4.8.6 Operation of University Owned Vehicles Policy

A. Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to provide standards to ensure the safe operation of University owned or leased vehicles. This policy does not apply to rental vehicles, excepting the rental of 12 or 15 passenger vans or vehicles requiring a Commercial Driver’s License for operation.

B. Persons Affected

All that may be called upon to drive a University owned or leased vehicle.

C. Definitions

N/A

D. Policy and Procedures

All University of Texas at Tyler employees who may be called on to drive a University owned or leased vehicle shall have a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check and shall be assigned a driver rating as indicated below. An acceptable rating to drive a University vehicle shall be a 2 or below. An employee with a rating of 3 must attend a driver’s training refresher class before being returned to an approved status. Any employee with a rating of 4 shall not be eligible to operate a University vehicle. Drivers of University vehicles shall not permit non-University employees to drive University owned or leased vehicles. It shall also be the responsibility of designated drivers of University vehicles not to permit any University employee who has not met the criteria as an acceptable driver, according to this policy, to drive a University vehicle.

Authorization of drivers for the use of vehicles for official University business shall be limited to employees of U.T. Tyler unless otherwise approved in writing by the Vice President for Business Affairs. Each component institution shall maintain a list of all authorized drivers of University owned or leased vehicles (listed alphabetically) to include:

  • Driver’s name (as it appears on his or her license)
  • Driver’s license number
  • Date of birth
  • Driving status (acceptable or not acceptable)
  • Date of last training/counseling
  • Notations regarding any misconduct with the vehicle, any reprimands concerning his or her driving
  • Any positive remarks regarding his or her safe driving

Before employing a person as a driver of a University owned or leased vehicle for official University business, U.T. Tyler will request from the Texas Department of Public Safety a list of convictions for traffic violations contained in the department records on the potential employee and verification that the person has a valid driver’s license issued by the State in which the person permanently resides. Incumbent authorized drivers will have their MVR checked by U.T. Tyler:

  • At least every twelve months after initially authorized;
  • Promptly after the employee has been involved in an automobile accident while driving on official U.T. Tyler business; and
  • Promptly after the employee receives a moving traffic citation while on official U.T. Tyler business

Authorized drivers and applicants seeking a position that requires authorization to operate a University owned or leased vehicle for official U.T. Tyler business will be evaluated on the most recent three year history reflected on their MVR and points will be assigned accordingly. If the total points equal four or more for the immediately preceding 36 months, the person shall not be authorized to operate a University owned or leased vehicle for official University business. If U.T. Tyler is unable to obtain a three-year driving record history, the University’s Vice President for Business Affairs may use his/her discretion to authorize the employee to operate a University owned or leased vehicle for official University business.

Reporting Responsibilities

An authorized driver of a University owned or leased vehicle shall immediately report to his or her supervisor a suspension or revocation of the driver’s license or any Type A violation as defined in this policy including the nature of the charge, the pleas entered by the driver, the scheduled court date, and the findings of the court. An employee who fails to provide required notice shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Additionally, an unauthorized driver shall promptly report to his or her supervisor if the driver has been involved in a Type B violation as defined in this policy or an at-fault automobile accident while operating a University owned or leased vehicle for official University business.

An employee who operates a University owned or leased, rented, leased, or personal vehicle for
official University business at a time when his or her license was suspended or revoked, shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

Each employee approved to operate a University vehicle must do the following:

  • Maintain a valid drivers’ license (does not have to be a Texas driver’s license)
  • Report, immediately, all violations associated with operating the University vehicle including, but not limited to:
    • vehicle malfunctions
    • parking citations
    • moving violations
    • arrest of any nature while in possession of the University vehicle
  • Report, immediately, any Department of Motor Vehicle restrictions that would preclude driving a University vehicle.

Rating based on last three years of driving experience

  • Superior – no traffic citations or motor vehicle accidents (0 points)
  • Good – no more than one moving traffic citation and one motor vehicle accident (not at fault) (1-2 points)
  • Marginal – no more than two moving traffic citations, two motor vehicle accidents (not at fault), or one at fault motor vehicle accident (3 points)
  • Unacceptable – any driver whose MVR shows any one of the following records is not acceptable: (a) three or more accidents (at fault) in the last three years, (b) one or more Type A violations in the last three years, (c) any combination of at fault and Type B violations, which equal four or more in the last three years (4 points)

Type A Violations

Convictions for Type A violations count as four (4) points against an authorized driver’s or applicant’s record. Type A violations include:

  • Criminal negligent homicide (1st or 2nd degree)
  • Driving while intoxicated
  • Driving while under the influence of drugs
  • Drag racing/speeding contest
  • Aggravated assault with a motor vehicle
  • Driving while license suspended
  • Murder – with motor vehicle
  • Reckless driving
  • Fleeing from police officer
  • Felony use of commercial motor vehicle (CMV) – controlled substance
  • Felony use of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
  • Driving while license disqualified (CMV)

The definition of a DUI/DWI conviction means: being convicted, receiving a probated sentence, or pleading no contest for driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while intoxicated.

