Approved Drivers Section 3.35 Dept: Risk Management Revised: March 5th, 2007

Approved Drivers Policy for University Owned or Rented Vehicles

The purpose of this policy is to define the process by which an individual is approved to operate a vehicle in connection with his/her university responsibilities.  Biola University has numerous faculty, staff, and students whose responsibilities include the necessity of traveling and properly operating automobiles and other motorized vehicles, which include but are not limited to automobiles, vans, trucks, golf carts, and all-terrain vehicles.

Biola University regards the safety of its employees, students, and volunteers as one of its top priorities.  Every time you drive for Biola, you represent Biola and are responsible for your actions as well as for the safety and security of all passengers and citizens of the community.

In most cases, Biola’s automobile insurance policy will provide primary insurance coverage for university-owned vehicles and rental vehicles used on university business, unless the damages result from an intentional act or gross misconduct on the part of the individual driving the vehicle.  If an individual chooses to use his/her own personal vehicle to travel on university business, then the individual may be eligible for mileage reimbursement.  By using one's personal vehicle for university business, the individual understands that his/her personal automobile insurance policy is the primary accident insurance coverage.

Individuals who operate golf carts on the campus must have a valid driver’s license and be over the age of 18.  An employee who drives any other university-owned motor vehicle must be an “approved driver.”

Completion of the Driver Application Process

For an individual to be considered for the “University Drivers List,” he/she must be an experienced driver, be at least 18 years of age, possess a valid driver's license, and maintain a safe driving record. The driver application process must be completed, prior to the individual being approved to drive a university vehicle.  All individuals whose responsibilities include the operation of automobiles should complete the following process:

Contact the Risk Management Office, and obtain the proper forms.  The forms must be returned in a timely fashion, along with an enlarged copy of your current driver’s license.  These forms authorize Biola to pull your Motor Vehicle Report (MVR) on a regular basis and will be used to determine your status as an approved driver. 

General Requirements

  • University owned or leased vehicles are to be used for university business purposes only.  (The value of incidental personal use of permanently assigned university vehicles is reimbursable to Biola, under separate policy).
  • Drivers must:
    1. Carry a current, valid U.S. driver’s license with endorsements appropriate for the use and type of vehicle driven.
    2. Be able to demonstrate familiarity with the type of vehicle driven.
    3. Maintain a safe driving record:
    •  
      • Have no alcohol or drug-related violations within the previous three years.
      • Have no major violations in the last 3 years, with the exception of speeding in excess of 10 mph over the speed limit but not more than 25 mph over the speed limit, which can be 1 in the last 3 years.
      • Have no more than two minor violations in the last three years.
      • Have no more than one at-fault accident in the last three years.
      • Be between 18 and 75 years old for driving normal passenger or work-related vehicles and between 21 and 70 years old for driving people in multi-passenger vehicles.  Please note: those between the ages of 18 and 20 years old may drive only when no one else older is available.
      • Authorize Biola University to pull and review their Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) and be pre-approved before driving.
  • Safety precautions are to be observed such as:
    1. Observance of all traffic laws, including speed limits
    2. Use of seatbelts
    3. Distractions: use of a cell phone or other distraction is not allowed while driving
    4. Proper loading of the vehicle
    5. Avoidance of drugs (e.g., antihistamines) that may impair performance
    6. Avoidance of driving when fatigued, sick, distracted, or with other physical or emotional impairments
    7. Timely inspection and repair of headlamps, taillights, turn signals, windshield wipers, and other safety equipment.
    8. Sound judgment regarding safe driving conditions (weather, etc.)
  • The driver assumes full responsibility for any and all fines or traffic violations associated with his/her operation of a university vehicle.

Examples of Minor Violations

  • Parking tickets
  • No seatbelt
  • Failure to yield
  • Stop sign violation
  • Traffic light violation
  • No proof of insurance
  • Registration violation
  • Speeding under 10 mph over the limit
  • Passing violation
  • Altered license or unlawful use of license or permit
  • School bus zone violation

Examples of Major Violations

  • Speeding between 10 mph and 25 mph over the limit
  • License suspended, revoked, cancelled, or barred
  • Failure to appear
  • Reckless driving
  • Failure to stop or report accident
  • Violation of open container law
  • Motor vehicle theft
  • Manslaughter or vehicular homicide or vehicular assault
  • Carrying a concealed weapon
  • Felony use of a motor vehicle
  • Drag racing or speeding contest
  • Driving on the wrong side of the road

Rental Car Policy

The following information is for employees and students who are using rented or leased vehicles, while on business for Biola University.  This information does not apply to personal cars used for business or cars driven by members of the employee's or student’s household.

Biola University has automobile physical damage coverage (for rented or leased vehicles used for Biola business) through Guide One Insurance Company, policy #3699-536.  Employees should decline optional coverage offered by rental companies.  Biola's policy provides physical damage insurance for all rental vehicles on the following basis:

  • Rental car insurance is offered only on vehicles rented by Biola University.  If an employee rents a car under his/her name, it is not covered.
  • Comprehensive: actual cash value, cost of repairs, or $30,000 (whichever is less), minus a $250 deductible for each covered auto.
  • Collision: actual cash value, cost of repairs, or $30,000 (whichever is less), minus a $500 deductible for each covered auto.

All rental cars must be rented in the name of Biola University for this insurance policy to be in effect.  Also, this policy provides coverage for accidents and losses occurring in the United States of America and the territories and possessions of Puerto Rico and Canada.  It does not provide coverage in Mexico.  When going to Mexico, a policy covering driving in Mexico should be obtained prior to entry, and all policy stipulations should be followed.  Make sure that the rental agency allows its vehicles to be taken into Mexico as well.

In the event of an accident or incident, please notify Risk Management at extension 5098, as soon as possible.

For Students

In addition to everything stipulated above, students must purchase the additional rental car coverage, when renting vehicles for university-sanctioned purposes.  All rental transactions must be submitted through the Purchasing department.

Multi-Passenger Vehicle Use Policy

In an effort to maximize safety, the use of multi-passenger vehicles capable of carrying eleven (11) passengers and above (including the driver) for University business is prohibited.  These vehicles require possession of a commercial driver’s license with a passenger transport vehicle (PV) endorsement and 15 passenger vans are known for their high roll-over risk, resulting in fatalities.

If University business requires the transportation of multiple passengers, either multiple vehicles that have a passenger capacity of ten (10) or less (including the driver) should be used or busses with professional drivers should be procured.

The following applies to multi-passenger vehicles:

  • Auxiliary equipment: no trailers or roof racks may be attached to multi-passenger vehicles, as they may affect handling or center of gravity (an additional vehicle may be necessary).
  • Fatigue: take breaks or alternate drivers on long trips over three hours.  No driver can be behind the wheel for more than 8 hours in any 24 hour period.  Plan your trip so that the drivers are rested and alert.  Limit travel to normal waking hours (avoid travel between 12:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m.).
  • Headlights: drive with headlights on at all times, day or night.
  • Front passenger seat: drivers should make sure that the front passenger seat is occupied (when driving with at least one other person) and that the person sitting there is alert.  That person is responsible to help keep the driver alert and assist in navigation.
  • Backing: use a spotter to direct the driver, when backing large vehicles.
  • Speed limit: vans are not to exceed 60 mph at any time, even if the speed limit is greater.
  • Safety inspections: the driver is responsible for a vehicle safety inspection before driving the vehicle, when the vehicle is returned, and at regular intervals in between.  Inspection schedule and check list forms are available in the Purchasing Office and the Risk Management Office.