Driving Records/Training

Responsible Officer: Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations

Sponsoring Department: Environmental Health & Safety

Revision Date: 01 October 2013

Errors or changes to: aim@uta.edu

Procedures

  1. move to top

    General Policy

    The University recognizes a responsibility for UTA motor vehicles to be operated in a safe manner. Therefore, it is the policy of UTA before employing a person as a driver of a University-owned vehicle for official University business to request from Texas Department of Public Safety a list of convictions for traffic violations against the potential employee as well as verification of a valid driver's license issued by the State in which the person permanently resides. Incumbent authorized drivers will have their motor vehicle driving records (MVR) checked as follows:

    • At least every twelve months after initially authorized.
    • Promptly after the employee has been involved in an automobile accident while driving on official University business; and
    • Promptly after the employee receives a moving traffic citation while on official University business.
    1. move to top

      Requirements for the Authorization of Drivers

      Authorization of drivers for the use of vehicles for official University business shall be limited to employees of the University unless otherwise approved in writing by UTA's Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations. UTA's Environmental Health & Safety Office will maintain a list of authorized drivers of University-owned vehicles to include:

      • Driver's name (as it appears on his or her license)
      • Driver's license number
      • Date of birth
      • Driving status (acceptable or not acceptable)
      • Date of last training/counseling
      • Notations regarding any misconduct with the vehicle, any reprimands concerning his or her driving
      • Any positive remarks

      Authorized drivers and applicants seeking a position that requires authorization to operate a University-owned vehicle will be evaluated on the most recent three-year history reflected on their MVR and points will be assigned accordingly. If the total points equal four or more for the immediate preceding 36 months, the person shall not be authorized to operate a University-owned vehicle. If UTA is unable to obtain a three-year driving record history, then UTA's Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations may use his/her discretion to authorize the employee to operate a University-owned vehicle for official University business.

      Type A Violations

      Convictions for Type A violations appearing on the MVR count as four (4) points against an authorized driver's or applicant's record. Type A violations include:

      • Criminal negligent homicide "1st or 2nd degree"
      • Driving while intoxicated
      • Driving while under the influence of drugs
      • Drag Racing / Speeding Contest
      • Aggravated Assault with motor vehicle
      • Driving while license suspended
      • Murder "with motor vehicle"
      • Reckless driving
      • Fleeing from police officer
      • Felony use of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV) "controlled substance"
      • Felony use of Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV)
      • Driving while license disqualified (CMV)

      For the purposes of this policy, the definition of a DUI/DWI conviction means: being convicted, receiving a probated sentence, or pleading no contest for driving a commercial or non-commercial vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or while intoxicated.

      Type B Violations

      Convictions for Type B violations appearing on the MVR count as one (1) point against an authorized driver's or applicant's record. Type B violations are all moving traffic violations not listed above as a Type A violation. Type B violations do not include non-moving administrative offenses (examples: out-dated inspection stickers, no proof of insurance, license plate missing).

      At-Fault Accidents

      Each at-fault accident appearing on an MVR counts as two (2) points. If a moving traffic violation conviction appears on a driving record along with an accident on the same date, this usually means that person was at-fault in the accident. Accidents shall be reviewed and the insurance company and UTA's business office, or other office designated by the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations, shall make a determination if there is an at-fault question. Accident reports may be obtained from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

      Reporting Responsibilities

      An authorized driver of a University-owned vehicle shall immediately report to his or her supervisor a suspension or revocation of his/her driver's license or any Type A violation as defined in this procedure including the nature of the charge, the pleas entered by the driver, the scheduled court date, and the findings of the court. An employee who fails to provide required notice shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Additionally, an authorized driver shall promptly report to his or her supervisor if he/she has been involved in a Type B violation as defined by this procedure or an at-fault automobile accident while operating a University-owned vehicle for official University business.

      An employee who operates a University-owned, rented, leased, or personal vehicle for official University business at a time when his or her license was suspended or revoked, shall be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

      Driver Training

      UTA requires driver training for each authorized driver of University-owned vehicles at least every three years. Driver training may include, but is not limited to:

      • Defensive Driving
      • One-day seminars on driving improvement
      • Driver training videos on specific driving skills in which the driver may be deficient; or
      • Hands-on, behind-the-wheel training
      Commercial Drivers License (CDL)

      A CDL is required of authorized drivers who operate commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) for official University business.

