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600.9 - Vehicle Use for University Business

University Group Policy #600.9

I.  Policy Statement

University vehicles are made available only for University business and only authorized drivers may operate University vehicles. Additionally, individuals who operate personal vehicles on University business or for any other University purpose are required to meet the Minimum Driver Qualifications. Drivers who fail to adhere to this policy and its related procedures may be deemed not to qualify for indemnification from the University, and may be subject to disciplinary action as deemed appropriate. Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and similar vehicles may not be used to conduct University business or for any other University purposes.

Use of Vehicles

The use of vehicles is necessary to almost all programs and activities of WSSU. Given the number of vehicles in use and the total miles driven, it is necessary to have policies in place to manage the risks associated with the use of vehicles. The University’s primary concern is to avoid injuries and property damage to WSSU faculty, staff and students and the general public by promoting the safe operation of vehicles used for University business or for any other University purposes. Accidents may cause injuries, fatalities, and property damage, and may also result in claims against the University arising from third party liability, property damage, worker’s compensation injuries, and business interruption.

This document establishes University policy for operating any vehicle while conducting University business or for any other University purposes. It defines the procedures that are in place to minimize the potential for accidents and losses, and serves as a guide to departments in managing those vehicles under their control.

II.     Definitions

Authorized Drivers - Individuals approved to drive or assigned a University vehicle or authorized to travel on University business. A current and valid driver's license is required.

Carts - Any small, motorized utility vehicle (electric or gas powered) including but not limited to golf carts, Gators™, Carryalls, or ATVs. Refer to the University policy on Carts for specific guidance.

Employee - Any person paid through the University’s payroll system in a position classified as regular or temporary, full-time or part-time.

Minimum Driver Qualifications

  1. Possess a valid US driver’s license with a classification appropriate to the type of vehicle being driven.
  2. Be at least 18 years of age and have one year of licensed driving experience prior to driving on University business.

Personal Vehicle - Any vehicle other than those owned or leased by WSSU, or rented from a commercial car rental agency by an employee, student, or volunteer while on official University business or for any other University purpose.

WSSU Operations - Any and all WSSU offices and locations that conduct programs or activities on behalf of or in the name of WSSU.

Take-Home Vehicle - Any University Fleet Vehicle assigned to a specific employee for his or her exclusive use due to the requirements of his or her position.

University Business - Any and all programs and activities, including travel, engaged in on behalf of WSSU.

University Fleet Vehicle - Any vehicle owned or leased by WSSU.

University Vehicle - Any University fleet vehicle and any vehicle rented from a commercial car rental agency by an employee, student, or volunteer while on official University business or for any other University purpose.

Volunteer - For purposes of this policy, any person not classified as an employee or student, who is acting on behalf of the University. This includes, but is not limited to, any individual in a position classified as non-pay.

Vehicle - Any motorized form of transportation that is licensed for use on public roadways. This includes personal vehicles, take-home vehicles, University fleet vehicles, and University vehicles.

III.    Guidelines


Driver Qualification and Authorization
Requirements and Procedures Applicable To Employee Drivers
  • Employees must present a valid driver’s license at the time of vehicle assignment. A copy of the license will be retained and new copies will be required to be produced periodically, at least annually.
  • Employees in University fleet vehicles must maintain the vehicle’s trip and mileage log daily for record keeping. Periodically, but no more than every 6 months, these logs will be inspected and archived.
  • Employee drivers that require a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), per North Carolina statutes, to perform their job duties for WSSU must meet the North Carolina requirements for the type of license needed and have a minimum of two years of general driving experience prior to driving in a CDL capacity for WSSU.
Operating a Vehicle on University Business or for Any Other University Purpose

All Authorized Drivers must:

