Safe Operation of Vehicles and Fleet Safety Program

  1. Purpose: This policy is set forth to establish the safe operations of vehicles by employees and ensure compliance with the State Vehicle and Fleet Safety Program and policies and practices of Lander University. This policy applies to all employees who drive within the scope conducting official business.
  2. Driver Qualifications: Employees who drive while conducting official business are required to maintain a valid drivers license for the appropriate vehicle type and a safe driving record whether operating a state fleet vehicle or a personal vehicle while conducting business. For new hires, this is included in background screening and periodic checks are performed in accordance to insurance and compliance requests.
  3. Personal Vehicles: Employees who chose to use their personal vehicles are required to carry at least the minimum legal requirements of insurance. If an accident or incident occurs, the employee's personal insurance will act as primary coverage in accordance with Lander's insurance guidelines and state law.
  4. Employee Training: Current employees that drive a Lander owned or leased vehicle will be required to attend an 8-hour Defensive Driving Course and a 4-hour refresher course every 3 years thereafter. Employees that choose to use a personal vehicle for official business are strongly encouraged to attend. New employee drivers should complete the training within the first 90 days following hire.
  5. Transporting of Students: Any staff or faculty member who transports students in any vehicle to a University sponsored event will be subject to the same training requirements and be subject annual MVR screenings.
  6. Student Drivers: Students, as a general rule, are discouraged from operating vehicles operated by Lander. Exceptions may be approved only by the Director of Safety and Compliance and must be in writing.
  7. Annual Screenings: Periodic MVR screenings are conducted for all drivers within the Lander community in accordance with state regulations and Lander policies. Any violations found that are deemed high risk will be reviewed on a case by case basis and action including denying driving within the scope of employment may be taken or termination of employment.
  8. Disclosure to Violations and Suspended Licenses: All Drivers are required to report any violations to the Director of Safety that are deemed high risk or present a concern for safety including, but not limited to, DUI, DUS. Reckless Driving or Negligent Driving, Hit and Run, and other similar charges. Employees are required to report such immediately upon the charge being made to ensure public safety and to limit unnecessary liability exposure for Lander University. Any reinstatements from suspensions must comply with state regulation requirements and will be reviewed accordingly and appropriate action/sanctions may be taken up to and including discharge.
  9. Required Driving Practices: Lander employees and passengers shall wear a safety belt at all times when operating or being transported as a passenger while conducting official business. It is each occupant's responsibility to ensure compliance with the State's Safety Belt Law. Lander vehicles should be locked when they are unoccupied and the driver will shut off engine prior to exiting the vehicle. The use of tobacco products is prohibited in state owned or leased vehicles.
  10. Cell Phones and Other Devices: According to state regulations, drivers may not use any hand held electronic devices (cell phone, PDA, MP3 player, or other electronic communication devices) while operating a SFM leased fleet vehicle. If a call must be made or received while driving, the driver must pull over to a safe place and put in the vehicle in "park." Additionally, drivers should pull over to a safe place and put the vehicle in "park" to make adjustments to GPS or other navigational devices. Drivers are prohibited from texting, dialing outgoing calls, or writing E‐mail messages while driving a SFM leased fleet vehicle.

Safety Maintenance: The Director of Safety and Compliance will inspect Lander owned vehicles in accordance with the State Vehicle Maintenance Program.
  1. Accident Reporting: All accidents should be reported immediately to the employee's immediate supervisor and the Director of Safety. A copy of Lander Vehicle Accident Procedures will be place in each Lander owned vehicle. Lander's Motor Pool Manager will submit quarterly Summary of Motor Vehicle Accidents Reports to State Fleet Management.
  2. Accident Review Procedures: Lander's Accident Review Board will consist of the following members: Director, Safety and Compliance who will serve as chairman, Chief of University Police, Facilities Services Coordinator, one member of Athletic staff appointed by the Director of Athletics, and an additional University Representative at large appointed by the Director, Safety and Compliance. This board will review all accidents/suspensions/violations involving Lander vehicles or Lander employees in accordance with the State Accident Review Board guidelines and Lander's policies and procedures.

Contact Rodney Boyter with any questions concerning the above policy. You may reach him via email at rbboyter@lander.edu or via phone at 388-8009.