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Transportation Policy

1. Vehicle Policy Statement

Hood College recognizes its responsibilities to its students, faculty and staff regarding the use of motor vehicles to conduct business. The college's desire to eliminate, reduce and control personal injuries and property damage is not solely based upon reducing operating costs, but includes its attempt to protect the campus community and the general public at large.

The college hereby establishes this Vehicle Policy as its guide to all students, faculty and staff who maintain or operate college vehicles that are either assigned to them on a daily basis or to which they have access. All college students, faculty and staff must utilize college vehicles in a prudent manner, one that adheres to all motor vehicle statutes, laws and regulations.

The Vice president for Business and Finance and the Vice president and Dean of the college have approved this policy. All students, faculty and staff drivers must comply while in the process of driving a college-owned or leased vehicle. *

Hood College will comply with all applicable laws and regulations including those that prohibit discrimination on the basis of race, sex, age, color, national origin, handicap or disabled veteran status.

*Certain regulations apply to individuals utilizing their personal vehicles in the performance of college-related work.

2. Administrative Responsibilities

This policy is beneficial in controlling student, faculty and staff driving activities and attitudes. The administration is expected to support and enforce fleet safety procedures and accident prevention measures described in this Vehicle Policy.

2.1 Responsibility

It is the administration's responsibility to:

2.1.1 Designate a person to coordinate and control the implementation and maintenance of this policy.

2.1.2 Emphasize the importance of this policy and require participation and cooperation from all students, faculty and staff.

2.2 Administration of the Policy

2.2.1 The Chief of Campus Safety has been designated to administer the guidelines established herein and to supervise the use of the vehicles covered under this policy.

2.2.2 The purpose of this directive is to set forth a Hood College policy on vehicle safety for members of the entire college community. All students, faculty and staff are accountable for carrying out the procedures of this directive. This directive has been approved by the administration with the overall college objective in mind of reducing the risk of injuries to students, faculty and staff and, ultimately, cost.

2.2.3 The Chief of Campus Safety will assure that each department head is informed of the Vehicle Policy and kept updated of any additions and/or changes in order that they can communicate with every student, faculty and staff driver under their supervision the procedures and remedies of this directive and the consequences should they be violated.

2.2.4 The Chief of Campus Safety will notify, in writing, each director or department head of any violations committed by employees or students under their supervision.

2.2.5 A copy of the driver’s license of all college drivers will be kept in the Campus Safety office.

3. Authorization

3.1 All Hood College departments and organizations are entitled to request a vehicle for transportation use. The department head or organization moderator will be responsible to see that the policies of this directive are followed.

3.2 Only individuals whose names appear on the Approved College Drivers list can operate a Hood College vehicle. (To become an approved driver see section 7).

4. Utilization

Hood College vehicles may only be utilized for the following purposes:

4.1 Transportation of college students, faculty and staff for official business.

4.2 Transportation to and from special activities when an appropriate college official authorizes such trips.

4.3 Transportation for personal business is strictly prohibited.

4.4 Vehicles with cargo space will be appropriately utilized as intended.

5. Scheduling

5.1 Vehicles are scheduled on a first-come, first-served basis. Phone call reservations will be accepted with follow-up request in writing for the record. Ten-day notice is required on all vehicle reservations.

5.2 At the time of the request all pertinent information will be given: departure time, return time, complete address of destinations, account number to be charged, purpose of trip, assigned driver and department head or moderator’s name.

6. Cancellation

6.1 Requesting parties must call extension 3964 or 3968 when canceling a vehicle. If you can not reach Doreen Jarvis at these extensions contact the college switchboard and they will put you in contact with the Director of Campus Safey.

6.2 The director of Campus Safety may cancel vehicle requests during inclement weather due to safety concerns. No vehicles will be allowed on roadways when the snow emergency plan is in effect for Frederick County.

7. Driver's Qualifications

All students, faculty and staff wanting to be authorized to drive a college vehicle will be required to meet specific requirements:

7.1 Possess a valid driver's license issued by the state in which he or she resides.

7.2 Must be at least 21 years of age and be affiliated with Hood College as a student, staff or faculty member.

7.3 Hood College will require you to sign a release form to obtain a copy of your Motor Vehicle Reports (MVR) for all students, faculty and staff requesting to drive a college vehicle, as well as staff whose occupation requires them to drive college vehicles.

7.4 Employees requesting to drive a college vehicle for a specific occasion and who do not have an MVR will be asked to sign a verification form affirming that no motor vehicle violations are charged against their driver’s license until that employee can obtain a Motor Vehicle report (MVR).

7.5 The MVR is a valuable aid in assessing the driving ability of a student, faculty or staff member. When evaluating the MVR, the following table will be used:

7.6 Motor Vehicle Violations (Employees) Action

7.6.1 2-4 points assessed: Warning letter sent for moving violations to employee and copy to the department head.

7.6.2 5 or more points assessed: not eligible to drive a college vehicle until MVR is cleared.

