not to be used as a taxi service or to otherwise provide “rides” for people.

    8. Golf Carts may not damage buildings, gates, bollards, or lawns

    9. The passenger carrying capacity of golf carts may not exceed the number of seats. Campus speed limit (10 mph) and UIW traffic regulations will be observed at all times when operating their assigned golf cart.

    10. Maintain appropriate distances between vehicles when operating the golf cart.

    11. Operators are required to maintain both hands on the steering wheel when operating the golf cart. Legs must be kept within the vehicle and in the foot compartment.

    12. Reduce speed to compensate for adverse road conditions.

    13. Apply service brakes when parking on steep grades.

    14. Slow down when making sharp turns to minimize the risk of overturning the golf cart.

    15. Use of cell phones is prohibited while operating the golf cart.

    16. Eating or drinking is prohibited while operating the golf cart.

    17. Golf carts must be parked in designated areas only and may not park in the following areas:

      • Metered parking spaces

      • Fire Lanes

      • Accessible parking spaces and accessible curb cuts

      • Reserved parking spaces

      • Within 20 feet of the main entrance/exit of any building in any manner that would impede the normal flow of pedestrian traffic.

      • On sidewalks or ramps that would impede or block pedestrian and accessible pathways.

    18. Golf carts must have signage visible to the driver that reads as follows: "UIW POLICY: Parking a UIW vehicle or cart in any parking space designated for disabled persons or in areas that block access to these spaces in any way is strictly prohibited." Violations: Violators are subject to having their golf cart impounded, being fined, or having their operators permit revoked, and may result in appropriate disciplinary action consistent with the University’s applicable policies and procedures. Responsibilities of Golf Cart Owners and Operators: Department/Vendor Responsibility to Maintain Golf Carts: UIW departments and vendors are responsible for:

      • All repairs and maintenance cost.

      • All preventive maintenance and repair records for their assigned golf carts.

      • Keep all equipment and safety features in good working order.

      • Identify the name of the vendor or department responsible for the golf cart

      • Display the number assigned by Vehicle Services on the front of their golf cart.

    19. Employee Responsibility to Maintain Golf Carts: Employees are responsible for:

      • Inspecting their assigned golf cart before operating, documenting any unsafe conditions, and reporting the deficiency to their immediate supervisor.

      • Attending the mandatory Golf Cart Safety Program prior to operating any UIW golf cart.

      • Operating their golf cart in a safe manner.

    20. Reporting any incident or accident to their Supervisor Immediately. Supervisor Responsibility: Supervisors will be expected to ensure enforcement of the golf cart rules and policies and will be held accountable for violations by their employees. Supervisors are responsible for:

      • Submit driver’s license on all employees who are required to operate a UIW golf cart to Vehicle Services for approval.

      • Ensure that all employees attend the mandatory Golf Cart Safety Program prior to operating any UIW golf cart.

      • Take timely corrective action for any employee infractions of this policy.

      • Ensure their assigned golf carts are operating properly and that conditions identified are repaired.

      • Report any incidents/accidents to Vehicle Services.

    21. Vehicle Services Responsibility: Vehicle Services is responsible for:

      • Provide the required Golf Cart training for all on-campus golf cart operators.

      • Maintain the appropriate records for all employees who operate UIW Golf carts.

      • Report any incidents/accidents to Safety Manager and Human Resources.

    22. Environmental Health Safety and Risk Management (EHSRM) EHSRM is responsible for:

      • Providing the online Golf Cart Training Program.

      • Assist the supervisors in complying with this policy.

      • Review all incidents/accidents and forward a report with recommendations to the VP for Business and Finance with a copy to Human Resources. 

    23. To Obtain A Golf Cart Operators Permit:

      • Obtain your Supervisors approval to operate a golf cart

      • Sign on to the Risk and Safety Blackboard site, review the Golf Cart user guide, and take the online exam. The passing score is 85% or higher.

      • Take a copy of your exam score to Vehicle Services and schedule a driving test.

      • Pass the driving test.

If you have any questions or concerns please direct your questions to Vehicle Services at (210) 829-3907 or the EHSRM office at (210) 829-6035.