Travel Planning and AuthorizationGENERAL
The review measures taken in the planning and authorization of automobile travel provide the best opportunity for management of certain travel risks. It is important that sound travel authorization procedures be established in each department to avoid costs and other losses associated with accidents. The following information is intended to assist in planning and authorizing University-related vehicle travel.
Management of automobile travel includes consideration of the following:
- Purpose to be accomplished.
- Cost and efficiency (practicality) of automobile mode.
- Driver's competency and legitimacy.
- Liabilities involved.
- Life safety considerations in automobile condition and operations.
- Insurance coverage.
The University's automobile liability insurance imposes a $50,000 deductible on any accident involving a University vehicle in which the driver had received a citation within the 12 months prior to the accident for any of the following reasons:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
- Reckless driving.
As any uninsured liability loss will be the department's responsibility, it is important that the person authorizing automobile travel determine the prospective driver's record through fleet operations to avoid this loss. An approved Safe Driving course video is available from the Purchasing Office and can be completed in less than two hours.
In additional to a valid driver's license and appropriate driving record status, a University driver should be experienced and competent in the type of driving required.
Care should be extended in the selection of any driver to ascertain that she or he is physically and mentally capable of driving safely. Any faculty, staff or student may be a driver providing the requirements above have been met.
All employees who operate University automobiles, or their own automobiles on University business as an essential function of their job, must complete an approved driving course annually.
All other employees who drive automobiles as part of the performance of University business must complete an approved driving course at the time of initial employment and al least every three years thereafter.
These requirements are in accordance with State Administrative Rule R-37.
Every driver of an automobile for University related purposes must posses a valid and appropriate license to operate the type of automobile involved.
Valid licenses for the State of Utah include:
- Valid licenses from any state of the USA.
- An international license. Valid out of country licenses plus the international license must be obtained in the resident country.
- Licenses from Canada and Mexico, but only for sixty days.
A commercial Driver License is required for:
- A vehicle designed to transport more than 15 persons (including the driver).
- A single vehicle with a gross automobile weight rate (GVWR) or more than 26,000 pounds.
- A trailer with a GVWR of more than 10,000 pounds if the gross combination weight is more than 26,000 pounds.
- Any size vehicle which requires hazardous materials placards.
- Any size vehicle used as a school bus.
The Travel Authorization (TA) form, if required for the travel involved, documents the purpose of the trip and can be a key element in determining the assignment of liability when necessary.
In order to assure that the trip's authorization is complete and properly documented, each person authorizing the travel should:
- Determine and fully identify all certain and probable destinations of travel.
- Identify all drivers and passengers involved.
Field trips or other excursions should be carefully managed to be sure that due diligence is exercised to provide safe conditions for all participants.
The most preferable situation is to arrange for commercial transportation. If this approach is not practical then arranging for University automobiles, with drivers carefully selected as described above, is preferable.
If none of the above situations are practical and it is necessary to allow students to drive their own vehicles, then it is most important to exercise authority and sound judgment in the driver and automobile selection.
Waivers and Representations
Before leaving on any student related travel, a waiver form, obtained from the Purchasing Office, must be filled out, signed and returned to the Purchasing office.
Basic to safe operation of an automobile is obeying all traffic laws, including the wearing of seatbelts by the driver and all passengers. This precludes passengers from riding in the back of pick-ups and vans even around the campus, unless adequate and proper seating and belting has been provided for them.
Most accidents in which University drivers are involved occur in backing and turning situations, and result from improper lookout. Care and concentration should be exercised whenever one is entering a different traffic flow pattern.
When it is necessary to drive for long periods it is important to rotate drivers and/or take rest stops every 90 to 120 minutes. Such stops should include getting out of the car and stretching.
Vans represent one of the greatest driving risks to the University. This is because the driving dynamics are different than other vehicles particularly in high winds, sudden stops and on slick road conditions which can surprise drivers unaccustomed to vans. Also the interactions that can occur between the driver and the passengers can be a distraction to the driver.
Special care should be exercised in the selection and authorization of driver for van. In addition to proper licenses and clear driving records, a prospective van driver should have a mature and responsible attitude and preferable have experience driving vans.
Long Distance Travel
Long distance trips should not extend the driving day beyond ten hours, and this duration should only be achieved by alternating drivers at least every two hours. Driving later than 10:00 p.m. should be avoided. Initiating trips in actual or forecasted inclement weather should be avoided particularly if vans are planned to be used.
Automobile Liability Insurance
The University's automobile liability insurance covers any person authorized to drive a University owned automobile provided the actual use is within the scope of such authorization. It also provides secondary coverage for any employee driving her or his personal automobile with in the scope of employment. The employee's personal automobile liability insurance is primary to the extent it is available.
There is a $10,000 per accident deductible if the driver involved does not have a valid driver's license and a record clear of citations for the past 12 months. Any losses, that are applicable to such deductible, are the responsibility of the driver's (employee's) department.
Rented Automobile Coverage
The State of Utah periodically contracts with certain car rental agencies to provide cars at rates that include liability coverage for damage to rented vehicles as well as damages and injuries of third parties. To obtain a rental car, the UVU Travel Office must book the vehicle with the state contracted vendor.
Payment of any daily rate other than the negotiated contract rate nullifies the liability coverage.
There is a $10,000 deductible in liability coverage for use of any non-contracted rental agency's vehicle unless it can be verified that a reasonable attempt was made to use the state contracts, but no automobile was available either at the time or at the place or of the type needed. If these conditions are not met, but use of a non-contracted agency vehicle is still desirable, the liability insurance offered by such agency should be procured.
Use of Personal Vehicles for College Use
When using personal vehicles for University business, the individual's personal vehicle insurance becomes the primary insurance. The University insurance is secondary only after the limits of the individual's personal insurance are exhausted.
In the event of an accident:
- Determine the extent of injury or damage as quickly as possible.
- Take immediate steps to prevent further damage or injury at the scene including first aid as possible and necessary.
- Contact the Highway Patrol or local area police and request an ambulance if anyone is injured.
- Determine names of drivers, passengers, and witnesses before they leave the scene of the accident.
- Refrain from statements regarding probably liability or inferences of commitment for the University.
- Obtain the insurance information from the driver of any other automobile involved (policy number, insurance carrier, insurance agent's name and telephone number).
- Obtain the name of the investigating officer and the agency he or she represents (city police, highway patrol, sheriff, etc.).