Vehicle Use Policy
This policy is intended to promote safe operation of vehicles used to transport University faculty, staff, students, and authorized volunteers on University business, and to clarify insurance coverage for vehicle damages.
This policy applies to all faculty, staff, students, and authorized volunteers at the University who drive any vehicle [including privately-owned vehicles, University-owned ("Fleet") vehicles, rented vehicles, and golf carts] on University business.
Custodial Assignment - assignment of a fleet vehicle to an individual for University business use only; these vehicles are not allowed to leave the W&L campus, except as specifically outlined in Section II.C.
Departmental Assignment - assignment of a fleet vehicle to a department for University business use only; these vehicles may be taken off campus as necessary for University business.
Fleet Vehicle - a vehicle that is owned by Washington and Lee University (including golf carts). Fleet vehicles are purchased for specific purposes or departments and, with a few exceptions, are generally not available for use by other departments, faculty, staff, students, or authorized volunteers.
Personal Use - use of a vehicle for an activity that does not qualify as University business.
Special Assignment - assignment of a fleet vehicle for University business as well as personal use.
University Business - any activity approved by an authorized University official, or in connection with an approved class or University-organized activity, or that is required for performance of job functions, and that is consistent with and furthers the mission and operations of the University.
Valid Driver's License - an official driver's license issued by any state which currently allows the holder to legally operate a motor vehicle. A driver's license issued in another country is considered valid for purposes of this policy if it is sufficient to allow the person to legally operate a motor vehicle within the Commonwealth of Virginia.
A. Requirements and Qualifications
- General Qualifications
Any faculty/staff member, student or authorized volunteer who drives any vehicle on University business represents that, in compliance with this policy, s/he satisfies the following criteria:
- Has a valid driver's license that currently allows the person to legally operate a motor vehicle, with appropriate endorsement(s) for the vehicle being driven. The University reserves the right to conduct random license checks of any employees, students, or volunteers who drive off-campus on University business.
- Is at least 18 years old.
- Obeys all state and federal laws/regulations concerning the use/operation of motor vehicles, including but not limited to those regarding seat belts, speed limits, prohibitions on impaired driving, and the use of cell phones and other portable electronic devices. Note: texting/emailing while operating any vehicle on university business is prohibited, whether or not prohibited by law in the state where the vehicle is being operated.
- Meets this policy's requirements regarding Motor Vehicle Records (see Section I.B below). Any driver whose license is subsequently suspended or revoked must promptly report such information to his/her supervisor, the head of the responsible department, or the student organization president (as applicable). The supervisor or department head should then promptly notify the Office of Human Resources and the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office. Student organization presidents should promptly notify the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office.
- Student drivers must annually complete driver safety training before driving on University business.
- Anyone who drives on University business is required to self-report major motor vehicle related violations (see examples noted in Section I.B below) to his/her supervisor, the head of the responsible department, or the student organization president (as applicable). The supervisor or department head should then promptly notify the Office of Human Resources and the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office. Student organization presidents should promptly notify the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office.
- For those driving a vehicle (other than a fleet vehicle) on University business, the vehicle must have insurance that is valid in Virginia and that meets the minimum coverage requirements of the state of Virginia. (For more information, see Section IV.B below).
- Additional Requirements:
- Fleet and Rented Vehicles:
- Before driving either a fleet or rented vehicle on University business, a driver must present his/her driver's license to the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office to receive driving authorization from the University.
- A student organization must use a valid University purchasing card to rent a vehicle. A University card may be obtained from the organization's faculty or staff advisor.
- University fleet vehicles and vehicles rented in the University's name may only be used while traveling for University business.
- Faculty and staff working in departments that do not own fleet vehicles should consult with the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office for rental procedures.
- Fleet and Rented Vehicles:
- International Travel
- Anyone intending to drive while on a University sponsored or affiliated international trip should contact the Center for International Education for guidance on obtaining resources detailing the unique driving conditions, hazards, etc. of the host country/countries.
B. Motor Vehicle Records
Drivers with any major violation are not eligible to drive on University business for at least three years following the violation. A "major violation" includes such violations as:
- driving under the influence of drugs/alcohol;
- failure to report an accident;
- reckless driving;
- making a false accident report;
- homicide, manslaughter, or assault arising out of the use of a vehicle;
- driving while license is suspended or revoked; or
- attempting to evade a police officer.
Note: Employees, authorized volunteers, and non-employee students are encouraged to use W&L fleet vehicles or rental vehicles for University business, rather than their personal vehicles. Student employees are required to use rental vehicles or (when available from specific departments) fleet vehicles.
Note: 12-Passenger vans ARE allowed to be rented/used for W&L business, provided that no more than 11 passengers and one driver are being transported.
A. Personal Vehicle Requirements
- Current State Inspection and Registration
Any vehicle used for University business must have a current and valid state inspection and registration at the time of use.
- Safe to Operate
Any vehicle used for University business must be safe to operate.
B. Prohibited Vehicle Uses
- 15-Passenger Vans
15-passenger vans may not be rented or driven for W&L business. 15-passenger fleet vans (W&L owned vans) that have been appropriately "retrofitted" (i.e., vans that have had the rear row of seats removed and the resulting space made unavailable for storage) are not subject to this prohibition. A maximum of 12 people, including the driver, are permitted to ride in a 15-passenger fleet van.
