15.7 University Driving Policy

(Amended 9/98; 9/00; 11/02; 5/03; 3/04; 12/05; 2/11; 10/15; 9/17; 10/18)

Effective October 2018, this policy has been moved here from V-19 Fleet Services. No other changes have been made.

  1. General standard. University faculty, staff, students, and volunteers may be authorized to operate University of Iowa vehicles for the purpose of conducting University business, provided the employee driver is at least 18 years old, has an appropriate and valid U.S. driver's license for the vehicle being driven, has reasonable experience driving the type of vehicle being used, could reasonably be expected to operate the vehicle in a safe and prudent manner, and meets the University Driving Policy requirements as set forth below.

    Compliance with applicable motor vehicle laws and the University of Iowa Driving Policy is required for any eligible driver to be authorized to use a University vehicle and for any driver of a non-owned, borrowed, or rental vehicle being used on University business. Risk Management is authorized to deny a vehicle to anyone if, in the sole opinion of Risk Management, there is any reason the University vehicle may not be operated safely. Individual departments may impose additional standards, restrictions, or driver education or training requirements. This University Driving Policy is in addition to any requirements, standards, operating restrictions, or suspensions imposed by law.
  2. Authorized Drivers. Authorized drivers are University employees, and those officially authorized volunteers and agents who comply with applicable motor vehicle laws and the University of Iowa Driving Policy. Volunteers or agents may be covered by the University’s vehicle liability coverage, provided the vehicle use is solely for the benefit of the University or to conduct University business, and the volunteer or agent is officially authorized to drive by the head of the department or by Risk Management. Contractors are NOT eligible and may not use University vehicles without written authorization from Risk Management. Refer questions regarding eligibility or use by volunteers or agents to Risk Management or Fleet Services.

