University Driving Policy

Applicable to:

Effective Date:

Approved by:

All Students, staff and Faculty

July 2021

Dr. T. Dwayne McCay, President

Policy Owner: Office of Compliance and Risk Management  

Policy Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to establish university policy for driving on official university business, to define the procedures in place to minimize the potential for accidents and losses and ensure safety for all drivers, passengers and pedestrians. Vehicle operation represents a significant source of potential loss exposure for the university. Accidents can result in losses arising from injuries to employees or others, and property damage to university vehicles and private property.

Policy Scope

This policy applies to all students, staff and faculty who are approved to drive University owned, leased, rented or borrowed vehicles. This will include employees who are required to drive university vehicles as an integral part of their work.

Policy Statement

University vehicles driven on Florida Institute of Technology (“university”) business shall be operated in a safe manner, in compliance with all state laws and applicable University policies, rules and regulations. Only properly qualified and authorized persons may drive on university business. University owned, leased, rented, or borrowed vehicles may only be used for official, authorized purposes; personal use is prohibited. Drivers who fail to adhere to vehicle policies and procedures may have their driving privileges suspended and are subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination.

Procedures

Prospective drivers of university vehicles must be approved by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

Faculty, staff and students must complete the following registration process:

In order to drive a university vehicle, the following must be met: 

  1. Be at least 18 years of age to drive University owned and leased vehicles– age restriction in Florida. Under 21 years of age, the following apply:
    • Note: If they are renting from a private company, the age restriction may be different.
  2. Submit a copy of a valid US state driver’s license and an MVR Consent Form for university records to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  3. Successfully complete the appropriate compliance training courses as assigned through Vivid/HSI.
  4. After review of the employee’s driving record, the Office of Compliance and Risk Management will determine if the employee is authorized to drive. Authorization to drive a university vehicle is conditioned upon confirmation of a satisfactory driving record. If the department of motor vehicles report includes serious citations, such as driving under the influence, reckless driving or other significant moving violations, the employee or student will not be permitted to drive any Florida Tech vehicle.
  5. All drivers must have a satisfactory motor vehicle report annually. Note: The driving history of authorized drivers will be checked on an annual basis. MVR reports are valid for 1 year (August – July). All drivers must be authorized annually beginning August 1. 

Drivers must notify their supervisor immediately if their drivers’ license is suspended or revoked or they receive a traffic citation. Failure to promptly provide the required notification may result in disciplinary action or in appropriate cases, termination of employment.

Eligible Drivers 

The following University members ae eligible to become approved drivers of university vehicles:

  1. Faculty and Staff- job roles require driving university vehicles.
  2. Faculty and Staff- serves as an advisor to an organization/club on campus.
  3. Student Employee – needs to be identified and approved by the supervisor.
  4. Student – active in an organization on campus.

Restrictions for Student Drivers

Students may not drive University owned, leased, rented or borrowed vehicles outside of the State of Florida without first obtaining written permission from the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

Personal Vehicle for University Business

Use of Personal Vehicle for University Business and used for business purposes is not covered by the university’s insurance. All drivers are insured by their own insurance. The insurance must meet the liability insurance requirements of the motor vehicle financial responsibility laws of the state in which the employee lives. Any individual who drives his or her personal vehicle to an activity assume all responsibility for the safety of himself/herself as well as any passengers. The university bears no liability for student use of personal vehicles. Please see Travel Policy for additional information regarding the use of personal automobile and travel reimbursement.

Training

The university reserves the right to require training for all drivers. All drivers of University fleet vehicles and all students driving on University business or for any university related activity must complete and pass the assigned compliance driving training course. If the university determines that such training is necessary and the driver fails to complete the training within 90 days of notification by the university, the university shall revoke the driver’s privilege to drive the University vehicle. Drivers who have been involved in an accident or who receive a moving violation may be required to take the mandatory refresher training course(s).

Monitor Training

Every driver is subject to certain training requirements and the Department must confirm completion of the following:

  • All Drivers- Successfully completed the assigned compliance training courses based on type of vehicle driving.
  • Van Drivers –Individuals renting university vans must have successfully completed the Van Safety course arranged by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • Golf/Utility Cart Drivers – Successfully completed the golf/utility cart training arranged by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • Vehicle Specific Training – Some specialty vehicles (trolleys, vans, etc.) may require training for university drivers. The Department of Transportation Services will arrange additional training for each situation.

Parking and Driving on Campus

Drivers of University vehicles must comply with posted University parking and driving regulations.

Vehicle Security

University vehicles must be properly parked and secured when left unattended.

