Vehicle Operations Policy

Reason for Policy: 

This policy outlines matters pertaining to the operation of vehicles – and seeks to promote safe vehicular travel practices in the conduct of all travel – by employees, students and official volunteers.

Entities Affected by this Policy: 

All employees, students and official volunteers of the university who operate vehicles.

Responsible Office: 

For questions about this policy, please contact Parking and Transportation at 541-346-5444.

Enactment & Revision History: 

Technical revisions enacted by the University Secretary on September 3, 2015.

Became a University of Oregon Policy by operation of law on July 1, 2014.

Former Oregon Administrative Rule Chapter 571 Division 10, Sections 0100 through 0140.


A. Introduction and Definitions

The University of Oregon promotes safe vehicular travel practices in the conduct of all travel by employees, students and official volunteers. This policy shall apply to State-owned vehicles, hired vehicles and borrowed vehicles used on University business travel. This policy extends to and includes (but is not limited to) members of organizations whose only fiscal connection to the University is the receipt of or an accountability for incidental fee support or having an interest in one or more EMU or Housing Trust Fund Accounts.

(1) Definitions of Vehicles Subject to Operation Policy

(a) "Vehicle" means cars, vans, trucks and buses.

(b) "State-owned vehicle" means a vehicle owned by or registered in the name of the State of Oregon, the University of Oregon or any of its departments.

(c) "Hired vehicle" means a vehicle which is leased, hired or rented by the State, the University of Oregon or any of its departments. This definition excludes borrowed vehicles.

(d) "Borrowed vehicle" means a vehicle used on University-business travel that is not a "State-owned vehicle" or a "hired vehicle." "Borrowed vehicle" includes vehicles owned by employees, students and others participating in University of Oregon activities and used on University business travel.

(2) Travel and Usage for University Business Shall Be Governed by This Policy.

(a) "University-business travel" means any travel which is directly related to a University-sanctioned program.

(A) Motor vehicles covered by this policyshall not be used to transport University of Oregon students, faculty or staff when that use is not directly related to an officially-sanctioned program.

(3) Drivers Subject to Operation Policy. Faculty, staff and student drivers are subject to this policy.

(a) "Faculty" and "Staff" mean those personnel on the University of Oregon payroll and those volunteers registered with the Office of Business Affairs.

(b) "Student" means a person currently enrolled/registered at the University of Oregon.

(4) Definition of Officially-Sanctioned Programs

(a) "Officially-sanctioned program" means any activity or program which is:

(A) Undertaken to further the instructional, research, service or administrative support mission of the University of Oregon; or,

(B) Found to be advantageous to the cultural or physical development of University of Oregon students by the President or designee upon the recommendation of the recognized student government.

(i) Such programs include those related to the following:

(I) Co-curricular programs;

(II) Recreational sports and club sports;

(III) Those student activities or student programs identified by the University of Oregon President or the administrator(s) designated by the President to identify such groups (hereafter "the Approving Officials"). Examples of such activities or student programs include Erb Memorial Union, ASUO Executive and Student Senate, University Housing and student activities and student organizations or activities which have been so approved by any of the Approving Officials.

(ii) To be eligible for consideration as an officially sanctioned program for the cultural or physical development of students, a program must submit, or have on record, a published description of the purpose, type of participants and destinations typical of University-business trips. To the extent all of this information is expressly included in a program's or organization's goal statement on file with ASUO, it need not be separately submitted. Except as provided above, programs must also present one or more of the following:

(I) A published goal statement;

(II) An existing University of Oregon order, rule or policy which creates, authorizes or characterizes this specific program;

(III) Inclusion in a published statement of the University of Oregon, indicating the student activity or activities, which explicitly is said to advance the mission of the University of Oregon;

(IV) Verification of status as an ASUO-recognized program.

(iii) In the case of an off-campus University Housing, Outdoor Program or ASUO student activity where some or all of the destination-site expenses are funded by Housing, Outdoor Program or ASUO controlled funds, but private-vehicle transportation itself is not funded, reimbursed or subsidized by either organization, such travel shall not be deemed "directly related to a University-sanctioned program" and the vehicles so used shall not be deemed "borrowed vehicles."