7.6.3 Loss of license or DUI/DWI: Privilege permanently revoked until Motor Vehicle Administration reinstates license.

8. Drivers' Responsibilities

Drivers are required to do the following:

8.1 A person operating a college vehicle or personal vehicle on college-related business is required to have in his/her possession a valid driver’s license from the state in which he/she resides.

8.2 Any student, faculty or staff member operating a college on college business shall immediately notify Campus Safety if his/her driver's license is suspended, revoked or deemed invalid for any reason by the state motor vehicle department or any other official agency.

8.3 It is a violation of state law for a driver of a vehicle to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol while driving. Individuals convicted of a DWI will permanently lose the privilege of driving a college fleet vehicle. They will also be restricted from driving any college vehicle during the suspension of their license.

8.4 A college vehicle, fleet or otherwise, will not be released at any time to an individual suspected to be under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

8.5 The consumption of alcohol, regardless of age, and/or use of drugs while in a college vehicle is a violation of state law and will be prosecuted accordingly.

8.6 The driver of any college vehicle must provide a prompt report to Campus Safety (phone report within 12 hours, written report within 48 hours, or as soon as returning to campus if on a trip) of any accident involving the vehicle. Any accident involving a fatality, serious injury or major property damage must be reported immediately to Campus Safety at 301-696-3548.

8.7 Drivers of all college vehicles shall comply with all applicable state motor vehicle laws and operating regulations, and are personally responsible for any citations issued for violations of it. Any citation received while driving a college vehicle must be reported to Campus Safety.

8.8 All employees operating a personal vehicle in the scope of their employment will carry appropriate levels of insurance on the vehicle and as specified by policies. The name of the employee's insurance carrier and policy number must be recorded at Campus Safety.

8.9 The driver of a Hood College vehicle is responsible for reporting to Campus Safety, when returning the vehicle, any malfunctions that occurred involving the vehicle.

8.10 Before any operator places a vehicle in motion, all passengers, including the driver, shall have their seat belts and shoulder straps fastened.

8.11 The driver of a college vehicle on college business is responsible for ensuring that all passengers are riding in a safe and secure manner.

8.12 A driver of a college vehicle must notify his/her supervisor or other designated administrator or responsible person when taking medication or when there is any serious condition that could impair his/her driving ability.

8.13 All drivers should perform pre- and post inspection checks of the vehicle they are responsible for. A Campus Safety officer should verify any deficiencies or other notable problems of a fleet vehicle before leaving the campus.

8.14 Conduct of the passengers will always be such that it does not interfere with the safe handling of the vehicle.

8.15 Vehicles must not be utilized to transport any unauthorized passengers; i.e., hitchhikers.

8.16 Drivers are responsible for ensuring that fleet vehicle keys, credit cards and appropriate forms are returned to the dispatcher when the vehicle is returned.

8.17 All vehicle forms must be accurately filled out and signed.

8.18 The driver is responsible for the cleanliness and upkeep of the vehicle while in his/her possession.

8.19 Drivers must pick up fleet vehicles at the dispatch point in the Whitaker Campus Center.

9. Violations

9.1 Minor Violations

9.1.1 Operating a college vehicle, or personal vehicle on college business, without wearing seat belts and/or restraints.

9.1.2 Failure to require passengers to wear seat belts and/or restraints while in a college or personal vehicle on company business.

9.1.3 Failure to follow guidelines set forth in Section 8: "Driver Responsibilities."

9.1.4 Operating a college vehicle or personal vehicle while on college business without a valid driver's license on their person.

9.1.5 Unauthorized use of a college vehicle for business not in compliance with policies outlined in this section.

9.1.6 Operating a vehicle in a careless and reckless manner, endangering the driver’s safety as well as that of others.

9.1.7 Causing college vehicles to be damaged due to carelessness.

9.2 Major Violations

9.2.1 Being convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol and\or drugs.

9.2.2 Failure to report an accident, misrepresentation of the facts concerning an accident, or withholding information concerning an accident (see 8.6).

9.2.3 Leaving the scene of an accident (hit and run) without notifying the appropriate authorities.

9.2.4 Being charged by an outside police agency for causing an accident, with injuries or serious property damage, while driving a college vehicle or personal vehicle on college business.

9.2.5 Being convicted of two or more moving traffic violations within a 12-month period.

9.2.6 Gross negligence in driving a college or personal vehicle while on COLLEGE business, which affects the safety of others or causes damage to college property.

9.2.7 Failure to report a revoked or suspended driver’s license to college authorities while continuing to drive a college vehicle or personal vehicle on college business.

9.3 Remedies

9.3.1 Accident Liability:

9.3.1.1 All vehicle accidents will be investigated by the Campus Safety Department and/or an outside police agency. If a student, faculty or staff member is determined to be negligent in causing damage to college property while driving a college vehicle he/she may be held responsible for negligence and may lose the privilege of driving a college vehicle. Contributing factors will be the extent of carelessness involved (a safety issue), the cost incurred and/or the effort to avoid responsibility.

9.3.1.2 If a student, faculty or staff member is involved in an accident on campus while driving his/her own personal vehicle, he/she will be liable for damages to college property if recognized as the party at fault.