Misuse of University Vehicles:

The following are considered to be a misuse of University vehicles:

  • Driving a university vehicle without prior authorization from the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  • Permitting someone who is not affiliated with the University to drive a university vehicle without prior authorization.
  • Noncompliance with traffic/motor vehicle laws and regulations.
  • Engaging in unsafe practices, including failure to use and to ensure that all passengers use all available safety equipment in the vehicle being operated. Safety equipment includes seatbelts, and/or shoulder harnesses.
  • The use of handheld or hands-free cell phones, or other devices that take attention away from driving is prohibited by those driving university vehicles. If a call must be made during a trip, drivers must pull into a safe location and stop before making the call. If the driver receives an incoming call while driving, they must allow the call to go to voicemail and return the call when stopped in a safe location.
  • Drivers will not operate a motor vehicle at any time when his/her ability is impaired, affected, or influenced by alcohol, illegal drugs, medication, illness, fatigue, or injury. Alcoholic beverages and/or illegal substances and any tobacco products are prohibited in university-insured vehicles, utility vehicles, and golf carts.
  • When taking prescribed medications, it is important to know how that medication may affect your ability to drive. It is wise to speak with your physician about the type of work you perform. Many prescribed medications contain warnings not to operate heavy machinery or drive while taking the medication.
  • Personal use of university vehicles or transporting passengers other than persons directly involved with official University business.
  • Failure to comply with any law, regulation, or policy regarding the use of University vehicles, including the requirement to have a satisfactory completed University On-Line Driver Training course assigned by the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

Renting a Vehicle for University Business

Automobile rental is allowable for business travel only. The university recommends renting a vehicle from the preferred rental agencies on the Florida Tech Procurement travel website. If the driver rents a car from a rental car agency, the university’s blanket auto insurance policy automatically covers these rentals and it is not necessary to purchase additional insurance. If the traveler is renting a car in another country (other than the U.S.), it is required that the traveler purchase insurance at the time of rental. The Travel Policy provides additional information regarding automobile rental.

Accident Notification

A. University Vehicles Accident Notification

The driver of a University owned, leased, rented or borrowed vehicle involved in an accident on or off campus, regardless of fault, must:

  1. Notify local law enforcement immediately.
  2. Notify their supervisor, Florida Tech’s Security Department and the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  3. The vehicle should not be moved until local policy arrive to the accident location.
  4. The vehicle’s glove box contains an envelope with the vehicle registration card, and an insurance card (all university owned vehicles).
  5. Obtain the names and addresses of any witnesses to the accident and exchange drivers’ license information if another vehicle is involved in the accident. If additional information is requested, refer the party marking the request to Florida Tech’s Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  6. Provide all document (i.e. police report, rental car agreement (if applicable), and any other paperwork) to the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.
  7. If an employee is injured in a vehicular accident, a worker's compensation report must be filed with the Office of Compliance and Risk Management.

 Note: Notify Rental Agency if vehicle is a rental.

The driver of a University owned, leased, rented or borrowed vehicle involved in an accident on or off campus, regardless of fault, must:

B. Personal Vehicle Accident Notification 

The insurance policy of an employee or student involved in an accident using his or her own vehicle on University business is the primary source of coverage. Florida Tech's insurance policy is secondary and only provides liability coverage after the limits of the employee's or student’s primary coverage are exhausted. The University does not provide collision/comprehensive damage insurance coverage for employee or student vehicles engaged in university business.

Definitions (If Applicable)

University Driver: An employee (staff or faculty) of the University, at least eighteen years old, who is approved to drive a University vehicle under this policy; also employees at the University, at least eighteen years old, but subject to the limitations specified above in Driver Requirements; and,

Student: an active university student who is at least eighteen years old, who is approved to drive a university vehicle under this policy.

University Vehicle: All licensed vehicles owned, leased, rented or borrowed by Florida Tech. Types of vehicles include golf carts, vans, cars, SUV’, etc.

University Business: those activities that further the mission of the university and, in the case of an employee of the university, are within the scope and authority of that person’s employment.

Motor Vehicle Report (“MVR”): the record of a person’s driving history obtained from the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles or another state.

Compliance Reference (If Applicable)

All vehicles used to conduct university-related business must be operated in compliance with all state laws and all applicable University policies, rules, and regulations.

Responsibilities 

  1. Administrators, managers, and supervisors are responsible for ensuring that only properly qualified and authorized individuals are allowed to drive vehicles in support of university business, and activities under their direction and control.
  2. The Office of Human Resources is responsible to ensure that all staff who is required to drive University vehicles complete the registration process upon hire before authorizing them to drive.
  3. Individual department administrators are responsible to ensure that staff, faculty and students who are required to drive University vehicles complete annual registration process before authorizing them to drive.
  4. All University staff, faculty and student drivers are responsible for operating vehicles on university business in a safe and lawful manner at all times, and for complying with all provisions of this policy. Drivers have specific responsibilities to only drive on university business when properly authorized, and to immediately notify supervisors of accidents, injuries, loss of license, etc. as outlined in this policy.
  5. The Office of Compliance and Risk Management is responsible for providing coordination for the university’s driving policy and the driver safety program, includingFacilities and Transportation Services is responsible for the following:
    1. Coordinating motor vehicle record (MVR) review of drivers and providing driver authorization.
    2. Providing notification to drivers and supervisors concerning driver status, restrictions and required actions.
    3. Providing driver safety compliance training to meet the needs of the campus community.
    4. Coordinating insurance claims for losses involving university vehicles.
  6. Facilities and Transportation Services is responsible for the following:
    1. Providing a fleet of university vehicles for official use.
    2. Ensuring that annual safety inspections and appropriate repairs are made for all university vehicles.

Enforcement (If Applicable)

Violations of this policy may result in suspension of University Vehicle driving privileges for an appropriate period of time. In addition, the driver may be subject to university disciplinary procedures.