Motor Vehicles


Purpose  

The safety of University students, faculty, staff, and the public is a central concern of Miami University. The operations of Miami University necessarily involve some faculty, staff, students, and volunteers operating vehicles and other motorized equipment. This creates the potential for accidents that may result in injuries, fatalities, damage to property and reputation, as well as claims against the University for third-party liability, property damage and workers’ compensation. 

This Motor Vehicle Policy (“Policy”) has been adopted to require the safe and prudent use of certain motor vehicles by University faculty, staff, students and volunteers when driving on University business, and to minimize the risks of unsafe, impaired, or distracted driving. 


Definitions

Approved Driver

Driver who meets the qualifications set forth in this Policy and is approved to drive a university owned or leased vehicle for university business.

Larger Van

A passenger van or cargo van that has a wheelbase greater than 125 inches or an overall length of greater than 225 inches.  Mini-vans are not included in this description.

Motor Vehicle

Any vehicle legally permitted to transport a Driver (and where applicable passengers or property) on a public road or thoroughfare, including without limitation, automobiles, vans and trucks (including utility or box).  

Operators of low power and utility vehicles (golf carts and gators) are subject to the requirements of the Motorized Low Power and Utility Vehicle policy and must also be Approved Drivers as defined by this policy.  Operators of heavy equipment are subject to the requirements of the Heavy Equipment program.


Policy

University Owned or Leased Motor Vehicles: University owned or leased motor vehicles may only be operated by individuals who (1) have been approved in accordance with this policy and (2) have completed a Motor Vehicle Use Agreement (“Approved Drivers”).  An approved driver's list (“Approved Drivers List”) shall be maintained by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services.  Approved Drivers are subject to the safe driving practices contained in this Policy as well as all applicable traffic laws.

Vehicles Obtained under University-contracted Rental Program: Individuals renting vehicles to conduct University business from Enterprise/National or other entity under a University-contracted rental program are not required to complete the Motor Vehicle Use Agreement or be an Approved Driver, but must have a valid driver's license and must adhere to the safe driving practices contained in this Policy as well as all applicable traffic laws.

Qualifications of Approved Drivers

Approved Drivers List must meet the following requirements:

  • Have a valid US driver's license.  Drivers must present a valid driver’s license at time of application to the Approved Drivers List and at time of license renewal.  Drivers with a suspended or revoked license are prohibited from driving motor and motorized vehicles for university business. Drivers with limitations or restrictions on their license will be evaluated on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the nature of the limitation and the job duties of the individual.
  • Be at least 18 years old and have been a licensed driver for at least 12 months.
  • Qualify as a covered person under the University’s liability and comprehensive automobile coverage.
  • Complete the Motor Vehicle Use Agreement, which shall include the driver’s consent for the university to perform a motor vehicle records check. For existing Approved Drivers, a motor vehicle records check shall be performed annually to determine continued eligibility for driving University owned or leased vehicles.
  • Have an acceptable driving record.  The university reserves the right to withhold or suspend the approval of any person who has been found to have committed any of the following violations in the past 3 years:
    • DUI/OWI drugs or alcohol
    • Negligent homicide via a vehicle
    • Use of an auto in commission of a felony
    • Aggravated assault with a vehicle
    • Operating without a license
    • Reckless driving
    • Leaving the scene of an accident
    • Hit and Run

Miami University reserves the right to remove from the Approved Driver List any driver who is involved in an accident or violation of this Policy (including violations of the Motor Vehicle Use agreement) while operating a University owned or leased vehicle.

Additional Requirements for Drivers by Specific Vehicle

University- Owned or Leased Vehicles

Vehicles assigned for the use of a specific employee ("assigned driver") should only be driven by that specific university employee.  It is recognized in limited circumstances that other authorized Miami drivers may share driving responsibilities for a single vehicle. In these limited circumstances, it is the “assigned driver’s” responsibility to verify that the other driver(s) is an approved Miami driver before allowing them to drive the assigned vehicle.  A university assigned vehicle cannot be driven by a family member but they are permitted to be passengers in the vehicle.