(C) Qualifying as an "officially-sanctioned program" for purposes of State-owned vehicle usage, hired vehicle usage or borrowed vehicle usage does not constitute an admission or an indication that any such program necessarily is carrying out State business or acting as an agent of the State in any other activity engaged in by the program or organization.

B. Driver Qualifications and Regulations

(1) Valid Driver's License Required

(a) Only persons with a valid driver's license and over the age of eighteen are authorized to drive a motor vehicle on University-business travel. Any citations issued or changes in status of a driver's license shall be reported to the appropriate University supervisor by the driver before next driving a University vehicle.

(2) State Speed Limits and Other Regulations Must Be Obeyed.

(a) Drivers on University-business travel are expected to observe all applicable speed limits and to operate their vehicles in accordance with all applicable laws and state regulations.

(b) Citizens' complaints, if found to be valid, or citations issued by State Police may result in revocation of driving privileges involving use of State vehicles.

(c) No person convicted in the past five years of a major traffic offense, as defined in ORS 153.500, or convicted of a number of offenses that total 35 or more points as defined in the University of Oregon Driving Evaluation Scale (see Section C) shall be permitted to drive on University-approved business.

(d) Major Traffic Offenses as defined in the appropriate Oregon Revised Statutes include:

(A) Reckless driving;

(B) Driving while under the influence of intoxicants;

(C) Failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident or collision;

(D) Driving while license is suspended or revoked;

(E) Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer;

(F) Driving after being declared to be a habitual offender.

(3) Driver Clearance Procedure

(a) Annually, University departments shall submit to the Office of Public Safety a list of students who may be expected to drive on University business along with the license number of each prospective driver, and every three years University departments shall submit a list of faculty/staff who may be expected to drive on University business along with each driver's license number.

(A) The Office of Public Safety shall determine the eligibility of each proposed driver according to the criteria listed in subsections (1) and (2) above.

(B) The Office of Public Safety shall issue driver certification cards to those proposed drivers qualified to drive on University business travel;

(C) The Office of Public Safety shall issue written notice to the affected driver that changes in license status or major driving citations issued since the driver's last certification may cause revocation of University driving privileges;

(D) Quarterly, the Office of Public Safety shall bill those auxiliary departments for driver clearances at a rate per name submitted, as listed in Policy 571.060(A), or Department offices may request certified copies of driving records directly from the Department of Motor Vehicles and then submit these to the Office of Public Safety for clearance.

(b) At least 14 days prior to performing any driving on University-business travel, drivers who have not been certified by the Office of Public Safety must file a certification application with the Office of Public Safety:

(A) Driver certification application forms shall be available in the Office of Public Safety or from the Department Head.

(B) Individuals may not drive on University-business travel unless and until they are certified by the Office of Public Safety.

(C) The Office of Public Safety shall certify only those drivers who are University employees, regularly enrolled students or official volunteers.

(4) Relief Drivers and Notice of Itinerary Required for Long Trips

(a) When traveling one-way more than 300 miles before reaching the planned destination, the driver is responsible to see that at least one other passenger is certified to and acts as a relief driver.

(b) The driver shall file a proposed itinerary and accurate list of all passengers with the Office of Public Safety before departing on a trip away from the Eugene/Springfield Metropolitan Area. No itineraries may be planned which include driving between the hours of midnight and 4:00 a.m., except in the case where said trip is of a shuttle nature and is expected to end in Eugene during this period of time.

(5) State Vehicle Usage

(a) Limitations on Use of State Vehicles

(A) Only persons whose business is directly related to an officially- sanctioned program of the University of Oregon as defined in Section A shall be permitted to use a State-owned or hired vehicle.

(b) Training Required to Drive Vans on University-Business Travel

(A) All drivers of vans on University-business travel will be required to participate in a University van-training session before being granted clearance to drive a van.

(B) Prospective van drivers shall apply to the Office of Public Safety or a certified trainer for van training.

(C) The Office of Public Safety shall maintain a list of individuals who have successfully completed van training.

(c) Driver Clearance Procedure for State Vehicles

(A) Prior to checking out a van from the Motor Pool, individuals shall be required to present proof of van training.

