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Muskingum University Vehicle Safety Policy Manual

The Muskingum University Vehicle Safety Policy is based on a conviction that the well-being of our employees and students must be one of the major considerations in all of our operations and university functions. Our employees and students are our most important asset, and their safety is one of our greatest responsibilities. Our Safety Program is put in place to prevent accidents and to insure the personal safety of our people.

Every employee and student who accepts the responsibility to operate a motor vehicle owned by Muskingum University should consider safety as a fundamental part of his/her responsibility.

As we make safety a priority at Muskingum University, we will find that accidents are not inevitable...that they can be controlled and prevented.

Anne C. Steele, President
Muskingum University

1.0 COMPLIANCE WITH TRAFFIC LAWS
  • At all times all operators of those vehicles owned by Muskingum University will comply with all traffic regulations, laws and ordinances while engaged in business or university functions. This also applies to all operators of other vehicles who are representing Muskingum University in an official capacity.

2.0 ALCOHOL AND DRUGS

  • The consumption of alcohol and use of drugs while placed with the responsibility of operating a motor vehicle owned by Muskingum University is not permitted. The consumption of alcohol and use of drugs in a university owned vehicle is strictly prohibited.
  • Due to lingering effects of alcohol and drugs, an abstinence period shall be observed in order that there is no restriction to the operator’s driving ability. The driver must always have the ability to safely transport all passengers.

3.0 SAFETY BELTS

  • All drivers and passengers are required by law to comply with state regulations in the use of safety belts while riding in a university owned vehicle. In addition, it is the policy of Muskingum University that all passengers regardless of placement in the vehicle wear safety belts while the vehicle is in motion.
  • All drivers are given the responsibility to make sure all passengers comply with this regulation.

4.0 AUTHORIZED USE OF UNIVERSITY OWNED VEHICLES

  • Only qualified and approved faculty staff and students are authorized to drive university owned vehicles.
  • To qualify as an approved driver, you must:
    • Possess a valid driver's license
    • Have no more than two (2) minor moving traffic violations within a thirty-six (36) month period
    • Attend a Defensive Driving Class sponsored by the university
    • You are not insurable if you presently possess or receive a major violation; i.e., driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, reckless operation, hit/skip, driving under suspension, fleeing from a police officer or acquire more than two (2) minor moving violations in a thirty-six (36) month period.

5.0 AUTHORIZED PASSENGERS

  • It is the responsibility of the driver to assure that those passengers being transported are affiliated with the university; i.e. faculty, students, guests.

6.0 ACCIDENTS INVOLVING UNIVERSITY OWNED VEHICLES

  • It is the policy of Muskingum University that should any accident occur involving university owned vehicles, regardless of severity, location or fault, it should be reported to the local law enforcement authority and the Chief of University Police of Muskingum University.
  • It is imperative that the Dean of Student Life also be advised should a student be involved in an accident. The first order of safety when involved in an accident is to attend to the injured passengers.

7.0 MUSKINGUM UNIVERSITY DEFENSIVE DRIVING COURSE

  • It is the policy of Muskingum University that all drivers of university owned vehicles attend Defensive Driving Training designed and instructed by university approved instructors. A five (5) hour course of instruction will be conducted at Muskingum University.
  • This course will qualify each individual to be an authorized driver of those vehicles owned by Muskingum University.

8.0 DRIVER RESPONSIBILITY

  • The ultimate responsibility for the safety and well-being of all passengers in all weather and road conditions inevitably belongs to the driver of the university owned vehicle. No policy or procedural statements can eliminate that responsibility.
  • Weather-related driving education sponsored by the Muskingum University will be mandatory for all drivers.
  • As previously stated, all laws must be obeyed and good safety practices followed. The areas listed below further define the driver’s responsibilities:
    • Equipment
      • Any equipment discrepancies/failures should be reported to the university using the “Trip Ticket Form” issued at the department.
    • This form needs to be given immediately to the Muskingum University Police Department.
    • Luggage
      • All luggage and equipment shall be stored in a secure fashion in order that it does not hinder the safe operation of the vehicle or endanger the safety of the passengers.
    • Unruly Passengers
      • Unruly passengers should be reported to the University Police upon completion of the trip.
    • Distractions
      • The driver’s attention should always be on the safe operation of the vehicle. Distractions such as eating, drinking or smoking should be refrained from while the vehicle is in motion.
      • Texting with a cell-phone while transporting passengers in a University vehicle is prohibited.
    • Flares / Reflectors
      • If the vehicle becomes disabled, reflectors and/or fuses which are located in the vehicle should be placed to the rear of the disabled vehicle.
    • In the event of an accident, all attempts to assist injured parties should be made immediately.
    • Below are other points for consideration during the event of an accident:
      • Make no statement to anyone except police or university management.
      • Make no statement about payment of damage.
      • Admit no liability.
      • Do not move vehicle unless instructed by police, as it may help explain accident.
      • Protect vehicle against further damage.
      • It is the policy of Muskingum University that drivers be responsible for all citations received as a result of an automobile accident.
      • Contact University Police as soon as possible.
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