This policy is in addition to the College Vehicle and Driver Policy and pertains to 12-passenger vans operated by employees/volunteers of Siena College. These vans have an increased propensity to rollover during evasive maneuvers and as the number of passengers or load increases.
The following Policy has been developed to prevent injuries, promote safety and minimize financial loss.
1. Safety Requirements
a. Drivers: Only employees/volunteers of Siena College who are 25 years or older and have been driving for two years may operate a 12-passenger van. To be considered an authorized driver, the employee/volunteer must complete the training requirements. Driver will assume all responsibility for fines, parking tickets and traffic violations while operating a vehicle on behalf of Siena College.
b. Professional Behavior: All drivers are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times while on College business.
c. Driver’s License: All vehicle operators must have a current, valid state Driver’s License with a clean driving record. Driving record will be checked annually. Driver must report by next business day if status to legally drive changes at any time driver is assigned to drive a 12-passenger van.
d. Driver Training: All operators must complete specialized training prior to operating a 12-passenger van. This training is offered through the Risk Officer and must be completed by each driver prior to initial operation and at least every two years, thereafter.
e. Cellular Telephones: Cellular telephones may not be used while operating a vehicle. If the driver must use a cell phone, he/she must pull off the road safely and use the van’s emergency flasher lights while stopped.
f. Navigator: An individual shall be designated to act as a navigator. This individual must be seated in the front passenger seat and shall be responsible for monitoring passenger activity to ensure that van passengers adhere to applicable requirements of this policy during travel.
g. Seat Belts/Should Harnesses: Seat belts and other passenger restraints devices must be worn at all times by all drivers and passengers. The driver will stop the vehicle if a passenger becomes a distraction or any passenger removes their seat belt while the vehicle is in motion. Malfunctioning or damaged seat belts must be repaired or replaced before using the vehicle.
h. Vehicle operation: The vehicle must be operated in accordance with all traffic laws, ordinances and regulations. The headlights shall be on at all times when the vehicle is being driven. Operators should not drive if drowsy or under the influence of any substance. This will include, but is not limited to alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs that cause drowsiness or impaired judgment. Use of prescription drugs is permitted only if it does not impair the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle in a safe manner. Windows and mirrors must be scraped and defrosted during inclement weather.
i. Limit Driving time: All operators should take frequent breaks from driving at least every 2 hours. Driving time in excess of 8 hours will require a secondary driver. The secondary driver must have completed all training requirements for 12-passenger van. If no qualified secondary driver is available than arrangements should be made for an overnight stay. No travel shall occur between 1am and 5am.
j. Manufacturer Safety Information: The owner’s manual and other manufacturer safety material should be available and reviewed by all van operators. Special attention should focus on proper loading according to manufacturing recommendations.
k. Inspection: Each van should be inspected and discrepancies corrected before operation. This inspection should include, but is not limited to:
- Brakes, including parking brake
- Oil and fluid levels
- Steering inspection
- Lights, including head, tail and brake lights
- Tire pressure and tread wear
- Turn signals
- Windshield wipers
- Speedometer/instrument panel
- Seat Belts/shoulder harnesses
l. Tires: Fatal rollovers of 12-passenger vans often involve tire failures. Research by The National Traffic Safety Administration shows that tires on 12-passenger vans are often underinflated and used past their service life. Low air pressure can induce fishtailing and subsequent loss of control and increased potential for a rollover. Inspect the tires for tread wear and proper air pressure before each use. A placard inside the driver’s door pillar or the owner’s manual lists the recommended tire size and pressure.
m. Size: A 12-passenger van is substantially longer and wider than a car and requires more space to maneuver. It also requires additional reliance on side-view mirrors for changing lanes.
n. Speed: Drive at safe speeds based on driving conditions and operators should not exceed posted speed limits. Always slow down if the roads are wet or icy as these vans do not respond well to abrupt steering maneuvers. Maintain proper following distances as these vans require additional braking time. The van has less driver visibility and sway movement is induced by the slightest crosswind and the turning radius is much higher.
o. Cargo: Cargo should be placed forward of the rear axle. Any internal cargo that is placed in the van (luggage, equipment) must be secured, is not to be loaded above the top of the seat and should be distributed evenly. Cargo may not be placed on the roof. No roof rack or trailer hitches will be allowed. Consult the owner’s manual for the maximum passenger and cargo weight to avoid overloading.
p. Upon completion of use, driver must:
- Return van with full tank of gas.
- Clean out the inside of the van. If it is not clean when you take it, please inform Auxiliary Services. There is no smoking in the van at any time. If the vans are not cleaned when returned or if there is a smell of smoke, there will be a professional cleaning charge (if applicable) billed to your department. Make sure ALL interior and exterior lights are turned off.
- Close all windows, lock all doors, and remove possessions from van after use.
- Notify Auxiliary Services of any problems experienced during use.
- Park van in designated spot.
- Return key to the Saint Card Office immediately upon return to campus.
2. Accident Reporting:
In the event that you are in an accident while driving the van, immediately report all accidents/damages to the Department of Public Safety. Adhere to the following procedures: At the scene do not admit fault. Document the following information (Call Public Safety @ 783-2376).
OTHER DRIVER’S INFORMATION
--Date of Birth
--Driver’s License Number/State
--Insurance Company – Policy Number, if known
--License Plate Number
--Make/Model/Year of Vehicle
--Damage to Vehicle
--injury to Driver, if any
--Date, Time, Road and Weather Conditions
--Names and Phone Numbers of Any Passengers
--Injuries to Any Passengers
--Names and Phone Numbers of Any Witnesses
INVESTIGATING OFFICER’S INFORMATION-If local police respond to the accident, request:
For additional information, please see the College Vehicle and Driver Policy.
February 18, 2013