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Procedure III.3008.A.a, Use of College Owned or Leased Vehicles

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Associated Policy

Policy III.3008.A, Use of College Owned or Leased Vehicles

Procedures

Responsibilities

Facilities Services will maintain a fleet of vehicles to be used for official college business.  Campus Services will manage vehicle reservations and assign appropriate vehicles for approved travel.  The Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM) Office is responsible for the following:

  • Procure and manage insurance coverage for college vehicles.
  • Maintain in-house files on approved drivers.
  • Process Texas Department of Public Safety driving history records.
  • Process insurance and injury claims.
  • Add/Delete vehicles to college insurance policy.
  • Distribute insurance identification cards to applicable departments.

Documents and records must be retained in accordance with San Jacinto College (College) document retention procedures.

Eligible Drivers and Passengers

Full-time, part-time, and approved contracted employees of the College are eligible to operate college vehicles if he/she:

  • Possess a valid Texas Driver’s License with applicable endorsements and valid classification for the vehicle he/she is driving.
  • Successfully complete the College’s approved on-line Driver’s Training Course every three years.
  • Maintain an acceptable driving record.
  • Is 18 years of age or older if a full-time employee.
  • Is 25 years of age or older if a part-time employee.

A driver meeting the above requirements and authorized through the SHERM Office is considered an “eligible driver.”

Passengers are limited to college employees, students, and persons directly involved with the purposes for which the vehicle was requested.

Driving Records

To ensure the safety of people and property, the SHERM Office will obtain and review Texas Department of Public Safety (TxDPS) driving history records for each prospective driver.  Driving records must be updated every three (3) years in order to operate a college-owned vehicle.

  • While the College reserves the right to modify acceptable standards, currently an acceptable driver must have:
  • No major violations in the last three (3) years – (Driving While Intoxicated (DWI), Vehicular Homicide, Reckless Driving, Drugs, Leaving the Scene of an Accident); or
  • No more than two (2) moving violations in the last three (3) years in combination with one at-fault accidents; or
  • No more than three (3) other moving violations in the last three (3) years with no at-fault accidents; or
  • No more than two (2) at fault accidents in the last 3 years with no moving violations.

General Use Regulations for College-Owned or Leased Vehicles

At all times, college-owned or leased vehicles should be operated in compliance with all state and local laws. Drivers who exhibit unsafe, illegal, or discourteous driving habits may have their driving privileges revoked.  All traffic citations are the sole responsibility of the driver.

  • The applicable license must be in the employee’s possession while driving.
  • Use of college-owned or leased vehicles for personal business or pleasure is prohibited.
  • No person whose license has been revoked or suspended shall be permitted to operate a college-owned or leased vehicle without obtaining a valid license through the proper reinstatement procedures.
  • Any approved driver who is charged with violating any state law or local ordinance relating to motor vehicle traffic control, in this or any other state, or has their license suspended, revoked, or canceled, must notify the SHERM Office immediately for review of driving privileges.
  • Mechanical failure or damage due to the negligence of the driver shall be the financial responsibility of the user department or recognized student organization.
  • Insurance identification cards are located in all college vehicles.
  • Seat belts will be worn by all occupants at all times while vehicle is in operation.
  • Loading items on top of any vehicle or towing behind vehicle is prohibited.
  • Smoking and consuming and/or transporting alcoholic beverages or illegal substances are prohibited in college-owned or leased vehicles.
  • The transporting of ammunition and/or explosives is prohibited in college-owned or leased vehicles.   
  • No driver may operate a college-owned or leased vehicle while impaired and/or under the influence of a controlled substance.
  • The use of cellular phone or any electronic device is not allowed while driving college-owned or leased vehicles. The only exception is a preprogrammed directional driving application (i.e. Goggle Maps or similar).
  • College-owned vehicles are not to be kept at a residence overnight upon completion of a scheduled trip.
  • Use of college-owned vehicles are prohibited for travel less than a 50 mile radius from a campus, except where there are four (4) or more passengers, plus the driver, or the vehicle is used for carrying specialized materials or equipment.  Exceptions must be approved by employee’s supervisor and Campus Services.
  • Travel outside of Texas is prohibited for college-owned vehicles.   Limited liability is granted under the Texas Tort Reform and does not include college-owned vehicles driven outside the State of Texas. 
  • In-state travel is limited to a 400 mile radius from the campus of departure. 
  • No handguns or guns of any type may be carried or stored in a college-owned vehicle.  
  • Law enforcement officers using college vehicles in the performance of their duties are exempt to the provisions of this section.

