Policies

Vehicle Use Policy: University Vehicles

Owner: Finance, Revised March 2014
Pertains to: University Vehicle Users
Description: This policy applies to the use of vehicles by Hamline University faculty, staff, students, and volunteers for Hamline University business. The vehicles may be owned, on long-term lease, on short-term lease (rental car), or they may be personal vehicles.
Details:

This policy applies to the use of vehicles by Hamline University faculty, staff, students, and volunteers for Hamline University business. The vehicles may be owned, on long-term lease, on short-term lease (rental car), or they may be personal vehicles.

Definitions

Covered Vehicle: A vehicle that is owned, on long-term lease, or on short-term lease (rental car), by Hamline University for the purpose of conducting Hamline University business. Personal use of covered vehicles is prohibited.

Personal Vehicle: A vehicle not owned or leased by Hamline University but used in/for Hamline University business.

RMR: Risk Management Representative (ext. 2437)

DMV: Department of Motor Vehicles

Authorized Driver: Any Hamline University employee, student, or volunteer who has completed the steps to becoming an authorized driver listed below. Exceptions to the authorized driver requirement are employees who infrequently rent a vehicle in connection with travel to a professional conference or university meeting and are not transporting students in the rented vehicle.

Vehicle Use Training: Online education modules administered by the Office of Safety and Security Services.

Policy

University-Owned or Leased (Long Term) Vehicles

All drivers must be Authorized Drivers as defined above. Any Covered Vehicle that is used to transport students must be driven by an authorized driver.

Short-term Leased Vehicle (Rental Car)

All drivers must be Authorized Drivers as defined above. Any Covered Vehicle that is used to transport students must be driven by an authorized driver. Exceptions to the requirement to become an authorized driver are employees who infrequently rent a vehicle in connection with travel to a professional conference or university meeting and are not transporting students in the rented vehicle.

Rental Car Pick-ups and Returns

When renting a vehicle, all drivers are responsible to 1) check the rental car over thoroughly together with a member of the rental company staff before departing from the rental office premises, noting on the lease paperwork all irregularities found on the vehicle's interior and exterior; and 2) to photograph each surface of the vehicle interior and exterior; 3) if the vehicle is damaged in any way during the time it is in the possession of the Hamline faculty, staff, or student, a photographic record should be made. All documents, including photos and the lease, should remain on file with the department renting the vehicle for the period of one year.

When returning the rented vehicle, all drivers are responsible to 1) check the rental car over thoroughly together with a member of the rental company staff before leaving it on the rental office premises, noting on the lease paperwork all irregularities found on the vehicle and 2) to photograph each surface of the vehicle. All documents, including photos and the lease, should remain on file with the department renting the vehicle for the period of one year. These documents can then be submitted to the insurance company in the event that the rental company claims damages.

*In the event that a phone is not available, please note on a sketch and keep for the same time period as noted above.

Personal Vehicles Used for Hamline Business

It is recommended but not required that drivers using a personal vehicle for Hamline University business become Authorized Drivers. Student drivers must also comply with the Student Travel Policy (contact the Dean of Students office x 2421) regarding authorized driver requirements. Responsibilities of Operating a Covered Vehicle must be complied with for all business use of personal vehicles. Drivers using a personal vehicle for Hamline University Business must carry the levels of automobile insurance required by the state of Minnesota. Contact the Accounts Payable office at x3051 for information regarding mileage reimbursement.

Insurance

Insurance Coverage for Covered Vehicles

Hamline University has "actual cash value" physical damage coverage. Should a Covered Vehicle be involved in an accident, the department using that vehicle will be responsible for the $250 deductible. Please notify the RMR of any questions regarding insurance coverage at (651) 523-2437.

In the case of short-term rentals within the United States, Hamline University employees and students should decline the option to purchase insurance from the rental agency. When renting a vehicle in a foreign country, insurance should always be purchased from the rental agency. All persons renting vehicles any time in or outside the United States should inspect the vehicle for damage as described above, BEFORE departure from/delivery to the rental agency.