Rental Vehicles

  • Drivers renting a vehicle for University related business or activities are to rent from Enterprise or National or other rental agency with whom the University has a preexisting contract whenever available.  Agreements with these companies already include liability and collision damage waivers.   In the event service from Enterprise or National is not available, renters must accept the optional collision and liability insurance provided by the rental agency.
  • Drivers renting motor vehicles with a rental agency are not required to be Approved Drivers but the driver is responsible to follow all rental company requirements and with other requirements of this policy (e.g., no rental or use of larger vans). 
  • Refer to the Vehicle Rental page for additional university business vehicle rental information.

Larger Vans- University Owned, Leased or Rented Vehicles

  • 15 passenger vans MAY NOT be rented, driven, or used by Miami University employees, students or volunteers for university related business or activities.
  • Drivers of vans with a wheelbase greater than 125 inches or an overall length of greater than 225 inches must:
    • Be 21 years of age or older;
    • Complete Van Driver Safety training ONE TIME to become approved to drive vans for university-related business or activities. This applies to all vans used for university-related business or activities, whether the van is university owned or leased or obtained under a university-contracted rental program with a rental agency.
    • The on-line van safety driving course is available through the Risk Management Office. Please submit a request for van safety training.

Box, Parcel, Food Truck or Trailer Towing – University owned, leased or rented Vehicles

  • Drivers of box trucks, parcel trucks, or food trucks must:
    • Be university employees -- students are not permitted to drive university owned, leased or rented box trucks, parcel trucks, or food trucks;
    • Have completed available training;
    • Be at least 21 years of age if the truck is leased or rented.
  • Drivers of trucks that tow trailers must:
    • Have completed available training;
    • Be at least 21 years of age if the truck is leased or rented.
  • Contact the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services at 513-529-4225 or via email at vpfinancebusiness@MiamiOH.edu to request training.

Vehicles Requiring a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

A valid CDL will be required to drive certain commercial vehicles designated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration as requiring a CDL.  Annual driver’s license record checks will be performed by the Office of the Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services.  The department will be responsible to ensure that only drivers with a CDL with the appropriate classification are permitted to drive these vehicles.

Safe Driving Practices and Driver Responsibilities

When operating a motor vehicle, the driver is ultimately responsible for its safe and legal operation at all times. Safe driving practices and driver responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Drivers and passengers are required to wear seat belts at all times that the vehicle is in motion, (e.g., even while driving in and around parking lots).
  • Drivers must obey all traffic rules, drive courteously and practice defensive driving techniques.
  • Drivers may not drive the vehicle for more than 10 hours in a 24-hour period.
  • Drivers must participate in any required driver safety training.
  • Drivers must immediately report to the appropriate Human Resources Office (Human Resources or Academic Personnel) and to the University’s Risk Management Office any change that may affect a their Approved Driver status. Such changes may include, by way of example, a suspension, revocation or loss of their driver’s license, or the imposition of restrictions on driving, such as medical restrictions on driving imposed by a medical professional.
    • Failure to report immediately any such changes shall be grounds for discipline, up to and including termination.
  • Drivers are required to report the following to the appropriate Human Resources Office (Human Resources or Academic Personnel) as soon as possible, usually within one business day:
    • Traffic violation(s) they receive during working and nonworking hours while driving on university business.
    • Accidents that occur while driving on University business in vehicles that are owned or leased by Miami (see the procedure set forth below).
  • Drivers may not operate University vehicles or drive during business hours after having consumed alcohol and or illegal drugs, or after consuming legal drugs or medications that may impair their ability to operate a motor vehicle.
  • Drivers may not offer rides to unauthorized passengers (including pets) not related to Miami business.
  • Drivers must remove the keys and lock the vehicle when unattended.
  • Drivers, not the university, are solely responsible for payment of all fines for violations committed while operating any vehicle while on university business, including traffic violation fines, parking tickets and/or speeding tickets.
  • The University is not responsible for loss or damage to personal belongings of employees or students inside vehicles.
  • Only Approved Drivers may drive a Miami vehicle. Passengers, even if they are Miami employees, may not drive a Miami vehicle unless they are an Approved Driver.
  • Drivers are required to observe all rules and regulations for safe driving as defined by the state in which they are driving.
  • Drivers are to avoid conditions that may lead to loss of control, including by way of example, driving while drowsy or distracted or driving too fast for road conditions.
  • Texting while driving is illegal in Ohio and prohibited by the university. Cell phone use should be minimized. Phone calls should not be conducted while driving a university vehicle or while driving a personal vehicle for university business. Should the driver need to engage in a conversation, the driver should stop the vehicle in a safe area to take or make the call unless hands-free phone operation is available and engaged in the vehicle.
  • Drivers are to always perform an inspection of a university owned or leased vehicle both before and after use. Approved Drivers are responsible for reporting any damage and/or any needed maintenance while in the Driver’s possession.
  • Drivers whose licenses have been suspended are responsible for working with the appropriate Human Resources Office (Human Resources or Academic Personnel) to determine if there are other means of performing their job duties related to driving and are responsible for managing their own alternative transportation to and from work. If no alternative work arrangements are reasonably available related to driving for the position, additional action may be required including termination of employment for inability to perform necessary job duties.
  • Drivers who are unable to drive due to medical reasons must provide written documentation from a physician to the Human Resources department and are responsible for engaging in an interactive process with Human Resources to determine reasonable accommodations to fulfill their job duties.