  • Have a valid US driver’s license in their possession at all times while they are operating any vehicle on University business or for any other University purpose.
  • Not use a University vehicle for personal business. Personal use is not permitted, and violation of this may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination and adverse tax consequences for the individual.
  • Operate vehicles in a safe, controlled, and courteous manner, in compliance with applicable traffic laws, this policy, and any other applicable University policies.
  • Turn off and lock University vehicles when left unattended.
  • Store valuable equipment/items in the trunk of the vehicle.
  • Be aware of weather and road conditions and make prudent decisions regarding travel based on those conditions.
  • Not place a vehicle in motion unless all occupants are wearing safety belts (in vehicles so equipped), and ensure their continued use throughout the trip.
  • Not transport unauthorized passengers, cargo, or permit any unauthorized person to drive a University vehicle.
  • Not drive under the influence of any substance including alcohol, illegal drugs, and/or medications that may cause impairment.
  • Inspect the vehicle prior to use for obvious safety concerns, report defects to the appropriate authority, and not operate any vehicle with deficiencies that make it unsafe to operate.
  • Promptly report all collisions, thefts, or vandalism involving University vehicles to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Upon return to campus, notify his or her supervisor, Motor Pool (for University fleet vehicles), and Campus Police. See also Appendix A item 4.
  • Promptly report to his or her supervisor any change in his or her driving record. Changes could include traffic citations, accidents, license suspension or revocation, or medical restrictions that may interfere with driving.
  • Be personally responsible for any parking or traffic violations received while operating a vehicle on University business or for any other University purpose.
  • Complete any required driver safety training as assigned by Environmental Health & Safety or University insurers.
Take-Home Vehicles

A University fleet vehicle may be assigned to a specific staff member as a take-home vehicle with the authorization of the Chancellor or his or her designee. Assignment of a take-home vehicle to an employee should be based on the requirements of the individual’s position with the University. The qualification, authorization, and other requirements of this policy apply to take-home vehicles. University departments with a legitimate business need to assign a take-home vehicle should also develop guidelines for the care and use of the take-home vehicle. The University department is also responsible for coordinating with the Payroll Department to comply with all applicable tax reporting requirements for take-home vehicles. Take-home vehicles must meet the criteria of NCGS 143-341 as well as applicable IRS regulations.


Regulations Concerning Use of Vehicles

Only persons with an appropriate University purpose should be passengers in a Vehicle being operated on University business or for any other University purpose. Examples include employees in the course and scope of employment, students participating in an official activity, volunteers providing service to the University, and participants in an official University program or activity. It is understood that in extenuating situations it may be necessary for others to be passengers in the vehicle. This should be on an exception basis and drivers are expected to use good judgment in these situations.


Spouses and children are permitted to accompany state employees on trips in state-owned vehicles when sufficient space is available and when all travel is strictly for official state business.

Family pets are not permitted in state-owned vehicles. Leader dogs for blind persons and other officially certified assistance dogs are excluded from this restriction.

Non-State Employed Persons

Non-state employed persons may accompany state employees driving state-owned vehicles when they have an interest in the purpose of the trip and their presence is related to state business. Students of universities and colleges may be passengers in state cars to attend athletic events and other activities officially sanctioned by the institution, provided the proper account is reimbursed at the standard mileage cost rate by the student activity fund involved. Non-state employed persons, however, are not allowed to drive a state-owned vehicle, except for:

  • Drivers of blind or permanently disabled state employees; or
  • Graduate or professional students enrolled in a state-supported college or university whose educational training requires the use of a state-owned vehicle and whose use of the state-owned vehicle is supervised and permitted by an authorized college or university official.
Safety Belts

Use of safety belts (in vehicles so equipped) is required for the driver and all vehicle occupants anytime the vehicle is in motion. Drivers must enforce this requirement, and should not place a vehicle in motion unless all passengers are appropriately wearing safety belts. The number of passengers in any vehicle may not exceed the number of available safety belts. Proper restraints, car seats, or booster seats are required for any children that may be passengers in a vehicle operated on University business or for any other University purpose. Passenger travel in pickup truck beds is prohibited.

General Prohibitions
  1. Consumption of alcohol by drivers and passengers is prohibited in University vehicles. Purchased alcohol being transported for an approved University activity must remain closed during transportation, and should be placed in the vehicle trunk if possible. See University policies addressing alcohol. Under no circumstances may a state employee operate a state-owned vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating beverages, drugs or substances, or transport (except in performance of law enforcement duties) these items in a state-owned and leased vehicle.
  2. In accordance with North Carolina General Statutes 130A-493, smoking is prohibited in University vehicles.
  3. Transportation of hazardous materials in any vehicle operated on University business or for any other University purpose is prohibited except by employees who are specifically trained, certified, and authorized for this duty.
  4. Drivers may not use cell phones or other electronic communication devices while operating vehicles on University business or for other University purposes in any jurisdiction where such usage is illegal. Even in jurisdictions where such usage is not illegal, the University strongly discourages the practice under all circumstances. Drivers should pull off the road to a safe location and only engage in communications after the vehicle is properly parked. In accordance with North Carolina General Statute 20-137.3(a)(1), using additional technology (i.e. text messaging, etc.) while operating a vehicle is unlawful:
    1. N.C. General Statute 20-137.4A. – It shall be unlawful for any person to use additional technology, as defined in GS 20-137.3(a)(1), associated with any mobile phone, while operating a vehicle on a public street or highway or public vehicular area.
      1. Additional technology. – Any technology that provides access to digital media such as including, but not limited to, a camera, electronic mail, music, the Internet, text messaging, or games.
  5. Hitchhikers are not allowed to ride in any state-owned and leased vehicle.
Accident Reporting