In the case of an accident, follow the steps on page six. Notify the RMR and your supervisor as soon as possible following the accident. If an employee is injured in an accident s/he must also notify the Hamline University Department of Human Resources and follow Worker's Compensation procedures.

Personal Vehicles

In the case of an accident, follow the steps on page six. Forward the information to your personal automobile insurance agent first, and then notify the RMR and your supervisor. If your primary Auto Liability limits are exhausted as a result of an accident while on Hamline business, the University's Auto Liability insurance may cover above and beyond your coverage (Secondary Coverage). Hamline University will not reimburse you for your deductible. If an employee is injured in an accident of this type, s/he must notify the Hamline University Department of Human Resources and follow Worker's Compensation procedures.

While use of a personal vehicle to transport students is discouraged, employees who transport students in their own vehicles or who recruit student volunteers to drive personal vehicles to or from a required university event (i.e., class, required athletic activity, etc.) must obtain a signed waiver from each participant prior to departure to the event. Such waivers shall remain on file in the department responsible for the event (i.e., faculty office, department office). Signed waivers are not required when carpooling to optional off-campus events because students can choose not to attend. Use of a personal vehicle for transportation of students on Hamline University business must be authorized by your supervisor.

Unsafe Weather Conditions

Permission to operate a covered vehicle, or a personal vehicle, on university business, may be denied or rescinded in the event of weather creating dangerous driving conditions. The final decision to grant permission to use a covered vehicle will be made by the Sr. Vice President for Finance, Business and Technology or the Provost.

Responsibilities of Operating a Covered Vehicle

The driver: 

  • will operate the Covered Vehicle in accordance with the established policies of Hamline University. Drivers must also be in compliance with any existing departmental policies.
  • will operate the vehicle in a safe manner, observing all town, village, city, and state ordinances and laws pertaining to the operation of motor vehicles. Any driver arrested or ticketed for violations of any law while operating a Covered Vehicle will be held responsible for all expenses incurred as a result of that arrest or citation and must notify their supervisor and Safety and Security Services.
  • will ensure all vehicle occupants fasten their seat belts while the vehicle is in motion.
  • will ensure vehicle headlights are turned on at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
  • must not operate the vehicle until a minimum of 12 hours has passed since their last drink of alcohol.
  • will not eat while operating the vehicle.
  • will not use a cellular telephone or other 2-way communication device while the vehicle is in motion. Safety & Security officers may use a 2-way communication device while vehicle is in motion when responding to an emergency.
  • will ensure that all interior and exterior lights are turned off and all doors and windows are locked when the vehicle is parked.
  • will check all fluid levels, tire pressure, and exterior lights whenever the vehicle is stopped for refueling.

In addition, the following also apply: 

  • The use of tobacco products, alcohol or illegal drugs by a covered vehicle driver and/or passenger(s) is prohibited.
  • A maximum of 8 hours of continuous travel is allowable, with a minimum layover of 8 hours following that time.
  • On trips of more than 200 miles, vehicles must stop at a safe location at least once every 4 hours (or 200 miles) of operation for the purpose of making a minimal vehicle check (walk around the vehicle, visually inspect tires and operation of lights), and/or changing drivers. On trips of more than 100 miles, continuous driving between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. is prohibited except in an emergency .Trailers and car top units are prohibited.
  • Layovers are required in the event of adverse weather and unsafe road conditions. When such road conditions exist, the driver or person responsible for the trip must call the department from which the van was checked out with information on location of layover and estimated time of return to campus. Receipts for all expenses incurred during weather related layover must be turned in to the office sponsoring the trip.
  • For trips on which students are traveling 450 or more miles, itineraries will be submitted for approval by the Dean of Students office. Student travelers must also comply with the Hamline University Student Travel Policy.
  • Employees who are traveling by vehicle 450 or more miles must submit an itinerary, as described above, to their respective supervisors.
  • At least one cellular telephone must be taken on the trip for emergency use.
  • A co-pilot or navigator is required on all student trips during the night time hours.
  • It is preferable that at least one supervisor, Hamline employee, or designated student leader accompany each Covered Vehicle.
  • Vehicle load capacities must not be exceeded, including number of passengers (MAXIMUM 11 or 12 depending on the seat configuration), cargo weight or any combination thereof. Passenger vans that are owned or on long-term lease by Hamline University have the rear seat removed to mitigate the risk of roll over accidents. Large passenger vans on short term lease (rented) must also have the rear seat removed prior to departure or must limit occupancy to 11 or 12 depending on seat configuration, with no passengers in the rear seat.
  • Non-compliance with any of the above responsibilities may result in suspension of auto use privileges for the offending organization and/or individuals for two (2) calendar years from the date of the offense and/or the completion of vehicle use training as assigned.