9.3.2 Minimal remedial or disciplinary actions for minor violations: *

9.3.2.1 First offense - counseling session or written warning.

9.3.2.2 Second offense (within a 12-month period) - a second warning with possible driving restriction.

9.3.2.3 Third offense (within a 12-month period) - loss of driving privileges for 6 to 12 months.

* Be aware that these are MINIMUM sanctions for specific offenses. Depending on the nature, degree and/or frequency of a violation, a more severe sanction may be imposed.

9.3.3 Minimal remedial or disciplinary actions for major violations are as follows. Note: Section 7.5 will supersede when applicable.

9.3.3.1 First Offense:

Student, faculty or staff member is suspended from driving a college vehicle for a 12-month period and MVR is cleared. Employee may drive personal vehicle on college business during the suspension, but MUST carry a minimum Combined Single Liability of $500,000. Employee must provide a Certificate of Insurance to the business and finance department reflecting this coverage and must name Hood College as a certificate holder.

9.3.3.2 Second Offense:

Student, faculty or staff member is suspended from driving a college vehicle for a 24-month period and MVR is cleared. Employee may drive a personal vehicle on college business during the suspension, but MUST carry a minimum Combined Single Limit Liability of $1,000,000. Employee must provide a Certificate of Insurance to the business and finance department reflecting this coverage and must name Hood College as a certificate holder.

9.3.2.3 Third Offense:

Student, faculty or staff member is permanently suspended from driving ANY VEHICLE on college property.

9.4 Adjudication: The director of Campus Safety is responsible for reviewing all accident reports, accident interviews and Motor Vehicle Reports and adjudicating the appropriate remedies. An appeals process can be initiated by appealing to the director of human resources, for employees, and to the dean of students, for students.

9.5 Reinstatement: Prior to reinstatement of driving privileges, employees or students must be informed of the consequences should they be involved in another violation. This counseling session will be documented and become part of their personnel record or disciplinary record.

10. Accident Reporting

All vehicle accidents that occur while driving any vehicle while on college business must be reported to Public Safety. This mandate includes personal vehicles, courtesy vehicles, lease vehicles, rentals, etc., in addition to vehicles belonging to the college. The following steps should be followed immediately after an accident:

10.1 Immediate Responses:

10.1.1 Seek aid for injured.

10.1.2 Call local police if off campus or Campus Safety if on campus.

10.1.3 Obtain facts about other vehicles (insurance co. name, policy number and address, license number, color, year, make and registration number of vehicle).

10.1.4 Obtain facts about other driver (name and address, driver’s license number and state issued, phone numbers--work and home).

10.1.5 Obtain identification of all parties injured and nature of injuries.

10.1.6 Obtain the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.

10.2 Describe and diagram the accident.

10.3 If the accident is serious (serious bodily injury or property damage) call Public Safety as soon as possible at 301-447-5357.

10.4 Do not discuss the accident, except with police, the insurance carrier or representatives of the college. ADMIT NO LIABILITY.

10.5 If a college employee is involved in a motor vehicle accident while operating a personal vehicle on college business, the accident should be reported to the employee's insurance carrier and to Campus Safety.

10.6 If the accident involves a rental vehicle being used by a college employee, report the accident to the rental company and to Campus Safety. Campus Safety will notify the college’s insurance company.

10.7 If another party causes damage to a college-owned or leased vehicle, immediately forward a report to Campus Safety. Please indicate in your report that this is a case for subrogation. Initial recovery responsibility for the damage to college vehicles caused by others rests with the driver of the college vehicle. You must provide the following to Campus Safety:

10.7.1 Copy of the police report. If no injuries occurred, the police may not fill out a report. If this occurs, obtain the responding officer’s name and police department for your report.

10.7.2 Information on other driver and vehicle.

10.7.3 Name, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses.

10.7.4 Description of accident.

10.7.5 Estimate of damage.

10.7.6 Cost incurred such as towing, rental, damage to property other than the vehicle or medical expenses should be documented.

10.8 If a college or rental vehicle breaks down while being used, the driver should call Campus Safety and the rental company. Be prepared to relay type of problem and location and a phone number where he/she can be reached. Assistance may be rendered directly through the college or by the Rental Company.

10.9 If a College employee is involved in an accident while driving a courtesy vehicle or the courtesy vehicle is damaged somehow, a report must be filed with Campus Safety. The college insurance company is responsible for paying for repairs.

11. Vehicle Maintenance

11.1 The Transportation Coordinator will routinely inspect the college’s vehicles and take the vehicles for regular maintenance and routine cleaning. General services such as filling the gas tank after each use with the gas card provided by the college, cleaning and inspecting for damages should be performed after each use BY THE VEHICLE DRIVER. A maintenance log should be kept of these inspections with a record of any noted problems. Campus Safety should be notified of any damage to the vehicles upon returning them.

11.2 Department heads will be notified of vehicles returned damaged or in filthy condition. Departments will be billed for repair or cleanup cost.