University of Arkansas System Vehicle Safety Program

Purpose

The University of Arkansas vehicle driver safety program is intended to ensure maximum safety for all drivers and passengers of University of Arkansas vehicles by minimizing accidents and injuries resulting from vehicle incidents; eliminating the operation of unsafe vehicles; providing adequate training to all University of Arkansas drivers; and defining clear lines of responsibility for vehicle safety.

The purpose of this policy is to inform campuses within the University of Arkansas System of the uniform procedures and guidelines to be followed for operation of University of Arkansas owned vehicles, vehicles rented or leased for use on official University of Arkansas business, or private motor vehicles used to conduct University of Arkansas business.

Campuses should define those positions that contain employees who drive as a condition of employment or on a frequent basis. Before an applicant is hired for one of these positions, a Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) check should be conducted.

Policy

  1. All campuses within the University of Arkansas System Risk Management Program must participate in the online Arkansas State Vehicle Safety Program. The Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration sponsors this program and participation is at no cost to the campuses.
  2. The University of Arkansas is currently checking the Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) on employees who have to drive as a condition of employment. An employee is eligible to drive a University of Arkansas vehicle if he/she has a valid driver’s license for the vehicle being driven. Those drivers who accumulate 10 points or more as assigned by the State Office of Driver Services will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action if the accumulation of points has a detrimental effect on their abilities to perform their university duties. Drivers who accumulate 14 points or more will not be allowed to operate a University of Arkansas vehicle until after a period of suspension (see “Procedures”).
  3. Pool vehicles have to be signed out and operated within the territory approved. Maintenance policies are established by the motor pool departments of Physical Plants at each campus following manufacturer’s suggested vehicle preventative maintenance programs. Employees are encouraged to use “pool” vehicles rather than personal vehicles. Use of personal vehicles must be approved by a supervisor.
  4. Assigned vehicles should be used primarily for “official business.” Personal use is strongly discouraged.
  5. The University of Arkansas strongly discourages use of cell phones while driving. If an employee receives a call while driving, the employee should pull over to complete the call if this can be done in a safe manner or wait and return the call once the vehicle has stopped. Same applies to hand held or hands free phones.
  6. Drivers must report accidents and traffic violations to their supervisor, as follows: (a) When operating a state vehicle – within 24 hours of occurrence or by the following business day; and (b) When operating a private vehicle on state business – within seven (7) days of the occurrence.
  7. Defensive driving classes may be required for employees who have an accumulation of fourteen (14) points over a three (3) year period. Enrollment in, attendance at, and payment for defensive driving classes are the responsibility of the employee. Driver safety training software offered by St. Paul Insurance Company may be substituted where applicable.

Authorization to Operate University of Arkansas and Private Vehicles on University of Arkansas Business

  1. All drivers must maintain a valid driver’s license appropriate for the vehicle to be driven, in accordance with the requirements of all applicable Arkansas State Laws. University of Arkansas divisions and/or department heads should contact the State CDL Coordinator, Donna Morgan at DFA-Revenue Division-Office of Driver Services, phone number 501.682.1434 to determine the specific driver’s license that is required for the operation of each type of motor vehicle and the license requirements for non-resident drivers.
  2. All drivers will be provided with copies of the University of Arkansas Vehicle Safety Program Driving Safety Tips.
  3. Access to driving records for resident drivers will be provided through the SVS System (State of Arkansas Website) through Information Network of Arkansas. Driving records for non-resident drivers will be obtained by sending the Authorization to Obtain Traffic Violation Record to the Department of Finance and Administration, Office of Drivers Services. Please note that there is a 3 to 5 year look back period for driving record violations. The total points assigned to each violation will be used to initiate administrative action, not the overall point displayed on the SVS system. Any disciplinary employment action beyond what is described in the “Procedures” section below should be approved through legal counsel.
  4. Drivers must complete the Authorization to Operate University of Arkansas and Private Vehicles on State Business form and return it to the Office of Finance and Administration (SSC 425) with a legible copy of a driver’s license at least 10 calendar days prior to the travel date, to ensure enough time for the driving record check.

Procedures

Administrative action is required as follows (See the “Assessment of Points” for the point values assigned for each moving violation by the Office of Driver Services):