(6) Private Vehicle Usage

(a) Faculty, staff and students are encouraged to use State-owned or hired vehicles while conducting University-business travel.

(A) To the extent that private vehicles are the means of transportation, individuals shall be responsible for maintaining insurance coverage on their private vehicles equal to the amount required by State law.

(B) The responsibility for the condition of the private vehicle shall rest with its owner.

C. Driving Record Evaluation Scale

(1) A total of 35 points in the past three years disqualifies a faculty/staff driver from operating state vehicles or carrying passengers privately on University business. Students with two or more moving violations in the past year are disqualified from operating state vehicles. Drivers' records are obtained from Department of Motor Vehicles driving records, and points are based on type of driving offense cited.

(2) Class A Offense (rated at 35 points for each of the first five years after citation): Using a vehicle to commit a crime.

(3) Class B Offenses (rated for first year at 35 points, second year at 20 points, and third through fifth years at 10 points): Driving under the influence, driving while suspended or revoked, attempting to elude a police officer, failure to perform driver's duties, hit and run, negligent homicide, or manslaughter.

(4) Class C Offenses (rated for first year at 15 points, second year at 10 points, and third through fifth years at 5 points): Careless driving, crossing double line, cut in, driving on sidewalk, driving while encumbered, driving on wrong side of highway, driving in public park, failure to drive right, failure to leave name/address at accident, failure to maintain reasonable control, failure to stop for school bus, failure to yield right of way, failure to yield to pedestrian, following too closely, illegal turn, improper lane change, improper left turn, improper passing, improper reverse turn, improper right turn, negligent driving, no headlights or driving without lights, insufficient clearance, reckless driving, right turn from wrong lane, squirreling, violating the basic rule.

(5) Class D Offenses (rated for first year at 10 points, second year at 5 points, and third through fifth years at 3 points): Disregarding red light, disregarding stop sign, disregarding traffic sign, failure to stop at railroad crossing, failure to obey traffic control device, wrong way on one-way street.

D. Vehicle Qualifications

(1) All vehicles owned or leased by the University shall have proper seats for the driver and all passengers. All such vehicles except buses, motorcycles, and scooters shall provide operable seat belts for each person carried. All occupants shall be required to use seat belts when the vehicle is in operation.

(2) All University-owned vehicles shall be equipped at all times with an emergency trip kit including reflectors, flares, an ice scraper, a flashlight, a first aid kit, accident reporting forms, and instruction for handling emergencies:

(a) It shall be the driver's responsibility to make sure the vehicle is so equipped;

(b) The Office of Public Safety shall issue emergency trip kits at cost to departments wishing to place them in University-owned vehicles and shall inspect them semi-annually for content.

(3) University-owned vehicles shall be checked routinely for mechanical and safety defects on appropriate schedules and also whenever reports of suspected malfunction are turned in to the vehicle custodian.

(4) As road conditions may require, all University-owned or hired vehicles shall carry tire chains or other approved traction devices.

(5) Privately-owned vehicles used for University business travel originating in the Eugene Metropolitan Area and expected to continue over a distance in excess of 50 miles must be equipped with an emergency trip kit or its equivalent as described in this policy:

(a) The Office of Public Safety shall maintain an inventory of such kits and shall loan them to certified drivers at no cost;

(b) It is the driver's responsibility to see that the vehicle is properly equipped and to return borrowed emergency trip kits promptly upon return from University business travel;

(c) Departments will be billed for missing kits or items missing from returned emergency trip kits.

(6) Owners of privately-owned vehicles used for University business are encouraged to supply tire chains or other approved traction devices as road conditions require.

E. Accidents and Emergencies

(1) In the case of accidents involving State Motor Pool vehicles, the instructions provided by the motor pool shall be followed.

(2) All accidents occurring during University business travel must be immediately reported to the Office of Public Safety.

(3) The University designates the Director of Public Safety or the Director's designee as the appropriate person to notify relatives of persons injured in an accident which occurs during University business travel.

(4) While on official University business, should a driver be involved in an accident, such incident will be brought before and reviewed by the University's Accident Review Board.

Original Source: 
Oregon Administrative Rule