All accidents involving a University vehicle or associated with a University activity (regardless of vehicle ownership) must be reported immediately to Campus Police and if off-campus the local law enforcement agency, Motor Pool (for Motor Pool, WSSU and University fleet vehicles), and to the driver’s supervisor or University management official. If the accident involves a personal vehicle, the driver should also notify his or her insurance company.

Unsafe Driving Reports

All University vehicles are marked with the University’s name and a unique license plate number. Reports of unsafe driving are received from time to time by either Motor Pool or Campus Police. When received, such reports will be documented, investigated, and reported to the driver’s supervisor/department head. Reports of unsafe driving may result in disciplinary action, up to and including termination, or the suspension or revocation of driving privileges on behalf of the University.

Personal Vehicles

Individuals who operate personal vehicles on University business must possess a valid US driver’s license, must be in compliance with all driving and motor vehicle laws, must possess their own automobile liability insurance, and must meet the qualifications outlined in this policy.

Drivers who use personal vehicles to conduct University business or for any other University purpose should be aware that their own personal automobile insurance provides the primary coverage for both liability and physical damage. Decisions regarding extension of University auto liability coverage are made by the Risk Manager on a case-by-case basis. Operating a personal vehicle on University business or for any other University purpose in violation of this policy will result in no excess liability coverage from the University and may disqualify the driver from receiving indemnification from the University. In all situations, the driver or owner, not WSSU, is responsible for any physical damage to a personal vehicle operated on University business or for any other University purpose.

Rental Vehicles

Employees traveling on approved University business or for any other University purpose who need to rent a vehicle from a commercial car rental company should be aware that the University’s auto liability and physical damage coverage extends to the rental car for rentals within the United States and Canada.


Many departments use carts to move people and materials around campus or to other campus facilities. Refer to the policy on carts for the specific regulations governing their use as they differ from other Vehicles.


University Fleet Vehicle Inspection and Maintenance

Each University department/unit is responsible for ensuring that University fleet vehicles under its inventory control are properly inspected and maintained. Annual safety inspections are required and must be scheduled through Motor Fleet for historical records to be maintained. If maintenance or repair work is performed by an outside vendor, the department is responsible for maintaining those records.

Motor Fleet provides facilities for maintenance of all University fleet vehicles. University departments/units that own University fleet vehicles are responsible for all costs of operation, including inspections, maintenance, repairs, and allocated insurance premiums.


University Fleet Vehicle Registration and Marking

Motor Pool is responsible for assigning University vehicle numbers to all University fleet vehicles, and will arrange for licensed University fleet vehicles to receive the appropriate University markings. All newly acquired University fleet vehicles (new, used, purchased, or donated) must be inspected by Motor Pool to begin the process of applying for title, plates, and registration.


IV.    Roles and Responsibilities

Administrators, Managers, and Supervisors

  • Implement this policy and take appropriate steps to obtain compliance with this policy by those employees, students, and volunteers under their supervision and control.
  • Ensure fleet safety and compliance with the provisions of this policy within their respective units.
  • Allocate appropriate resources for maintenance of University fleet vehicles under their inventory control.

Authorized Drivers

Operate any vehicle used on University business or for any other University purpose in a safe and courteous manner in compliance with all applicable laws and WSSU policies.

Motor Pool

  • Provide a rental fleet of University fleet vehicles for official University business use.
  • Coordinate the receipt of new University fleet vehicles, including assigning official vehicle numbers.
  • Ensure that all University fleet vehicles receive the appropriate markings identifying them as University fleet vehicles at check-in.
  • Provide annual safety inspections, preventative maintenance, and regular repair services for University fleet vehicles as requested.
  • Maintain historical inspection and repair records for work provided.

V.     Applicability

This policy applies to all Winston-Salem State University, NC Motor Fleet vehicles and vehicles rented through external agencies. Any vehicle driven while conducting University Business, or for any other University purpose, must be operated in a safe and courteous manner. Vehicles must be operated in compliance with all applicable laws and WSSU policies.

Responsible Division: Vice Chancellor & Chief of Staff

Authority: Board of Trustees


  • Adopted December 6, 2013