  1. Drivers who have accumulated 10 through 13 points on their current Traffic Violation Report. Authorization to drive on University of Arkansas business will be reviewed by the employee’s supervisor and administrator. Recommendations will be made to the appropriate campus official, who will make the final decision. If denied authorization to drive on University of Arkansas business, the driver will be required to complete a defensive driving course. Once the course has been completed, the employee may begin driving again.
  2. Drivers who have accumulated 14 through 17 points on their current Traffic Violation Report. Authorization to drive on University of Arkansas business will be suspended for no less than five (5) working days. Authorization will be reinstated only after evaluation and approval by the appropriate campus official. A Defensive Driving Course must be completed within sixty (60) days after the suspension began.
  3. Drivers who have accumulated 18 through 23 points on their current Traffic Violation Report. Authorization to drive on University of Arkansas Business will be suspended for no less than ten (10) working days. Authorization will be reinstated only after evaluation and approval by the appropriate campus official. A Defensive Driving Course must be completed within sixty (60) days after the suspension began.
  4. Drivers who have accumulated over 24 points on their current Traffic Violation Report. Authorization to drive on University of Arkansas business will be suspended for no less than twenty (20) days. Authorization will be reinstated only after evaluation and approval by the appropriate campus official. A Defensive Driving Course must be completed sixty (60) days after the suspension began.
  5. Drivers whose driving privileges have been suspended or revoked by the Office of Driver Services. Will not be permitted to drive on University of Arkansas business for the duration of the suspension or revocation. Drivers with restricted permits may be authorized to drive on University of Arkansas business as allowed by the restricted permit. Employees whose jobs require them to drive may face termination or other serious disciplinary action as a result of suspended, revoked, or restricted licenses.

Student Drivers

Student drivers should only be used to drive a University of Arkansas vehicle if a University of Arkansas employee is not available. Students driving a University of Arkansas owned, rented, or leased vehicle for an authorized curriculum-related activity are covered under the University of Arkansas insurance policy provided they follow the guidelines listed below:

  1. They are renting, leasing or driving a University of Arkansas vehicle for a school sponsored event.
  2. The vehicle use has been authorized by a school or department.
  3. They have met the age requirements of the rental car company, if applicable.
  4. They have met all requirements of this policy and have a completed signed Authorization to Drive on University of Arkansas Business form on file.
  5. They meet the point requirements outlined above.

The University of Arkansas will not authorize or complete any Additional Insured Endorsement forms on behalf of student drivers.

Use of Cell Phones

The University of Arkansas strongly discourages use of cell phones while driving. If an employee receives a call while driving, the employee should pull over to complete the call if this can be done in a safe manner or wait and return the call once the vehicle has stopped. Same applies to hand held or hands free phones.

General Procedures
  1. Use of cell phones while driving is strictly prohibited – this includes all functions of the cell phone including, but not limited to, phone calls, text messaging/SMS, e-mail, MMS, Internet use, camera use, etc.
  2. Use of electronic devices – including laptops, PDAs, cameras and pagers, while driving is strictly prohibited; this also includes programming a GPS.
  3. Voicemail must handle all calls while driving, and calls may only be returned when stopped or pulled off the road.
  4. Passengers making or taking calls for the driver is permissible provided the interaction does not affect the driver’s performance.
  5. Regular callers must be informed that you will not be available while driving and should be notified of the best times to call based on driving schedule.
  6. Employees who receive calls from co-workers who are driving are obligated to ask that the co-worker call back at a more appropriate time.

International Car Rentals

When traveling for business internationally, a University of Arkansas traveler should accept the loss damage waiver (LDW) and liability coverage. The University of Arkansas will reimburse the traveler for these charges when traveling on University of Arkansas business.

Personal Automobiles

University of Arkansas employees or students using their own automobiles to travel on University of Arkansas business must maintain adequate insurance for their protection and for the protection of any passengers.

University of Arkansas will not reimburse employees or students for any vehicle repair costs or the deductible portion of their collision coverage. If driving your own vehicle, your policy must cover vehicle damage and is primary for liability.

Reporting Accidents and Traffic Violations

Drivers must report accident and traffic violations to the appropriate campus official, that would be the department supervisor or head of Motor Pool, as follows:

  1. When operating a University of Arkansas vehicle – within 24-hours of the occurrence or by the following business day.
  2. It is then the supervisor’s (or Motor Pool’s) responsibility to immediately forward the report and any supporting documents to the person on your campus who works with the U of A System Office regarding insurance. They will in turn forward all documentation to the System Office.

Backing of Vehicles

Whenever possible, the driver will position his vehicle so as to avoid the necessity of backing later. Before entering the vehicle, the driver will check the rear clearance of the vehicle. The driver will not back the vehicle unless such movement can be made with reasonable safety and without interfering with other traffic.

The driver of a large vehicle with an obstructed view to the rear will not back such vehicle unless a spotter signals that it is safe to do so.

Before and during backing movements, the driver will: (1) check blind zones for objects not visible in rear view mirrors; (2) watch both sides for proper clearance; and (3) back very slowly.