Steps to Becoming an Authorized Driver

Only those employees, students, and volunteers who meet the following conditions may operate a Covered Vehicle:

  • Drivers must be at least 19 years old;
  • Valid driver's license on file with the Office of Safety and Security Services;
  • DMV report on file with the Office of Safety and Security Services (updated every three years).
  • Authorized Drivers must submit ANNUALLY a photocopy of the front and back of their valid drivers license and a signed statement (see page 10) that they have not had any material changed in their driving record. Authorized Drivers are under an ongoing affirmative duty to report any material changes in their driving record (e.g. new moving violation) or licensure status (e.g. suspension or revocation) to the Office of Safety & Security Services;
  • No more than two (2) moving violations in the previous three (3) years (major violations will be reviewed);
  • No more than two (2) accidents involving Covered Vehicles in three (3) years;
  • Successfully complete Hamline's Vehicle Use Training; and
  • Have on file with the Office of Safety and Security Services a signed Covered Vehicle Use Agreement.

Each employee or student requesting permission to operate a Covered Vehicle will obtain their own driving record from the DMV. Persons with out-of-state driver's licenses will have to contact their home state driver's licensing authority for driver's license records. This report will be obtained every three years, with any associated fees paid by the Authorized Driver's department. Any subsequent accidents or violations may require further training or revocation of privilege to operate a Hamline University Covered Vehicle. All driving records obtained will be considered confidential information.

Visit the Minnesota Department of Public Safety website for further information on obtaining a driving record from the Minnesota Department of Motor Vehicles.

All drivers who submit their driving records and complete the required training will receive a copy of this policy and will be responsible for complying with the requirements.

The Office of Safety and Security Services administers the Vehicle Use Training and maintains all records. This office oversees the process of becoming an Authorized Driver.

Accident Reporting Policy

It is the policy of Hamline University that all accidents involving a Covered Vehicle should be reported immediately to the proper law enforcement authorities. Whenever possible, a police report should be made. Employees should also immediately notify their supervisor and the RMR of ALL accidents. It is the responsibility of any employee involved in an accident to obtain all required information and documentation. Should injuries stemming from that accident prohibit the employee from obtaining the necessary information; the employee's supervisor will be responsible for gathering relevant information and documentation.

If any employee is injured in an accident involving a Covered Vehicle, that injury should also be reported to the Department of Human Resources for applicable Worker's Compensation claims.

The RMR is responsible for contacting Hamline's insurance company, St. Paul Travelers. Individual employees are not to contact the insurance company directly unless advised to do so by the RMR.

In the Event of an Accident

At the scene:

  • Make sure law enforcement officials are called to the scene.
  • Do not make any statements other than those required by a law enforcement official.
  • When safe to do so, obtain information from all drivers and witnesses.

As soon as possible after leaving the scene:

  • Notify your immediate supervisor.
  • Notify the Hamline University RMR at (651) 523-2437. If the RMR is not available, leave a message with the time and phone number at which you may be reached. If the accident occurs on a weekend or holiday, leave a message indicating the number where you may be reached on the next business day. If your call requires immediate attention from a Hamline University faculty or staff member, you may call the Office of Safety & Security Services at (651) 523-2100.
  • Injured employees should contact Hamline University Department of Human Resources at (651) 523-2210 for information regarding Worker's Compensation.
  • Submit the following to RMR for reporting to Hamline University's insurance company.
    • Completed Accident Report form.
    • Completed State Motor Vehicle Accident Report.
    • If rental car, a copy of both sides of rental agreement.