Fleet Safety Program for University Vehicles - 6D5
University Vehicle defined: For purposes of this program, "University vehicle" shall include any University vehicle, rental vehicle, leased vehicle or courtesy vehicle made available for conducting University business.
It is important that each driver, while using a University vehicle:
- Keep safety above expedience.
- Comply with all traffic laws and safe driving practices.
- Ensure that the safety of the public, University employees and passengers, are paramount.
- Drive to prevent accidents in spite of the incorrect actions of others and adverse conditions.
- The primary objective of this program is to provide for the protection and safety of human life.
- The secondary objective is the protection of State and University assets, which are exposed daily to accidental loss.
- The third objective is to avoid the publicity that results from accidents which could reflect unfavorably on the University and the State of Illinois.
- See that a record of periodic maintenance is available for each vehicle.
- Disseminate rules, regulations and policies concerning the proper use of University vehicles.
- Ensure that drivers of fleet vehicles possess a valid driver's license.
- Manage the Employee Driver Approval, Student Driver Approval, and Non-Employee Driver Approval processes.
- Revise the University Fleet Safety Program.
- Prepare suggestions for further accident prevention techniques.
- Determine effectiveness of the University Fleet Safety Program by analysis of all accidents.
The Office of Human Resources
- Screen applicants for positions that will require use of a University vehicle and obtain the driving records for each applicant prior to consideration for employment.
- Administer Driver Training Programs to ensure that all employees who operate University vehicle have received training appropriate to their needs.
- Ensure that all personnel who operate department-assigned vehicles possess a valid driver's license and have participated in required driver training programs appropriate to the class of vehicle being operated.
- Adhere to driver approval process guidelines prior to authorizing a vehicle for employee, student, and non-employee use.
- Disseminate and enforce rules and regulations pertaining to the reporting of traffic accidents and proper use of vehicles. Commit to assigning drivers to attend University training programs regarding the use of University vehicles.
It is important that all University drivers have a knowledge of safe practices, be alert at all times behind the wheel, use foresight and judgment to prevent accidents, and have the skill to react in emergency situations. These are the elements that contribute to the defensive driver. If all are used together at all times behind the wheel, the objective for this program, the protection of human life will be fulfilled.
The Defensive Driver
There are three basic techniques that, when employed, form the basis of the defensive driver. These are:
Recognition of the Hazard
A hazard may be caused by another vehicle, may be mechanical in nature, or caused by existing road conditions.
Understanding the Defense
The most basic driving defenses are: proper speed, following distance and driver alertness.
Acting in Time
If the hazard is recognized and the proper defensive course of action known, then steps can be taken to prevent emergency situations from arising.
The driver is the first line of defense against vehicular accidents due to his or her daily activities. Therefore, all drivers should:
- Obey all laws and safety rules.
- Report any mechanical difficulty encountered in their daily routine to the person responsible for the maintenance of that particular vehicle.
- Assume a safety conscious attitude, for their own safety and the safety of others.
- Observe common courtesy toward all other drivers and pedestrians.
- A driver may not operate a hand held cellular phone while operating the vehicle.
- A driver may not consume a meal while operating the vehicle. Small snacks and beverages are permissible.
- Remember that the operator's driving actions reflect upon the University and the State of Illinois.
As previously discussed, each driver operating a vehicle must report any mechanical difficulties to the person, unit or agency responsible for maintenance of the vehicle. Daily attention by the driver to items such as brakes, alignment, oil pressure, tires, head lights and directional signal lights, will keep the University's vehicles in top running order.
The unit where the vehicle is assigned is responsible for seeing that the vehicle is made available for its regular monthly and periodic maintenance.
For University-owned vehicles, Transportation Service shall notify the unit when it is time for a vehicle's regular or periodic maintenance. In addition, all regular maintenance records shall be maintained for as long as that vehicle is owned by the University.
Vehicle Load Limits
It is critical that vehicles not exceed their capacity to safely carry passengers.
Group Trip Safety
- All trips are to be arranged in a University, rental, leased, or courtesy vehicle. When operating a personal vehicle, the vehicle owner's insurance provides the primary coverage.
- Pulling a trailer is only to be done with a University vehicle.
- Special attention must be given to keeping a low center of gravity when rooftop carriers are used. No more than 400 pounds may be carried on any one vehicle equipped with a rooftop carrier.
- The driver is responsible for not exceeding the specified load capacity for the vehicle in use.
- Fifteen passenger vans cannot be used for University business.
- If a trailer or rooftop carrier is to be used with a University vehicle, permission must be obtained from the Vice Chancellor for Administration.
- No driver shall operate a van/bus after dark without first having operated the vehicle during daylight hours.
- No driver will operate a vehicle for more than three (3) hours between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.
- A driver may not operate a vehicle more than eight (8) cumulative hours in a given day, which is 12:00 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.
- A vehicle shall not operate for more than 16 consecutive hours without an 8 hour break.
This policy has been formulated with accident prevention in mind. Through the use of defensive driving techniques, accidents and violations will be reduced to the benefit and safety of our employees and passengers.
Approved by Vice Chancellor for Administration effective 2/7/06
This policy was issued on February 8, 2006, replacing the December 10, 2002 version.
Document Reference: 6D5
Origin: VCA 7/96; VCA 8/1/96; VCA 1/7/99; VCA 8/28/01; VCA 11/25/02; VCA 2/7/06