Misuse of University of Arkansas Vehicles

The following conditions are considered to be a misuse of University of Arkansas vehicles:

  1. Driving a University of Arkansas vehicle without authorization by proper campus officials.
  2. Driving without a valid Arkansas operator’s license of the appropriate class for the type of vehicle being driven.
  3. Permitting a person not defined as a University of Arkansas authorized driver to drive a University of Arkansas vehicle.
  4. Noncompliance with traffic/motor vehicle laws and regulations.
  5. Unsafe practices, including failure to use and ensure that all passengers use all available safety equipment in the vehicle being operated. Safety equipment includes seat belts and/or shoulder harnesses.
  6. Falsification of travel logs, travel authorizations, defensive driving training program certificates, accident reports, or other forms relative to the use of the vehicle.
  7. Improper storage or parking of University of Arkansas vehicles.
  8. Personal use or allowing passengers other than persons directly involved with University of Arkansas business, except with the approval of employee’s immediate supervisor for each trip.
  9. Failure to comply with any law, regulation, or policy associated with the use of University of Arkansas vehicles, including the requirement that one must have satisfactorily completed a University of Arkansas approved defensive driver course.

Assessment of Points

The following point values are determined by the State Office of Driver Services for Convictions of Moving Traffic Violations:

Offense/Points
  1. Accident – 3
  2. Careless/Negligent Driver – 3
  3. Child Restraint – 0
  4. CMV DUI controlled substance – 14
  5. CMV leaving scene – 6
  6. CMV refuse test – 14
  7. Defective brakes – 0
  8. Defective equipment – 0
  9. Defective lights – 0
  10. Defective tires – 0
  11. Driving left of center – 3
  12. Driving w/o lights – 3
  13. Driving while revoked – 3
  14. Driving while suspended – 3
  15. DUI .02 or more – 14
  16. DWI .04 or more – 14
  17. DWI .10 or more – 14
  18. DWI – 14
  19. Evading arrest with a motor vehicle – 8
  20. Failure to dim lights – 3
  21. Failure to keep a proper look out – 3
  22. Failure to maintain control – 3
  23. Failure to obey traffic signal – 3
  24. Failure to report traffic accident – 3
  25. Failure to signal – 3
  26. Failure to yield – 3
  27. Failure to stop and render aid – 3
  28. Following too close – 3
  29. Following too close CMV – 3
  30. Going wrong way – 3
  31. Hazardous driving – 3
  32. Impeding traffic – 3
  33. Improper backing – 3
  34. Improper lane change CMV – 3
  35. Improper entrance/exit (avoid intersection ) – 3
  36. Improper towing – 3
  37. Improper turn – 3
  38. Inattention – 3
  39. Leaving the scene of an accident – 8
  40. Negligent Homicide ( 1 year revocation of D.L.) – 0
  41. No liability insurance – 0
  42. Other violations – 3
  43. Passing on wrong side – 3
  44. Passing stopped school bus – 8
  45. Prohibited pass – 3
  46. Racing – 8
  47. Ran off the road – 3
  48. Reckless driving CMV – 8
  49. Refuse intox test – 14
  50. Seatbelt not used – 0
  51. Speeding 0-10 – 3
  52. Speeding 11-14 – 4
  53. Speeding 15-20 – 4
  54. Speeding 21-30 – 5
  55. Speeding 31 or more – 8
  56. Speeding 0-14 CMV – 3
  57. Speeding 15 or more CMV – 6
  58. Unattended vehicle while motor running – 0
  59. Unsafe driving – 3

University of Arkansas Driving Safety Tips

  1. Observe Speed Limits and Traffic Laws.  Allow sufficient time to reach your destination without violating speed limits or traffic laws.
  2. Seat Belts. Each driver and front seat passenger in any motor vehicle operated on a street or highway in this state is required by law to wear a properly adjusted and fastened seat belt.
  3. Cellular Phones. The use of cellular phones by the driver while the vehicle is in motion is strongly discouraged. Even with “hands free” equipment, conversing on the phone takes your attention away from driving, making you less likely to notice hazardous situations.
  4. Backing Crashes. Most backing accidents are preventable. Whenever possible, park your vehicle where backing is not required. Know what is beside and behind your vehicle before you begin to back. Back slowly and check both sides as well as the rear as you back. Continue to look to the rear until the vehicle has come to a complete stop.
  5. Intersection Crashes. When approaching and entering intersections, be prepared to avoid crashes that other drivers may cause. Take precautions to allow for the lack of skill or improper driving habits of other drivers. Potentially dangerous acts including speeding, improper turn movements, and failure to yield the right of way.
  6. Weather Related Crashes. Rain, snow, fog, sleet, or icy pavement increases the hazards of driving. Slow down and be especially alert when driving in adverse conditions.
  7. Passing Crashes. When you pass another vehicle, look in all directions, check your blind spots, and use your signal. As a general rule, only pass one vehicle at a time.
  8. Front End Crashes. By maintaining a safe following distance at all times, the driver can prevent front-end collisions in spite of abrupt or unexpected stops of the vehicle ahead. Observe the “two second rule” by following the vehicle ahead a distance that spans at least two seconds. The following distance should be increased when driving in adverse conditions.
  9. Security. State vehicles should be locked whenever they are unoccupied.
  10. Engines. The engine of a state vehicle should always be turned off before the driver exits the vehicle.