Violations

A  driver who has fulfilled the requirements of an “eligible driver” as defined in this procedure, may not drive  a college-owned or leased vehicle if his/her license is suspended, revoked, or canceled;  in addition to having his/her driving privileges with the College revoked, he/she may be disciplined up to and including termination.

All motor vehicle violations including parking violations incurred by a driver in a college-owned or leased vehicle shall be paid promptly with non-college funds by the driver. This does not prevent a driver from using the court process to contest motor vehicle or parking violations through established processes.

Evidence of transporting   firearms, ammunition, explosives, alcoholic beverages and/or illegal drugs; driving while impaired; or using tobacco, alcohol, or illegal drugs in a college-owned or leased vehicle  may result in the forfeiture of future privileges for the user department or recognized student group and/or appropriate disciplinary action or termination of the parties involved.

Reporting Vehicle Failure

If mechanical failure occurs to a vehicle during normal operating hours, Facilities Services should be notified.  If failure occurs after normal operating hours, the driver should contact the San Jacinto College Police Dispatch (SJC Police) for assistance with notifying the Facilities Services personnel on-call.

Reporting Accidents

When involved in an accident, the driver should:

  1. Ensure his /her safety and wellbeing and the safety and wellbeing of all passengers.
  2. Contact the local law enforcement agency having jurisdiction.
  3. Do not admit to any guilt of any party involved with the accident investigation.
  4. Obtain contact and insurance information regarding other driver(s) involved in the accident.
  5. Using mobile phone, take photographs if safe to do so.
  6. Obtain an accident report from the responding law enforcement agency whenever a college-owned or leased vehicle is involved in an accident.

Once the driver, passengers, and accident scene have been secured, all vehicle incidents including accidents, damages, and moving violations, must be reported immediately, in detail to the Director of SHERM, SJC Police, and the employee’s supervisor.   The driver must provide the SHERM Office the accident report from the responding law enforcement agency and details of the accident including all personal injuries resulting from the vehicle accident.  The SHERM Office, in conjunction the College’s insurance provider, will investigate the accident and monitor follow-up steps. The driver and all passengers are expected to fully cooperate with the investigation.

The driver’s supervisor is required to complete a Supervisor’s Accident of Investigation Report and forward to the SHERM Office within five (5) working days from the date the vehicle accident was reported.

Failure to report accidents and damages involving college-owned or leased vehicles in a timely manner or failure to cooperate with the investigation may result in disciplinary action to the driver.

Reserving a Vehicle

Vehicles are reserved through Campus Services.  Users may reserve the vehicles on a first-come, first-served basis. When college travel requests exceed fleet capacity, leased vehicles may be acquired to supplement.  All drivers conducting official business in college-owned, leased, or personal vehicles must meet the College’s driving requirements. Prior to requesting the use of a college-owned vehicle, the driver must meet the “eligible driver” requirements and must be approved by the SHERM Office.

  • Vehicle reservations will be accepted by email. Reservations should be made as far in advance as possible. Reservation forms should be filled out completely and have appropriate approvals.
  • The Vehicle Reservation Process must be completed through Campus Services.
  • Additional travel related documents may be required depending upon the circumstances of the travel.

Maintenance of Vehicles

Only vehicles with 12 or less passengers, including driver will be purchased for college business use.  Facilities Services will provide a safe operating fleet of vehicles through documented inspections, regular maintenance work and schedules, and repair processes.   Unsafe vehicles will be removed from service by Facilities Services as required.

Vehicle Rentals or Bus Charters

Travel outside of procedural guidelines may be accomplished through charter, rental or lease.  Contact SJCCD Purchasing Department for current information on rentals or charters including a list of approved vendors and bus charter agreements.

Student Travel

Student travel requires the completion of the Instructional or Organizational Authorization Form and Release Agreement for College Sponsored Travel.  These documents are available on the College’s internal website. Students are required to sign and submit an emergency contact form.

Definitions

Eligible Driver: An eligible driver for operating a college-owned or leased vehicle must: (1) possess a valid Texas Driver’s License with applicable endorsements and valid classification for the vehicle he/she is driving, (2) successfully complete the College’s approved on-line Driver’s Training Course every three years, (3) maintain an acceptable driving record, (4) is 18 years of age or older if a full-time employee or is 25 years of age or older if a part-time employee, and (5) must be authorized by the SHERM Office.

Date of SLT Approval

December 19, 2017

Effective Date

March 6, 2018

Associated Policy

Policy III.3008.A, Use of College Owned or Leased Vehicles

Primary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure

Vice Chancellor, Fiscal Affairs

Secondary Owner of Policy Associated with the Procedure

Director, Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management (SHERM)