Minors and Motor Vehicles

  • Minors can only be transported in university owned or leased vehicles, not personal vehicles.
  • The driver must be an approved driver and deemed a responsible adult.
  • Driver is never to be alone with any minor and must transport not less than two passengers (other than the Responsible Adult’s own minor children).

Review the Minors on Campus Policy for additional information.

Personal Vehicles

  • Drivers of personal vehicles do not need to complete a Motor Vehicle Use Agreement or be an Approved Driver.
  • The driver must have a valid driver’s license, which is not currently suspended or revoked, while using their personal vehicle on university business.
  • The driver must carry the minimum automobile liability coverage that is mandated by the state in which they reside.
  • When driving a personal vehicle, even for university business, the owner’s insurance policy covering the vehicle is considered primary for both liability and physical damage. Insurance maintained by the University, if it applies, will be excess of the employee’s personal automobile liability limits.
    • Please note that immunity is not provided for civil actions that arise out of the operation of a motor vehicle.  Thus, an individual employee is not immune from claims that arise out of an automobile accident.  Drivers should consider renting a vehicle through a university approved rental contract for higher limits than are generally found in a personal automobile policy.
  • Use of personal vehicles to transport passengers while on university business or in connection with a university activity is strongly discouraged. Drivers should consider renting a vehicle through a university approved rental contract.
  • Use of personal vehicles to transport minor passengers is NOT permitted.

Accident Reporting

University Employees

If a university employee is involved in an accident while operating a university owned or leased vehicle or a vehicle that has been rented in accordance with a university approved rental contract, the following steps must be taken:

  • Seek medical attention, if necessary.
  • Drivers must notify the appropriate police agency in the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred, as well as the Miami University Police Department dispatcher at 513-529-2222 as soon as it is safe to do so.  
  • During normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday; 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during the summer) Drivers must notify Human Resources at 513-529-9551 of any accident. At all other times drivers should notify a university police dispatcher at 513-529-2222 and their immediate supervisor.
  • Accidents that occur on the job or are job related may involve the post-accident drug testing provisions of the university’s Drug and Alcohol Testing policy https://miamioh.edu/human-resources/managers/workplace-health-safety/drug-alcohol-testing-policy/index.html. Employees shall notify their immediate supervisor and Human Resources as soon as possible if they are involved in an on-the-job or job related accident. The employees will be tested for an on the-job or job related accident or injury involving:
    • A fatality
    • Bodily injury with immediate medical treatment away from the scene
    • Damage to any motor vehicle
    • An accident/incident that may not meet the circumstances noted above, but which resulted in property damage, personal injury, and/or loss of University work time
  • The driver must work with the supervisor to submit a Vehicle Accident Report and also an Employee Injury and Illness Report when the driver or a passenger is injured. The Vehicle accident Report can be found online at http://miamioh.edu/fbs/risk-management-insurance/vehicle-accident-report/index.html and the Employee Injury and Illness report is available online at https://miamioh.edu/pfd/safety/injury-illness-report/index.htmland.  Please include all pertinent information from the vehicle accident including photos of the vehicles/accident scene.
  • If another party is involved, the university driver should obtain the following information from the driver of the other vehicle:
    • Driver’s name, address and phone number
    • Driver’s date of birth
    • Driver’s insurance carrier and policy number
    • Driver’s license number and state of issuance
    • Make, model, color and tag of vehicle
    • Damage to all vehicles (If possible take photographs of any and all damage to vehicles)
    • Any Injuries disclosed
    • Names and addresses of other vehicles’ occupants and any other witnesses