      In accordance with the US Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations, 49 CFR Parts 40 and 382, employers shall test drivers holding a CDL for drugs and alcohol. The regulations call for pre-employment, post accident, reasonable suspicion, random, return-to-duty, and follow-up drug and alcohol-testing program that meets the regulatory requirements.

      1. move to top

        General Requirements for the Use of Vehicles

        Vehicles shall be used legally, courteously and safely. To reduce the risk of accidental loss associated with the use of vehicles by the University, UTA has adopted a comprehensive fleet safety program to include policies and procedures for the following: minimum driver standards, driver's motor vehicle record checks for authorized drivers and potential drivers, post accident reviews and remedial actions, driver training, drug and alcohol testing for drivers of commercial motor vehicles, and other policies and procedures consistent with the State Vehicle Fleet Management Plan and UTS157.

        1. move to top

          Operation of 12 and 15-Passenger Vans

          1. Requirements
            • 12 and 15-passenger vans shall only be operated by experienced, authorized drivers who understand and are familiar with the handling characteristics of the vans, especially when the van is fully loaded. This will include having operators of 12 and 15-passenger vans attend van-specific training, including behind-the-wheel on-the-road training. This specialized driver training for each driver of University-owned, rented, or leased 12 and 15-passenger vans is required every three years.
            • 12 and 15-passenger vans shall not be used to carry more than nine (9) occupants (including the driver) at any one time, except as provided in the following sentence. At the discretion of the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations, a 12 and 15-passenger van may be used to carry between 10 and a maximum of 15 occupants (including the driver) on inner-campus, non-public streets only, provided that (1) the van does not cross or travel on public streets, and (2) the van is not driven at a speed in excess of the posted campus speed limit, or in excess of 15mph if there is no posted campus speed limit.
            • Seat belts will be used at all times by all occupants of 12 and 15-passenger vans.
            • To insure proper loading of vehicles, consult the owner's manual to determine the maximum safety load for the vehicle and the proper distribution of that load. Passengers shall be seated only in recognized seats and in an arrangement designed to spread out the load. Luggage shall be placed in the rear behind the last seat and shall not be allowed on the roof when the van is being operated.
            • Tires will be inspected to ensure they are properly inflated and not worn.
            • Drivers may not operate the van more than ten (10) hours in any twenty-four (24) hour period. Trips requiring more than ten hours driving time to reach a point of destination will require overnight lodging.
            • Van drivers shall take a mandatory thirty-minute rest break every four hours.
            • For trips scheduled for longer than 2 hours, assign a navigator to assist each driver. The navigator must stay awake while on duty.
            1. Special 12-Passenger Van Provisions for Newer Vehicles

              Departments that purchase or rent a 12-passenger van that meets all of the following criteria may forgo the nine-passenger-only limitation provided that:

              1. 12-passenger vans must not be a converted, modified, or otherwise altered 15-passenger van;
              2. 12-passenger vans must have a wheel base of approximately 135 inches or more;
              3. 12-passenger vans must not have the ability to seat more than 12 passengers including the driver and have assigned seatbelts for each seat;
              4. 12-passenger vans must be equipped with an Electronic Stability Control (ESC) or Traction Control System (TCS); and
              5. 12-passenger vans should also be equipped with other safety features, such as front and side curtain air bags, antilock brakes, and a tire pressure monitoring system.

            2. move to top

              Post Accident Claims Procedure

              Reporting procedures shall ensure authorized drivers understand their claim handling and reporting responsibilities and ensure the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations or designee is immediately made aware of any incidents that could lead to a claim under any automobile insurance coverage purchased by or for the benefit of the institution.

              1. Driver Responsibilities

                While at the scene of the accident, authorized drivers shall attempt to obtain as much information as possible, including the license plate number of any vehicles at the scene, and insurance information from the other parties involved in the accident. As soon as possible, the authorized driver shall provide this information to UTA's Environmental Health & Safety Office. Authorized drivers of University-owned vehicles should advise other parties involved in the accident that the accident will be reported to the University's insurance company who will be in contact with the claimant. Authorized drivers should not make any representations regarding insurance coverage to other parties involved in the accident, because the insurance company's adjuster will make the determination of coverage available under the insurance policy.

                If an authorized driver is involved in a vehicle accident off-campus and the Police Department having jurisdiction does not issue a police report, then the authorized driver should submit a UTA Vehicle Accident Form. This form should be carried in all University vehicles along with the proof of insurance. The authorized driver should submit this form within two (2) business days to the Environmental Health & Safety Office via fax at ext. 2-2144 or via campus mail to Box 19257.

