Administrative Manual / Policies Reviewed and Approved: February 2011
Memorandum 28 - University Transportation
This policy supports safe, efficient, and cost-effective transportation for students, faculty and staff on official University business.
In most instances in which a faculty or staff member requires students to travel off campus, the associated department will provide transportation at that department's expense. However, students may from time to time travel off campus for, among other things, clinicals, practice teaching, internships, volunteer programs, sporting events, experiential learning, and other learning opportunities. Unless Norwich informs students that it will arrange transportation to the off campus sites, it will be the students' responsibility to provide required transportation. Norwich will not in any way supervise nor review individual student transportation to off campus sites. The University is not required to provide transportation for students traveling off campus for non-required events or as part of an informally organized event.
Norwich University owns several vehicles that are available for official University business. The University will also hire/rent vehicles and drivers as needed. The Chief Administrative Officer will manage this policy. The priority for assigning University vehicles is:
- Intercollegiate athletic team travel (due to schedules set years in advance).
- Academic field trips.
- Student activities.
- University business travel by faculty and staff.
The Transportation Office (ext. 2149) is responsible for assigning vehicles to the use that ensures the greatest level of safety and provides the greatest overall cost saving to the University. The Chief Administrative Officer will resolve conflicts.
Requests for vehicle usage should be made 72 hours prior to date needed. Bus rental requests should be made at least one week in advance.
Cost of vehicle use
Cost information for using vehicles is maintained at the Transportation Office. Charges include gas, oil, insurance, and a depreciation allowance. Cost of any tolls will be borne by the organization or activity using the vehicle. When a driver is to be provided by the Transportation Department, the renter will be charged the driver's set rate beginning at the time he/she prepares the vehicle for departure and ending when he/she returns the vehicle to the garage. The user must also provide meals and lodging for the driver.
When a trip involves an overnight stay, the driver will be paid a minimum of eight hours. Users must provide their own travel money. If expenses are incurred for vehicle repairs, user should provide receipts to the Transportation Officer and appropriate credits will be issued to the budget number.
Only properly licensed staff/faculty, Norwich-based ROTC employees, and students employed by the Transportation Department who have completed University provided van driver training are permitted to drive University vehicles. Drivers must be approved by the Transportation Officer.
Possession and/or use of any intoxicating beverages or drugs (by any occupant) in University owned or rented buses or vans is absolutely prohibited.
- To request the use of University transportation, please complete a Transportation Request Form and submit it to the Transportation Office at Facilities Operations. Requests should be submitted at least one week in advance. The name of a University faculty or staff member responsible for the trip must be provided.
- The vehicle, keys, and trip ticket will be obtained at the maintenance garage and will be returned to the same location on completion of the trip. The garage is open from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday. If a vehicle is returned during nonworking hours, it will be locked and the keys and completed trip ticket dropped in the slot in the small door of the large overhead garage door at the vehicle maintenance garage. If a vehicle is to be used on the weekend, the keys must be picked up before 4 p.m. on Friday.
- The Transportation Officer will send a bill directly to the Accounting Office for the total cost of the transportation provided a group or activity. A copy of the bill will be sent to the using department.
The need to use commercial transportation will be determined by the Transportation Officer. The primary determinate will be the availability of University vehicles to meet requirements. Requests should be submitted to the Transportation Officer.
Use of Vans
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recommended that, in order to make the use fifteen-passenger vans (hereafter referred to as "large vans") as safe as possible, there should be no more than nine occupants and no one should sit in the rear set. Therefore, the following policies and procedures must be followed:
- There are to be no more than nine occupants in any large van (either University-owned or rented) used on University business. The Transportation Department shall remove the last row of seats in these vans.
- Only the Transportation Department may rent large vans. The Transportation Department shall rent these vans as needed in order to meet the travel requirements of various University departments. Any University or ROTC employee (outside of the Transportation Department) who rents a large van will be personally responsible for all costs incurred. The University will not pay or reimburse any cost associated with any such unauthorized rental. In addition, any employee violating this policy will face disciplinary action.
- The renting department may be asked to provide assistance in picking up any rental van.
- Every occupant must wear a seat belt at all times. This rule is to be enforced by the driver.
- No cargo of any kind may be carried on the roof of the van.
- No more than fifty pounds of cargo may be carried in the rear of a large van
- At least one passenger, seated next to the driver, must remain awake at all times. Driver must take periodic rest breaks.
- The driver may not exceed the speed limit or other driving laws at any time. The University will revoke driving privileges for any employee who violates the speed limit or any other driving law. The University will not legally defend, nor pay any fine incurred by, an employee issued a traffic or driving citation.
- The authorized driver is in charge of all aspects of the use of the van. No one else shall encourage or order the driver to take action the driver is not comfortable with (e.g., continue driving in poor weather conditions, etc.). The driver's decision is final.
- No students may drive any University owned or rental vehicle unless authorized by the Transportation Officer.
- The Transportation Department has authority to cancel any trip if any of the above rules is violated.
Use of Privately Owned Vehicles (POVs) or Privately Rented Vehicles
Faculty and staff may choose to use their POVs or privately rented vehicles when traveling on University business. The following guidelines and policies apply:
- The restrictions on the use of large vans described above applies.
- The employee shall be reimbursed at either the IRS mileage rate (published annually by Financial Affairs) or for rental costs, whichever is less.
- In the event of an accident in a POV, the employee's private insurance will be the primary insurance on any claim.
- See Administrative Memorandum 35, Travel Policies, for more information on the renting of vehicles.
In the Event of an Accident
In the event of an accident, the driver (or if the driver is injured, an appropriate occupant) should take the following steps:
- Make certain that all occupants are safe and calm.
- Call the local police immediately. If at all possible, do not move any injured people or the vehicle. Follow all instructions issued by the local police.
- If a camera is furnished with the vehicle, take pictures of the accident scene, occupants, and vehicles.
- When the situation is under control, contact Norwich University's Campus Security at 802.485.2499 and report the incident. Campus Security will then notify the appropriate University officials.
- If using a POV, contact your insurance company and the Chief Financial Officer.
- If using a privately rented vehicle, contact the rental agency and the Chief Financial Officer.
- Transportation Office: Ext. 2149
- Chief Financial Officer: Ext. 2040