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Safe Use of Motorised Vehicles on University Business Policy

1. Introduction

  1. This policy specifies the operational and safety requirements for the use of motor vehicles on University business. The term motor vehicle includes all motorised vehicles including but not limited to cars, vans, agricultural vehicles, utility vehicles, ride on mowers and sweepers.
  2. Sections 3 to 6 of this policy refer to the arrangements for driver authorisation and training, insurance, endorsements and disqualification. Sections 7 to 10 additionally refer to various aspects of driving practice where road and campus safety is paramount and which may be affected by medical conditions, alcohol/drugs consumption, the use of mobile phones or other distracting influences.
  3. It is impossible to cater for every eventuality, and situations not covered by these arrangements or relevant risk assessments should be referred in the first instance to line managers.

2. Responsibilities

  1. Operators/drivers have a responsibility to ensure that they check vehicles prior to each use for defects. This should include, but is not limited to operation of lights, horn and any safety measures or devices, (fitted from new or retrospectively), correct fluid levels and tyre pressures, and the validity or expiration date of road fund licence or MOT where applicable. A check list for completion will be provided to operators for the relevant vehicle where applicable by the person responsible for managing its use and issuing its keys. Where one is not issued routine pre-start checks are expected of the user appropriate to the vehicle used in line with common good practice and training where relevant.
  2. Operators/drivers are defined as anyone employed on University business.
  3. Operators/drivers are permitted to carry out only authorised business in relation to the activities of the University as defined in the University’s Vehicle Insurance Policy. (Copies are available to line managers from the University Legal Services).Please note: The daily commute of any employee, (whether regular or as a one off event), is not considered University business and therefore not permitted for the sole purpose of commuting. Combining a commute with a business use, may, subject to circumstances and line management approval, be authorised on a case by case basis in advance of doing so, providing the University Insurance Policy permits it.The use of University vehicles by staff or other authorised users for non-University business shall be considered unauthorised use.
  4. Operators/drivers are advised that passengers are not permitted to be carried unless;
    1. They are employees of the University also on University business, or
    2. They are guests/contracted staff on University business
  5. Operators/drivers should ensure that passengers only travel on seating designed for this purpose. No passengers should travel on trailers or in load spaces.
  6. Management will ensure that vehicles are regularly serviced and faults identified are rectified.
  7. Operators are required to notify management of any such faults at first indication. These can then be investigated and rectified.
  8. Management will ensure that routinely, operators are asked to identify any items that require rectification. This is as a supplement to the expectation and obligation to report issues at the time of fault identification to the person responsible for the management of the relevant vehicle. It is not for the operator to deem a motor vehicle safe to continue using upon identification of a fault.
  9. Operators/drivers are required to report any damage caused to vehicles and their associated equipment i.e. trailers etc. or to fixed items or the property of third parties to their line manager. Failure to report damage caused accidentally, or through undue care and attention may result in disciplinary action.

3. Authorisation for use of Motor Vehicle on University Business

  1. Staff must ensure that vehicles are only used in accordance with the requirements of the department as directed by their line manager.
  2. Motor vehicles owned or under the control of the University must only be used in the manner for which they are designed. Inappropriate or misuse may result in accidents or damage and result in disciplinary action.
  3. Where applicable vehicle logs provided by the person responsible for the management of the relevant vehicle should be completed by the operator/driver accurately with all data required.

4. Driving licensing, disqualification or endorsements

  1. Any employee authorised to drive/operate motor vehicles belonging to or under the control of the University must declare in advance to their line manager or the manager responsible for the motor vehicle they use, any changes to their licence in the form of endorsements or disqualification.
  2. Line Managers will check that those employees asked to use or operate University vehicles or vehicles under the control of the University are licensed adequately for their use and/or operation and provide an authorised list of operatives to the person responsible for booking vehicles out and issuing keys. Special attention should also be paid to licensing when towing following the removal of automatic granting of category C1+E on car licences issued from 1st January 1997. Please refer to vehicle licensing web page on towing. Link to web page.
  3. Management will ensure that this information remains confidential and will use these declarations solely to ensure that the University insurer continues to provide adequate and appropriate insurance cover whilst they are in control of vehicles owned or in the control of the University.

5. Use of private Motor Vehicles for University Business

  1. Employees using their private motor vehicles whilst on University business are required to ensure that their insurance permits such activity.
  2. Employees using their private motor vehicles for University business should observe the ‘Staff Travel, Subsistence, Accommodation, Hospitality and Expenses Policy’ available on the University e-portal located within ‘Finance Regulations and Policies’.

6. Driver/Operator training

  1. Management will ensure that where appropriate, adequate training is provided to employees who are expected to operate motor vehicles in the course of their daily business within their role. (i.e. additional training to undertake the safe operation of tractor, trailer or electric vehicle use).
  2. Training does not extend to the provision of driving lessons or test. Nor does it include reimbursing the cost of lessons or test in either full or part.
  3. Management will ensure that within the above mentioned training adequate information is provided to enable employees to assess the roadworthiness of the motor vehicles they will be operating.
  4. Management will ensure that operators/drivers have access to the operator/user manual for motorised vehicles.

7. Safety Issues

  1. Vehicle operators must observe all rules of the highway, road markings, and signage whilst both on and off campus. There is a 5mph speed limit on campus which should be observed at all times.
  2. Penalties, (financial or other), for speeding, parking, or other infringements caused by a failure to observe highway rules, parking regulations, or traffic law are the responsibility of the operator/driver.
  3. Operatives should be fit and well enough to operate any vehicles before doing so. Should they feel tired or unwell or should they be taking medication that may impair their ability to drive safely they should refrain from operating or driving vehicles and should notify their line manager of their unfitness for these duties.
  4. Employees who are not confident in the safe use of particular motor vehicles or with items such as trailers should refrain from operating them until they and their manager are confident in their competence to do so safely.
  5. Management may at any time withdraw authorisation for an employee to operate any vehicle if there is concern over the competence of the operator/driver or if persistent minor ‘incidents’ deem it necessary.

8. First Aid

  1. Management will ensure that portable first aid kits are kept available within each vehicle that has occasion to leave the University premises where first aid kits would otherwise be available.
  2. The person responsible for the management of the relevant vehicle will ensure that these kits are kept up to date and receive their checks and content replenishment/replacement as required in the same manner that first aid kits are maintained within buildings and other areas.

9. Alcohol/Drugs policy

  1. All employees operating motor vehicles on University premises or whilst on University business are subject to the rules set out in the ‘Policy on Alcohol Consumption and/or Substance Abuse at Work’ available from the e-portal within the Human Resources section.

10. Mobile phone and personal stereo use

  1. In accordance with the Road Safety Act at no time should employees be operating mobile phones whilst driving motor vehicles owned by, under the control of, or on the premises of the University.
  2. The use of personal stereos whilst operating motor vehicles on the University premises is not permitted.

11. Smoking

  1. In line with legislation effective as of 1st July 2007 all operators and other occupants of motor vehicles owned or in the control of the University are not permitted to smoke within, or whilst operating them.
  2. Management will ensure that ‘no smoking’ signage is in place in vehicles owned by the University in line with legislation effective as of 1 July 2007.