              2. Institution Responsibility

                The current procedure for reporting claims (or possible claims) to the insurance carrier is to complete an ACORD Automobile Loss Notice Report Form for each accident. Under the heading 'Insured Vehicle', on the line 'Owner's Name and Address', the Environmental Health & Safety Office shall ensure the appropriate institution's identification number and name are indicated and that sufficient and accurate details are provided on the ACORD form before faxing it to the insurance company, the insurance agent and the UT System Office of Risk Management at 512-499-4578. The names and phone numbers for the insurance company, insurance agent and the UT System Office of Risk Management contact will be provided to the Business Manager's office of each at the beginning of each policy year.

                It is important for the insurance company to know clearly, and as soon as possible, all factual information about the accident. If the facts lead the driver or the Environmental Health & Safety Office to the opinion that the University is not at fault, clearly state that information on the form. If fault is questionable, the driver or the Environmental Health & Safety Office contact should provide supporting information to assist the insurance company with making a determination of fault.

                The UT System Office of Risk Management or the insurance company may request additional information needed for their files or for further processing.

                Authorization for repairs will not be given until the ACORD form is reviewed by the insurance company.

              1. move to top

                Insurance Coverage

                1. University-Owned Vehicles (including long-term {longer than 1 yr.} lease vehicles)

                  Under the provisions of Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 101.027 and Texas Government Code Section 612.002, liability insurance has been purchased for officers and employees of the University covering liability arising from the use and operation of University-owned and operated vehicles while on official University business.

                  Automobile liability coverage is provided for authorized drivers of University-owned vehicles through the "System-wide" automobile liability Policy. Under the terms of the policy, the insurance company will periodically audit the inventory of vehicles covered. To assist in this audit, each institution's fleet contact shall update all vehicle information (additions, deletions and changes) through the UT System Auto Inventory Online System . When performing updates, the fleet contact shall assign a Vehicle Classification Rating to each vehicle in accordance with the "Motor Vehicle Classification Schedule" that appears on Appendix A. Fleet contacts are encouraged to update their vehicle information as soon as possible after receiving information requiring an update.

                2. Rental (Hired) Vehicles (including short-term {less than 1 yr.} lease vehicles)

                  When an employee rents a vehicle from a rental company under contract with the Building and Procurement Commission, liability, comprehensive and collision insurance coverages are automatically provided. The "Hired/Non-Owned" policy provides coverage that is in excess of the insurance secured through the rental agreement. When a contracted company is not used, employees should not waive the physical damage insurance coverage offered by the non-contract company. However, when an employee inadvertently waives insurance, the Hired/Non-Owned policy will provide liability, comprehensive and collision coverage on a primary basis.

                  Institutions must notify the UT System Office of Risk Management at least 48 hours prior to the trip, if any rental vehicle is to be taken off road; or if a vehicle is being rented or leased for extensive travel (travel outside of the 48 contiguous states or rented or leased for more than 30 days).

                  The following information must be provided with the notification:

                  • Dates insurance coverage is needed;
                  • City and state where the vehicle is being rented;
                  • Name, address and phone number of the rental company;
                  • Make, model, license number, vehicle identification number and value of vehicle;
                  • Names of the individuals that will be driving the vehicle; and
                  • Purpose of the rental.

                  If a rental or leasing company requires a copy of the Certificate of Insurance before releasing the vehicle, then the institution needs to notify the UT System Office of Risk Management. The same information as mentioned above is needed. Risk Management will then notify the insurance company to request the certificate. University departments should contact Administration and Campus Operations who will in turn coordinate this procedure with UT System Office of Risk Management.

                  If a rental vehicle is involved in an accident, both the driver and institution shall follow the post-accident claims procedures in this procedure.

                3. Personal (Non-University Owned) Vehicles

                  Employees are strongly discouraged from using personal vehicles for conducting official University business. The "Hired/Non-Owned" policy provides liability coverage only for employees using their personal vehicles while conducting official University business. The liability coverage in this case applies only as a secondary coverage to the employee's personal auto policy.

                  If an employee using his or her personal vehicle for official University business is involved in an accident, the institution will need to notify the UT System Office of Risk Management by the next business day by calling 512-499-4578. Institutions and employees shall follow the post accident claims procedures in this document if a personal vehicle is involved in an accident while being used for official University business.