Type B Violations

Convictions for Type B violations count as one (1) point against an authorized driver’s or applicant’s record. Type B violations are all moving traffic violations not listed above as a Type A violation. Type B violations do not include non-moving administrative offenses (examples: outdated inspection stickers, no proof of insurance, license plate missing).

At-Fault Accidents 

Each at-fault accident counts as two (2) points. If a moving traffic violation conviction appears on a driving record along with an accident on the same date, this usually means that person was at-fault in the accident. Accidents shall be reviewed and the insurance company and each component institution’s business office, or other office designed by the Vice President for Business Affairs, shall make a determination if there is an at-fault question. Accident reports may be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

An MVR shall be obtained on all employees whose routine job duties would include driving a University vehicle:

  • Prior to employment;
  • At least every three years thereafter;
  • If the employee has been involved in an accident; or
  • If the employee receives a moving traffic citation.

The U.T. Tyler Police Department shall maintain a list of all regular U.T. Tyler drivers and require driver training for each on a periodic basis in addition to counseling/training for any U.T. Tyler driver involved in a motor vehicle accident or who has received a moving citation.

Drivers of U.T. Tyler vehicles must show proof that they have attended one of the following courses at least once during each 12 month period or within 30 days of when they have received a ticket for a moving violation or have been involved in an accident.

  • Defensive Driving;
  • One-day seminars on driving improvement; and
  • Driver training videos on specific driving skills

Driver Training

U.T. Tyler requires driver training for each authorized driver of University owned or leased vehicles at least every three years. Driver training may include, but is not limited to:

  • Defensive driving;
  • One-day seminars on driving improvement; 
  • Driver training videos on specific driving skills in which the driver may be deficient; or
  • Hands-on, behind-the-wheel training.

Commercial Driver’s License

A commercial driver’s license is required of authorized drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles for official University business. A commercial motor vehicle (CMV) is defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation as any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:

  • Has a gross weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 4,537 kg (10,001 lb.) or more; whichever is greater; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or
  • Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  • Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter 1, subchapter C.

Operation of 15-Passenger Vans

Operation of 12 or 15 passenger vans require that they be operated only by experienced, authorized drivers who understand and are familiar with the handling characteristics of the vans, especially when the van is fully loaded. This shall include having operators of 12 or 15 passenger vans attend van-specific training, including behind-the-wheel, on-the-road, training.

12 or 15 passenger vans shall not be used to carry more than 9 occupants (including the driver) at any one time, except as provided in the following sentence. At the discretion of U.T. Tyler’s Chief Business Officer, a component institution may use a 12 or 15 passenger van to carry between 10 and a maximum of 15 occupants (including the driver) on inner-campus, non-public streets only, provided that (1) the van does not cross over or travel on public streets, and (2) the van is not driven at a speed in excess of the posted campus speed limit, or in excess of 15 mph if there is no posted campus speed limit.

Seat belts must be used at all times by all occupants of 12 or 15 passenger vans.

Operation of 12 or 15 passenger vans requires consultation with the owner’s manual to determine the maximum safety load for the vehicle and proper distribution of the load. Passengers shall be seated only in recognized seats and in an arrangement designed to spread out the load. Luggage shall be placed in the rear behind the last seat and shall not be allowed on the roof when the van is being operated.

Tires shall be inspected to assure that they are properly inflated and not worn.

Drivers of 12 or 15 passenger vans may not drive a total of more than ten hours in any twenty-four hour period. Trips requiring more than ten hours driving time to reach a point of destination will require overnight lodging.

Drivers of 12 or 15 passenger vans shall take a mandatory thirty-minute rest break every four hours.

For trips scheduled for longer than two hours, a navigator will be assigned to assist each driver. The navigator must stay awake while on duty.

E. Responsibilities

See Policy and Procedures section.

F. Review

This policy shall be reviewed by the University Police every five years or as legislation changes.

ORIGINALLY APPROVED:  12/01/2001

LAST AMENDED:  AY 2014-15