Risk Management Services

A Unit of the Business Affairs Division

Fleet Safety Policy Section 3

3.0 Vehicle Operation

This section describes the university's rules for safe vehicle operation.

3.1 Mobile Device Use

1. The use of mobile devices such as cell phones, smart phones, tablets, 2-way radios, and laptop computers while operating a university vehicle is prohibited, unless a hands-free device is used and allowed for use in the jurisdiction in which the vehicle is being operated. 
2. For purposes of this policy, vehicle operation is defined as any of the following:

a. Driving a vehicle on a public roadway, while moving or stopped on the roadway.
b. Driving a specialty vehicle such as a golf cart or utility vehicle, on either a public roadway, or on campus in other authorized locations that are not roadways.

3. For purposes of this policy, use of a mobile device includes any of the following:

a. making or receiving phone calls;
b. viewing text messages, emails, or other forms of content on the mobile device;
c. dictating, typing or sending messages or other forms of content;  
d. operating a camera or video recording application

4. Mobile devices may be used when the vehicle is pulled off the roadway and stopped, preferably into a parking location, with the transmission in Park, or the vehicle is shut off. 
5. All drivers are responsible for being familiar with the specific traffic laws governing the use of mobile devices in each jurisdiction the university vehicle is operated, and complying with applicable traffic laws.
6. Law enforcement personnel are exempt for these restriction, and are governed by their departmental communication policy.
7. Certain mountaintop operations are exempt from this policy with regards to 2-way radio use.  

3.2 Driver Responsibilities

All persons driving on university business are required to comply with the following provisions:

  1. Drive with courtesy and exercise reasonable caution to prevent collisions or other losses.
  2. Have a valid driver's license in possession at all times.
  3. Use university vehicles for authorized, official purposes only.
  4. Operate vehicles in accordance with all applicable university policies and follow all applicable traffic laws.
  5. Drive vehicles at lawful speeds that are appropriate to road, loading, and hazard conditions.
  6. Assume responsibility for any fine or citation received while driving on university business.
  7. Not transport unauthorized passengers or permit any unauthorized person to drive the vehicle.
  8. Not operate a vehicle unless all occupants are wearing seatbelts.
  9. Not drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, including medications if they can cause impairment.
  10. Turn the vehicle off, remove the keys, and lock the vehicle when it is left unattended.
  11. Inspect the vehicle for obvious safety concerns prior to use, report any defects to the appropriate authority, and not operate a vehicle that has deficiencies that make it unsafe to drive.
  12. Immediately report all accidents or traffic citations that arise while driving on university business to a supervisor.
  13. Immediately advise a supervisor of any change in driving status such as license suspension or revocation.
  14. Immediately advise a supervisor of any inability to drive safely and without impairment.
  15. Participate in driver training as specified by applicable university regulations, and not operate a vehicle on university business if applicable required training has not been completed.

Failure to comply with these provisions may result in suspension or revocation of university driving privileges, and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. Personnel actions remain the responsibility of the driver's home or sponsoring department.

3.3 Passengers

Only persons with an authorized purpose may be passengers in a university vehicle. Examples include employees in the course and scope of employment, students participating in an official activity, volunteers providing service to the university, and clients or participants in an official university program or activity.

3.4 Safety Belt Use

Use of safety belts is mandatory for the driver and all vehicle occupants anytime the vehicle is in motion. Drivers are expected to enforce this requirement, and may not place a vehicle in motion unless all passengers are buckled up.

The number of passengers in any vehicle may not exceed the number of available safety belts. Passenger travel in pickup truck beds is prohibited.

3.5 General Prohibitions

  1. Consumption or transportation of alcohol by drivers and passengers is prohibited in university vehicles except as provided in Section 3.4-2 below.
  2. Purchased alcohol being transported for an approved university activity must remain closed during transportation, and should be placed in the vehicle trunk if possible.
  3. Smoking is prohibited in university vehicles.
  4. Transportation of hazardous materials in university vehicles is only authorized for drivers who have completed training on DOT hazardous materials transportation, OSHA requirements, and spill response. Transportation of placardable quantities may require a Commercial Driver's License (CDL) with hazardous materials endorsement if the material is being transported in commerce as defined in DOT regulations.

3.6 Accident Reporting

All accidents involving a university vehicle, or associated with a university activity (regardless of vehicle ownership) must be reported to RMS and to the driver's supervisor or university management official. The following reporting requirements and timelines apply:

  1. Property damage to university vehicle only (including windshield):
    1. For minor damage to university vehicles a police report is not required, but is recommended by RMS to support insurance claims with State Risk Management. Report the accident to UAPD or other police agency if off-campus.
    2. For damage estimated greater than $1,000, or for loss associated with vandalism or theft, notify UAPD or applicable police agency and request response and report.
    3. Complete and submit an Auto Loss Report to RMS within 5 days of the event. For Motor Pool vehicles, notify the Motor Pool immediately of any physical damage.
  2. Property damage to third party vehicles or property, including commercial rentals and privately owned vehicles (no injuries):
    1. All accidents that may give rise to a liability claim need to be documented by a police report. Notify UAPD or applicable police agency and request response and report.
    2. Notify RMS by email at risk@email.arizona.edu or phone at (520) 621-1790 no later than the following business day.
    3. Complete and submit an Auto Loss Report to RMS within 5 days of the event.
    4. For commercial rental vehicles, notify the rental agency as soon as possible in accordance with the rental contract.
    5. Refer rental agencies and third parties to RMS for assistance with making a damage claim if appropriate
  3. Vehicle accidents with injuries:
    1. Call 9-1-1 for emergency police and medical assistance.
    2. Render aid within your capabilities.
    3. Contact RMS at (520) 621-1790 immediately if possible.
    4. After hours, contact UAPD at (520) 621-8273 and ask that RMS be contacted and notified of the accident.
    5. Complete and submit an Auto Loss Report to RMS within one business day after the event.
    6. For injuries to university employees, complete and submit a Supervisor's Report of Employee Injury to RMS as soon as possible, but not more than seven days after the event.

3.7 Unsafe Driving Reports

University vehicles are marked with a bumper sticker that asks motorists to report incidents of unsafe driving. Unsafe driving reports are received by RMS, which documents the nature of the complaint and the caller's contact information, and determines the university department/unit using the vehicle at the time of the incident. This information is summarized on a report form and forwarded with instructions to the applicable Department Head or responsible official for their information and follow-up. Further investigation of the complaint, and any disciplinary or management action, are the responsibility of the immediate supervisor or unit head.

Anonymous complaints are evaluated by the Fleet Safety Officer for validity, and are not written up or forwarded to the applicable Department Head unless there is a reasonable belief that the report is valid.

Go to Fleet Safety Policy Section Four