                4. Other Insurance Coverages

                  Insurance covering physical damage to a University-owned or leased vehicle is also available to institutions. This coverage is typically purchased for newer vehicles or when lease terms require physical damage insurance.

                  1. Insurance providing full coverage, which includes liability, uninsured motorist, underinsured motorist, physical damage and personal injury protection coverages, is available to institutions as well. This coverage is most commonly purchased when a University-owned or leased vehicle is assigned to a particular employee or group of employees (e.g. Chief of Police, Physical Plant Director, etc.).

                  2. Insurance coverage for vehicles traveling into Mexico is obtained on an as-needed basis. Coverage should be secured through the UT System Office of Risk Management in order to ensure sufficient and consistent coverage.

                  3. Institutions can obtain quotes for the insurance listed above by contacting the UT System Office of Risk Management at 512-499-4579.

                1. move to top

                  Accident Review Board

                  1. Purpose

                    The objective of the Accident Review Board (ARB) is to encourage safe driving habits by University of Texas at Arlington employees and reduce the occurrence of preventable motor vehicle accidents involving University employees. The ARB will review the causes of vehicle accidents to determine if they may have been preventable in an effort to generate recommendations to drivers, supervisors, and administrators to assist in the prevention of similar accidents.

                  2. Board Reporting and Membership

                    The ARB reports to the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations. The Board will provide written reports that summarize the review process for each accident investigated. The Chair is responsible for submitting reports to the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations.

                    The Board will meet on a monthly basis, or at the call of the Chair according to need. A minimum of three (3) voting members must be present to constitute a quorum.

                    The Board shall consist of the following members:

                    • Chair - Chief of Police (non-voting member)
                    • Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations
                    • Director of Office of Facilities Management
                    • Director of Environmental Health & Safety
                    • Vehicle Fleet Manager
                    • Safety Coordinator
                    • Human Resources representative
                  3. Review of Accidents

                    All accidents, regardless of how minor, involving University owned/leased vehicles are to be reported. Accidents must be promptly reported by the driver to the UTA Police Department, the Environmental Health & Safety Office, and to their supervisor.

                    The ARB will conduct a review of all vehicle accidents that involve injuries requiring medical treatment, or property damage of $1000 or greater. The ARB shall make a preventability determination utilizing the "Vehicle Accident Classifications" criterion. The Board will consider only the facts and circumstances of each individual case in determining preventability. A driver's past driving history will have no bearing on this determination.

                  4. Accident Review Board Procedures

                    The Board Chair shall set meeting dates and times. The Chair shall provide all members of the Board with a copy of the "Vehicle Accident Classifications" criterion to assist in determining preventable and non-preventable incident classifications.

                    The Chair shall provide all members with a copy of the documents that will be reviewed during the board meeting. The driver's name and/or vehicle number should be "blackened out" from all reports before making copies for the Board members' review. The Chair shall ensure that no ARB member reviews their own incident.

                    The Chair will present the facts about each accident under review. Accidents are referred to by the incident report number or date only. The driver's name should never be mentioned, nor should the driver appear in person before the Board. The driver is represented by data on the accident report and other factual information.

                    When applicable, the accident facts are presented through the following information:

                    • Police Department reports
                    • Environmental Health & Safety reports
                    • Witness statements
                    • Written statement from driver
                    • Written statement from driver's supervisor
                    • Insurance company investigation reports
                    • Diagrams, photographs, and other evidence

                    The Board voting members will then make a determination as to whether or not the accident was "preventable" or "non-preventable". The "Vehicle Accident Classifications" criterion will be used to make the determination. The guide is based on the National Safety Council Rules.

                    The Board will complete the "Vehicle Accident Review" form, which includes any recommendations for corrective actions and forward to the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations for review. These recommendations may include number of points to be assessed to the driver, recommendation to suspend driving privileges, and/or recommended changes to University vehicle driving policies and procedures. After review and approval by the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations, the Environmental Health & Safety Office will coordinate the implementation of the Board's recommendations with the department administrators concerned.

                  5. Appeal of the Board Decision

                    The driver may appeal a decision within ten (10) days of receipt of the Board's written notice by contacting the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations in writing. The Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations will review the original decision and respond to the driver in writing within ten (10) days advising them of the decision. The original ARB decision will stand unless there is a compelling reason to overrule.