Under no circumstances should the Driver argue with, or make statements to, the other party(ies) regarding fault or liability of any of the parties.

Non-Employee, University-affiliated Driver

If a non- employee, university-affiliated Driver (student, volunteer, or university guest) is involved in an accident while operating a university owned or leased vehicle or a vehicle that has been rented in accordance with a university approved rental contract, the following steps must be taken:

  • Seek medical attention, if necessary.  
  • Drivers must notify the appropriate police agency in the jurisdiction in which the accident occurred, as well as the Miami University Police Department dispatcher at 513-529-2222 as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • The Driver must submit a Vehicle Accident Report for any accident. The Vehicle Accident Report can be found online at http://miamioh.edu/fbs/risk-management-insurance/vehicle-accident-report/index.html.  Please include all pertinent information from the vehicle accident including photos of the vehicles/accident scene.
  • If the Driver or any passenger is injured in the accident, a Non-Employee Injury/Illness Form should be completed. The Non- Employee Injury/Illness Report is available online at https://www.miamioh.edu/pfd/safety/injury-illness-report/index.html.
  • If another party is involved, the Driver should obtain the following information from the Driver of the other vehicle:
    • Driver’s name, address and phone number
    • Driver’s date of birth
    • Driver’s insurance carrier and policy number
    • Driver’s license number and state of issuance
    • Make, model, color and tag of vehicle
    • Damage to all vehicles (If possible take photographs of any and all damage to vehicles)
    • Any Injuries disclosed
    • Names and addresses of other vehicles’ occupants and any other witnesses

Under no circumstances should the Driver argue with, or make statements to, the other party(ies) regarding fault or liability of any of the parties.

For Damages That Occur While Not In Operation of the Vehicle

The Driver’s supervisor and the appropriate police department should be contacted and a Property Damage report should be obtained whenever possible.  In addition, an online Vehicle Accident Report must be submitted by departmental management or the employee who discovered the damage.

Additional Notification Requirements for Accidents and Damage Involving Vehicles Rented Through a University Contracted Rental Program

In addition to the above, all Drivers (students, faculty and staff) of vehicles rented under a university contracted rental program must immediately report the accident or vehicle damage to the rental company and follow all rental company requirements regarding police reporting. 

Failure to timely report an accident as set forth may result in the initiation of disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment.


Related Forms

Employee Injury and Illness Report

Non-employee injury and illness Report

Vehicle Accident Report


Additional Resources

Websites

Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy- Miami University Drug and Alcohol Testing Policy | Human Resources - Miami University (miamioh.edu)

Injury and Illness Reporting- Injury and Illness Report | Safety | PFD - Miami University (miamioh.edu)

Minors on Campus- https://www.miamioh.edu/policy-library/administration-operations/university-property/minors-on-campus.html

Vehicle Rental- https://www.miamioh.edu/fbs/travel/vehicle-rental/index.html

Vehicle Accident Reporting- https://www.miamioh.edu/fbs/travel/vehicle-rental/vehicle-accident-reporting/index.html

Employee Liability and Immunity- https://miamioh.edu/about-miami/leadership/general-counsel/employee-liability/index.html


Policy Administration

Next Review Date

07-01-2023

Responsible Officers

  • Senior Vice President Finance and Business Services
  • General Counsel

Legal Reference

 

Compliance Policy

N/A

Recent Revision History

New July 2022

Reference IDs

 N/A

Reviewers

  • Senior Vice President for Finance and Business Services
  • General Counsel
  • Manager of Administrative Services and Risk Management
  • Associate VP for Human Resources