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III. General Responsibilities

Unless otherwise noted, the following requirements apply to all covered vehicle use - both university and personal vehicles - as discussed under Section I. Additional responsibilities specific to certain types of drivers, vehicles or activities are discussed under Sections IV (university vehicles), V (personal vehicles) and the Appendix (Passenger Van Safety).

A. Driver Conduct. All drivers must comply with this and other university policies and regulations, and applicable traffic laws. This includes but is not limited to the following rules, which are included in a checklist intended to be printed out and carried in the vehicle:

 1. Drivers must drive in a safe and courteous manner, paying special attention to pedestrians and cyclists.

 2. Drivers must have a valid license in their possession. 

 3. Drivers and all occupants are required to wear seat belts.

 4. No alcoholic beverages or non-prescribed controlled substances shall be present or consumed while traveling. No driver may drive while under the influence of alcohol or a non-prescribed controlled substance, or while taking prescription drugs that impair his or her ability to drive. 

 5. Smoking is not permitted in any university or rented vehicle.

 6. Cell phones, radios, and texting devices may not be used by drivers while operating the vehicle.

7. Music and other noise inside the vehicle must be kept at reasonable levels, so as not to distract drivers or prevent them from hearing horns, sirens or other traffic noises.

 8. For each day of the trip, there must be one driver in the vehicle for every 400 miles driven. No single driver may drive more than 220 miles or three hours (whichever is less) without a break.

 9. Drivers may not pick up hitchhikers.

 10. Drivers must report to the appropriate supervisor or university official any physical or mental condition that may impair their ability to drive.

 11. Drivers may not leave a running vehicle unattended. Unattended vehicles must be properly parked, with ignition off, brake set, and locked.  

 12. Drivers may not drive the vehicle "off road" unless

  • off-road travel is reasonably necessary to conduct the university business or university-related activity, and the vehicle is designed for off-road use,
  • prior approval has been granted, or
  • an emergency situation occurs.  

 13. Drivers must be mindful of the weather, and avoid driving during severe weather conditions, when feasible.

14. Drivers are personally responsible for all traffic and parking violations, citations, and tickets, regardless of fault. Drivers must promptly report any citation or ticket received while driving on university business or for a university-related activity to the relevant supervisor or university official.

15. Vans are subject to additional safety requirements, set forth in the Appendix to this policy.

16. Drivers may tow trailers only with specific departmental approval. Vans may NOT be used to pull trailers.

 B. Driver Qualifications and Authorization.

1. Driver Authorization. Individuals must complete a driver authorization process before driving (a) a university vehicle or (b) in certain circumstances discussed in Section V(B), a personal vehicle on university business or in the course of a university-related activity.

  • Driver Authorization Form. The authorization process includes completion of a Driver Authorization Form, which requires certification by the driver of information regarding his or her driving history and other information. (The information required varies depending on the type of vehicle and driver.)
  • Driver authorization is granted or denied based on the information provided in the Driver Authorization Form. The university's Risk Manager should be consulted with any questions as to whether authorization should be granted or denied. Guidance may also be found in the Guidance for Implementation of Vehicle Use Policy.

2.Van Safety Training. Anyone - faculty, student, or staff - driving a van on university business or for a university-related activity must first complete the Van Safety Training conducted by the W & M police department. Supervisors may exempt individual employees with significant experience driving vans from the safety training requirement.

3. Drivers generally must be at least 19 years of age to drive a van, as described in the Passenger Van Safety Appendix.

4. Employees (including faculty) and volunteers seeking reimbursement or travel advances for travel, whether using a university, rental, or personal vehicle, must submit a travel authorization in Chrome River prior to the planned trip.