                  6. Ramifications of Preventable Accidents

                    When an accident is determined to have been preventable, the Accident Review Board will apply points to the driver as described below. The accumulation of four (4) or more points from the Accident Review Board within any thirty-six (36) month period will result in the automatic revocation of University vehicle driving privileges. The points applied by the Accident Review Board are separate and are not added to the points determined from a driver's MVR check, described in Section II, Requirements for the Authorization of Drivers, of this regulation.

                    1. Preventable Accidents

                      1. The first determination of a "Preventable" accident will result in a face-to-face meeting with the driver's supervisor. Consistent with the goals of the University, it is hoped that this meeting will raise the "awareness" of the driver, and ultimately result in safer driving habits. The driver will be required to complete the University's Defensive Driving Course. The driver will be assessed one (1) point if the accident involved a fixed object or two (2) points if the accident involved another moving vehicle or pedestrian.

                      2. The second determination of a "Preventable" accident within a thirty-six (36) month period will result in a meeting with the supervisor and required completion of the University's Defensive Driving Course. The driver will be assessed one (1) point if the accident involved a fixed object or two (2) points if the accident involved another moving vehicle or pedestrian. Additionally, the driver will be suspended from driving a University vehicle for a period of ten (10) working days.

                      3. The third determination of a "Preventable" accident within a thirty-six (36) month period will result in a meeting with the supervisor and required completion of the University's Defensive Driving Course. The driver will be assessed one (1) point if the accident involved a fixed object or two (2) points if the accident involved another moving vehicle or pedestrian. Additionally, the driver will be suspended from driving a University vehicle for a period of one (1) month.

                      Records will be maintained by the Environmental Health & Safety Office. Copies will be forwarded for the employee's departmental file, as well as, the employee's Human Resources file.

                    2. Automatic Suspension of Driving Privileges

                      If any single "Preventable" accident involves any one of the following, it will be recommended to the Vice President for Administration and Campus Operations that the driver be suspended from driving a University vehicle. The Board will recommend the duration of the suspension depending on the circumstances.

                      1. A conviction of legal intoxication or drug involvement while operating a University vehicle.

                      2. A determination that the driver did not have a valid driver's license at the time of the accident.

                    NOTE: Any employee who cannot perform the essential functions of his/her job because of suspension or revocation of University vehicle driving privileges may be subject to administrative/disciplinary action such as reassignment, suspension without pay, demotion, or termination of employment. For additional information regarding discipline and discharge refer to Fiscal Regulations and Procedures 3-27.

                  1. move to top

                    Definitions

                    The following definitions apply to this Fiscal Regulations:

                    1. Authorized driver: An employee of The University of Texas System ("University") who is eligible to operate a University-owned vehicle for official University business. To be eligible an employee must hold a valid driver's license issued by the State where the employee permanently resides, have an acceptable driving record, and have the necessary driver training.

                    2. Commercial Motor Vehicle (CMV): The U.S. Department of Transportation - Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration defines a CMV as any self-propelled or towed motor vehicle used on a highway in interstate commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle--

                      1. Has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating of 4,537 kg (10,001 lb) or more; whichever is greater; or

                      2. Is designed or used to transport more than 8 passengers (including the driver) for compensation; or

                      3. Is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or

                      4. Is used in transporting material found by the Secretary of Transportation to be hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and transported in a quantity requiring placarding under regulations prescribed by the Secretary under 49 CFR, subtitle B, chapter I, subchapter C.

                    3. Institution: Institutions include UT Arlington, UT Austin, UT Brownsville, UT Dallas, UT El Paso, UT Pan American; UT Permian Basin, UT San Antonio, UT Tyler, UT Southwestern Medical Center Dallas, UT Medical Branch Galveston, UT Health Science Center Houston, UT Health Science Center San Antonio, UT M.D Anderson Cancer Center, UT Health Center Tyler, and UT System Administration.

                    4. Employee: a person employed in the service of the University under an appointment or oral or written express contract for hire whose name appears on the System's payroll.

                    5. Official University business (as it relates to driving): Driving a vehicle during the course and scope of employment for the University regardless of the frequency of driving or operating duties.

                    6. University-owned vehicle: A vehicle to which the University holds title or a vehicle leased by the University for more than one year.

                    7. Vehicle: Equipment of a motorized, vehicular nature, which requires a State drivers license to operate. This does not include riding lawnmowers or other vehicles that normally operate off public thoroughfares, except for incidental crossing of a public roadway.