    Authorized drivers are NOT consultants or vendors, students or faculty/staff visiting from other colleges, visiting artists or speakers, members of special event groups, government representatives, members of visiting athletic teams, members of visiting student groups, or members of visiting community organizations.
    1. Departmental student drivers. Departments may authorize student drivers of University or departmental vehicles for transporting students to conferences, meetings, or other programs when ALL of the following criteria are met:
      1. The event or program is directly related to the academic program in the department and the student travelers are currently registered students in that academic program.
      2. The students' attendance at the event or program is at the request of the department head, and the trip is financially supported by the department.
      3. An authorized "primary driver" must be designated and hired by the department to be responsible for providing information to drivers and passengers regarding vehicle-use policies, securing the vehicle during the trip, performing head counts, assigning drivers, and determining rest stops.
      4. The vehicle shall be used only for normal transportation to and from the event or program, not for personal purposes or unauthorized side trips.
      5. Written departmental authorization must be provided to Risk Management or Fleet Services for prior review and approval (refer to Risk Management for Student Vehicle Use Authorization Form).
      6. All non-employee student drivers must meet University Driving Policy requirements, including compliance with University driving standards and successful completion of a driver record review and the online defensive-driving training courses offered through Fleet Services.
    2. Student government and student organizations — restricted use.
      1. University student government representatives may use University vehicles only for transportation to national conferences and meetings or to meetings of the Board of Regents, State of Iowa. Other officially recognized University student organizations may only use University vehicles for transportation to their organization's national or regional conference or official sports club competition.
      2. Authorized drivers may only be student members of University-recognized student organizations and government, University faculty or staff officially associated with the organization, or pre-approved alternate drivers.
      3. The student organization must designate a "primary driver" for the trip who will be responsible for providing information to drivers and passengers regarding vehicle-use policies, securing the vehicle during the trip, performing head counts, assigning drivers, and determining rest stops.
      4. Non-employee student drivers must have a driver record review completed and successfully complete the University's defensive-driving training course offered through Fleet Services prior to obtaining a Fleet Service vehicle. Please see the Fleet Rentals section (paragraph k below) for more information. 
      5. Passengers may be only authorized drivers, alternates, official members of the student organization or student government, and any University faculty and staff directly associated with the organization. The University's liability coverage does not extend to unauthorized drivers, vehicles, or non-approved uses.
      6. Prior written approval of all vehicle requests is by the Dean of Students (through the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, or through Recreation Services for sports clubs) and Fleet Services. Vehicle request forms shall include information on proposed use, driver information, and passenger list. 
      7. In the event vehicles are not available from Fleet Services for the above purposes, student government representatives and student organizations may allow use of rental vehicles for the above purposes with prior written authorization. Rental fees, mileage, or other expenses incurred by individuals or organizations in violation of this policy are not an allowable University travel expense and will not be reimbursed.
    3. Violation of this policy may result in sanctions against an individual driver, student, University department, or student organization. Refer to the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership for vehicle request forms and information regarding approved uses, conduct, and other University policies, rules, regulations, or restrictions that may apply. Student groups or clubs that are not officially recognized by the University as a University student organization are prohibited from using any University vehicle.
  3. Driver certification — occasional drivers. University faculty, staff, or student employees who do not have driving as a condition of their employment may nevertheless occasionally drive University vehicles to conduct University business. Such drivers are expected to certify their eligibility to drive by completing a form provided to the driver upon the request to use a University vehicle.
  4. Driver record reviews. 
    1. A driver's past-three-year driving record will be reviewed in the following circumstances to determine compliance:
      1. For employees/agents/volunteers where driving is a condition of employment or University duties, driving record will be checked prior to the commencement of University duties and annually thereafter; 
      2. Upon discovery that a driver has been convicted of or pled guilty to a moving traffic violation or driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or that the driver's license has been denied, canceled, suspended, revoked, disqualified, or barred.
    2. Driving records will be reviewed as required by this policy, for all non-employee student drivers, or on a case-by-case basis when requested by departments. The driving-record reviews will be conducted as permitted by the provisions of the Federal Driver's Privacy Protection Act and Iowa Code 321.11, which regulates the use and disclosure of personal information from driver records. Access to the driving record is restricted to assigned staff in Risk Management; Public Safety; Parking; and Fleet Services; and members of the Vehicle Appeal Board.
    3. Out-of-state licenses. The University contracts with a private company to conduct out-of-state driver record reviews and will require the individual who holds an out-of-state license to provide a signed disclosure and release for the purpose of complying with this policy. The costs for out-of-state driver license reviews vary, and are charged back to the individual's department. Alternatively, departments may require drivers to be licensed in Iowa or require the employee to provide Risk Management with a certified copy of their past-three-year driving record.
    4. Temporary restricted driving license. The installation of any ignition interlock device on University or other state-owned vehicles is prohibited. University departments may NOT approve a temporary driving permit for any employee whose driving privileges are restricted by a temporary restricted driving license that would require the installation of an ignition interlock device on a state vehicle. 
    5. The University reserves the right to review the driving record of any driver to determine driver eligibility related to any vehicle (owned, non-owned, rented, borrowed, leased, or any other vehicle) for which the University or the State of Iowa may be held legally liable. 
  5. Driving standards.
    1. Driving privileges will be denied if the driver's current or past-three-year driving record indicates any of the following:
      1. Conviction of or pled guilty to reckless driving; driving with a suspended, denied, revoked, or barred license; hit and run; or leaving the scene; or
      2. License denied, canceled, suspended, revoked, disqualified, or barred; or
      3. Conviction of or pled guilty to driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, vehicular homicide, or any driving offense punishable as a felony; 
      4. Three or more moving violations.
    2. For purposes of reviewing driver records, the following will not affect eligibility or corrective action:
      1. Failure to use safety belts;
      2. Parking violations;
      3. Past convictions, suspensions, or revocations related to civil or criminal actions unrelated to driving or vehicle operation; or
      4. Speeding violations of 10 miles per hour or less over the legal speed limit only in speed zones where the legal speed limit is between 34 miles per hour and 71 miles per hour.
    3. Training requirements.
      1. Defensive-driving course. Non-employee student drivers, and drivers who are required to complete remedial driver training by the Vehicle Appeal Board, must complete a defensive-driving training course. Contact Fleet Services for information and to arrange for the training.