- Loaning or Otherwise Making Personal Use of Rental or Fleet Vehicles
The use of any fleet or rental vehicle by any third party or for any non-university business is strictly prohibited.
C. Assignment of Vehicles
Vehicle Assignments are made to departments and certain individuals for a specific period, depending upon transportation needs, in accordance with the provisions below.
- Custodial Assignments: Custodial assignments must be approved by the department head and the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office. Employees with custodial vehicles may not drive the vehicles to their home unless: 1) they are leaving for or returning from an official trip away from their working headquarters; or 2) are conducting official University business before or after regular working hours. The department head must approve exceptions for unique circumstances.
- Departmental Assignments: Existing departmental assignment vehicles are allowed to leave campus for University business (e.g., field trips, athletic events, etc.). New and/or additional departmental assignments must be requested from the Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office. If possible, the department will be assigned use of an existing fleet vehicle.
- Special Assignments: Vehicles authorized by senior administration for use by certain staff members whose travel -- through the campus and the community -- is considered a normal part of their job description. For these vehicles, personal mileage must be reported monthly to the Business Office and must be supported by a log that separates personal and business miles. The University will report personal mileage in accordance with applicable IRS rules. Special assignments must be approved by the Treasurer and Vice-President for Finance and Administration. Employees with a special assignment vehicle may drive that vehicle to and from their home.
A. Accident, Damage, and Theft Reporting
Vehicle damage and/or accidents must be reported immediately to the most appropriate staff member noted below who, in turn, will notify others as needed:
- Department Head or Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students (if students are involved)
- Assistant Director for Programs and Risk Management in the Treasurer's Office (University insurance liaison)
- Department of Public Safety (for damage/accidents on or near campus)
- Transportation Coordinator in the Public Safety Office (for rental vehicles only -- there are printed documents referencing what to do in the event of an accident available from the Transportation Coordinator and they should be obtained before an individual rents a vehicle)
B. Tickets and Fines for Violating Traffic Laws
The University does not pay for fines for violations (moving or not moving) incurred by an individual while operating a vehicle for University business.
C. Safe Operation of Golf Carts
- Limit off-campus driving to approved routes.
- Do not "curb hop" -- do not move from a street onto a sidewalk unless the sidewalk is appropriately ramped to allow for cart access.
- Obey all state and federal laws/regulations concerning driving practices and the use/operation of motor vehicles generally.
- Golf carts may not be used to transport passengers unless for University business.
- Golf carts may not be used by a third party or for personal or other non-University business.
A. Insurance Coverage
The chart below summarizes insurance coverage under the University's automobile insurance policy. Each case is evaluated on its individual circumstances; coverage may vary based on those circumstances. *Note: where the $500 figure is asterisked below, that figure may be increased to the amount of the then current deductible.
|Rented Vehicle||Fleet Vehicle||Privately-Owned Vehicle|
The responsible department must pay the first $500* in damages. University insurance should settle remaining damages.
|The responsible department must pay the first $500* in damages. University insurance should settle remaining damages.||Your personal insurance is solely responsible for damage to your vehicle and your liability coverage is primary in all cases. University insurance may be excess for liability.|
|Student Driver (non-employee)||The responsible organization must pay the first $500* in damages. University insurance should settle remaining damages.||The responsible organization must pay the first $500* in damages. University insurance should settle remaining damages.||Your personal insurance is solely responsible for damage to your vehicle and your liability coverage is primary in all cases. University insurance may be excess for liability.|
B. Required Minimum Insurance Coverage Amounts
All drivers on University business who use a non-fleet vehicle represent that they maintain the minimum auto insurance amounts required in Virginia. As of the effective date of this revised policy, those minimum coverage amounts are as follows:
Bodily injury and/or death of one person: $25,000
Bodily injury and/or death of two or more persons: $50,000
Property damage: $20,000
This policy and its requirements are under continuing review and are subject to modification as insurance coverage and other circumstances change. This document is intended to provide guidance and creates no contract of any kind.
August 31, 2012 -- substantive changes were made related to, among other topics, use of golf carts, driver requirements, international travel, and reporting of vehicle-related violations and vehicle accidents.
September 18, 2015 -- increased maximum number of passengers, including driver, allowed in 12/15 passenger vans to 12 from previous limit of 10.
June 29, 2016 -- added authorized volunteers to scope of policy, updated responsible offices for reporting/rental assistance, clarified availability of fleet vehicles, and updated deductible information.
July 1, 2018 -- clarified right to conduct license checks on volunteers, added additional detail regarding compliance with applicable driving laws and prohibition on texting/emailing while driving; clarified allowed use/capacity for 12-passenger vans and prohibition on use of 15-passenger vans except retrofitted fleet vans; specified prohibited use of golf carts. Note: in light of these revisions, deleted separate Guidelines for Use and Operation of 15-Passenger Vans (issued 1/1/2001; revised 1/1/2009; deleted 3/1/2018).
August 1, 2019 -- added authorized volunteers to summary section of policy; changed position title within Treasurer's Office; added prohibition of personal use of golf carts and transportation of non-authorized passengers in golf carts.
June 30, 2023 -- replaced title/contact information of "Fixed Asset and Puchasing Manager in the Business Office" to "Transportation Coordinator in the Pubic Safety Office".