      2. Passenger van driver training and experience requirements. Before driving a University 15-passenger van, a driver will be required to complete van driver training, if the driver has had no previous experience in the operation of 12- to 15-passenger vans. Contact Fleet Services for additional information on training and experience requirements and to arrange for the training.
    4. Vehicle operators — employed to drive. 
      1. Job applicants who will be required to drive as a condition of employment must comply with the University Driving Policy standards prior to employment. Individual departments should forward driver-record information in the driver's license review system. The individual department may require more frequent record review and may impose more restrictive standards, or require other education or training requirements, other than those provided under this University Driving Policy, as a condition of employment.
      2. An employee who holds a position in which driving is a condition of employment may be terminated if their driving record does not comply with the requirements of the University Driving Policy.
  6. Accidents/violations.
    1. Required reporting.
      1. A University driver must promptly report to their department supervisor all moving violations or other vehicle citations that occur while conducting University business. The driver's supervisor must immediately forward the information to Fleet Services if the vehicle is a Fleet vehicle or to Risk Management for all other departmental vehicles. 
      2. A University driver must promptly report "hit and run" and vandalism incidents to the police or the University Department of Public Safety immediately.
      3. University drivers must report any accident involving injuries immediately and all other accidents within 48 hours (two working days). Accidents involving Fleet Services–based vehicles must be reported to Fleet Services. Accidents involving Cambus vehicles, private or rental vehicles, parking valets, and patient transportation and emergency medical vehicles must be reported directly to Risk Management.
      4. Failure to report an accident or incident of damage as required may result in loss of vehicle, restricted use, or assessment of repair costs or insurance deductibles to the department, up to $1,000. It may also result in the loss of the privilege to use University vehicles and/or in disciplinary action, up to and including termination of employment.
    2. Driving restrictions and discipline. After any accident that results in bodily injury or property damage of more than $1,000 (all parties combined) involving a University vehicle, the driver's record will be reviewed by Risk Management for compliance with the University Driving Policy. Risk Management will then work with the department to determine any driving restrictions and/or discipline. 
    3. Suspension of privilege to drive.
      1. In the event of an accident where there is substantial property damage ($5,000 or more) or injury, or serious criminal violation, driving privileges may be immediately suspended for the use of University vehicles. 
      2. Driving privileges shall be suspended pending the outcome of a serious criminal charge involving a vehicle, a charge for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, charge of vehicular homicide, or any charge punishable as a felony. Other restrictions may be applied, up to and including prohibition from transporting passengers or using any vehicle (private, rented, or state-owned) on University business, if there is clear evidence of unsafe driving behavior, such as extreme violations of motor vehicle laws, that would affect the safety, health, and welfare of the driver, passengers, or the general public.
  7. Appeals. 
    1. Employees or departments may appeal vehicle-use restrictions to the Vehicle Appeal Board. A written request for appeal should include information on any special circumstances that should be considered. The request should be forwarded to Risk Management. The Vehicle Appeal Board may reinstate driving privileges or vehicle use, with or without contingent conditions, if it is determined that safe and prudent operating standards will be met.
    2. The Vehicle Appeal Board will review appeals from drivers or departments who have been adversely affected by enforcement of the University Driving Policy. The Vehicle Appeal Board members include representatives from Risk Management (chair), the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost, Human Resources, Fleet Services, Student Life, and General Counsel. The Vehicle Appeal Board may implement internal administrative procedures or policies to facilitate the review of appeals and may make recommendations for changes to the University Driving Policy.
    3. Probation and reinstatement. Employees who would otherwise lose their driving privileges due to non-compliance may be approved for probationary reinstatement of driving privileges by the Vehicle Appeal Board. Probationary reinstatement will require successful completion of remedial driver training and satisfaction of a clean probationary period (60 days to one year) during which the employee may not have any accident or conviction of a driving violation covered by this policy. If the conditions set by the Vehicle Appeal Board are not met, the probationary reinstatement status will be revoked and the original penalty, restriction, or corrective action will resume.
  8. Approved uses. 
    1. University vehicles may be used solely for the purpose of conducting University business. Examples of approved uses include conducting departmental business; business errands; educational field trips when supervised and accompanied by faculty or a University employee on site; University-related, -sponsored, or -approved conferences, meetings, or events; conducting research under the supervision of a University employee; and use by volunteers in programs sponsored by, directed by, or for the sole benefit of the University. 
    2. Travel to Canada or Mexico. University vehicles may NOT be taken into Mexico or Canada without the prior written consent of Risk Management.
  9. Misuse of vehicles.
    1. All drivers and departments are expected to properly safeguard the University's vehicles and use them in accordance with University policy. If it is determined that a vehicle is being misused or is at substantially higher risk of theft or damage due to a lack of reasonable precautions by the driver or department, Fleet Services or Risk Management shall notify the department. If corrective action is not taken, the department may be required to forfeit use of the vehicle and return it to Fleet Services.
    2. In the event any University vehicle is stolen or damaged from misuse or failing to take reasonable safety precautions, is subjected to intentional damage, or is allowed to be used in violation of University policy, the driver and/or the department may be prohibited from further use of University vehicles and the department will be assessed for actual damage plus any associated administrative and remedial costs of up to $1,000.
    3. Personal liability. In compliance with Iowa law and University policy, the University Driving Policy strictly prohibits the use of University vehicles for personal purposes, vacations, or trips; to conduct personal business; for transportation of non-University passengers (except as authorized); or for use by family members. Any employee, student, or other person who uses University vehicles for personal transportation or other personal purposes is personally liable for any accident that occurs during such personal use. 
  10. Authorized passengers.
    1. Authorized passengers include those in official University-sponsored or -authorized transportation programs (Cambus, patient transportation van, employee vanpool, student field trips, etc.) and University employees, agents, or volunteers while on authorized University business.
    2. Authorized passengers may also include persons who are on campus at the University's request, for example, for potential employment at the University, to provide contracted services, or for participation in a University event or program. Other examples of authorized passengers include visiting faculty/staff, visiting artists or speakers, government representatives, members of visiting athletic teams, or community organizations. All other passengers are prohibited from traveling in University vehicles.
    3. Examples of unauthorized passengers are an employee's spouse, children, or other family members, friends, or neighbors of a University employee driver, or members of the general public.