About

Policy 4209 – Driver Safety Program and Vehicle Operation and Maintenance

Revision Date: 9/18/2013

Responsible Office: Environmental Health And Safety


INTRODUCTION

Driving a vehicle is a necessary part of our everyday experience in modern society.  Yet approximately 50,000 people lose their lives and countless others suffer permanent disability as a result of traffic accidents every year.  Whether you drive as a part of your job responsibilities or simply to commute to work, driving statistically exposes you to the single greatest degree of risk in your everyday life. The driving task can generally be divided into three important aspects:  the driver, the vehicle, and the roadway.  In most accidents, one or more of these are often found to have been deficient. Although each of the three is important, the key to being a defensive driver is that every driver accepts a personal responsibility for his/her own well being, as well as, for others who must share the same road. It is the personal responsibility of all drivers to know and follow the traffic laws of the jurisdiction in which they are travelling and they will be held personally accountable for violation of any of these!!!!

The purposes of this Section are to:

  • Identify the various vehicular travel options for employees traveling on State business.
  • Specify the requirements for a University employee to be certified to drive a vehicle when conducting State business.
  • Provide instructions on how an employee is to respond should they be involved in a vehicular accident while conducting State business.
  • Make recommendations on how to operate a vehicle, safely and to reduce your risk of being involved in a traffic accident.

VEHICULAR TRAVEL OPTIONS FOR EMPLOYEE TRAVEL ON STATE BUSINESS– See Forms and Information and Driver’s Safety Sections of the EHS web site for travel options.

Generally these options are:

  • Employees may utilize a state vehicle, when available; or
  • Employees may rent a vehicle from the State Motor Pool Rental Contract; or
  • Employees may elect to use their personal vehicle with limited reimbursement.

These options apply to all Louisiana Tech University employees and/or authorized travelers traveling on official state business.  Louisiana Tech University has authorized specific exemptions from the State Motor Pool Rental Contract and/or state vehicle requirement.  See Forms and Information and Driver’s Safety Sections of the EHS web site for these exemptions.

AUTHORIZED DRIVERS OF VEHICLES USED FOR STATE TRAVEL

Only employees of the University will be allowed to and are certified to operate State or state-leased vehicles, and in some circumstances, their personal vehicles for reimbursement on university business (See “Driver’s Certification” section). State travel regulations do not permit students to drive state-owned or rented vehicles for use on official state business if the student is not employed by the university. Employed student drivers, by definition: “are drivers employed by a University Budget Unit, whose employment is verified by that Budget Unit’s Head, and are compensated from an account in that Budget Unit. These students are only allowed to drive on State business for that Budget Unit, and no other Budget Unit.” Driver certification of employees is for 3 years. Drivers certification for student employees is for 1 year. Drivers who must continue to travel after the 3 years (1 year for student employees), must be re-certified.

ALL NON-STUDENT DRIVERS MUST REFER TO the ‘Driver’s Safety” section of the EHS web site to determine if they are certified to drive. Only when their name appears are they certified to drive any vehicle on State business.

ALL STUDENT DRIVERS MUST REFER TO the “Driver’s Safety” section of the EHS web site to determine if they are certified to drive. Only when their name appears are they certified to drive any vehicle on State business.

Non-employees may drive their personal vehicles on University business if they: (1) have a “Travel Authorization” which approves the travel and the travel exemption and is signed by the Budget Unit Head for which the University business is conducted (2) have signed and forwarded to the Comptroller’s Office with the Travel Authorization, a “Hold Harmless Agreement” form. This form can be found in the “Forms” section of the EHS web site.

Employees who operate “off-the-road” equipment such as ATVs, lawn mowers, and golf carts are not required to be certified to drive, unless they also operate motor vehicles. (See “Shop” section of this Plan for rules governing the operation of “off-the-road” vehicles.

ASSIGNMENT OF RESPONSIBILITIES FOR DRIVER SAFETY PROGRAM

Individual Budget Units are responsible for assuring that drivers in their areas adhere to all the State and University Policies and Procedures relating to employee travel on State business. As such, they shall:

  • Review and attest to, by their signature on the supplement to the Driving Authorization and Driving History Form, that an applicant is a Louisiana Tech University employee and of the need of this person to drive on State business in their Budget Unit. Remember, only Budget Unit/Department Heads are authorized to recommend and sign this supplement
  • Assist applicants in completing the Driving Authorization and History Form (DA 2054)
  • Allow each authorized employee time to complete the ORM Defensive Driving Course.
  • Generally monitor the driving history/habits of drivers in their area in an effort to identify any “high risk” drivers (see below). They must report any driver from their area that is deemed “high risk” to the Environmental Health and Safety Office, immediately. (see definition of “high risk” driver).
  • Obtain and complete the State Office of Travel, “Hold Harmless Agreement” for all persons other than an official state employee who will be riding in or driving a state-owned vehicle or a rental vehicle on state business for their Budget Unit.
  • Ensure that all accidents and incidents are properly reported and said records are maintained.

Employees

  • Certified drivers shall only operate those vehicles for which they are licensed and insured.
  • Certified drivers are responsible for the safe operation of those vehicles and the conduct of all authorized passengers in the vehicle.
  • Certified drivers shall report any unsafe condition or accident involving state vehicles to their supervisor.
  • Certified drivers who drive their personal vehicle on state business shall be required to show proof of insurance annually.
  • Certified drivers shall immediately report any revocation of their driver’s license or any moving violations received to their supervisor, but no later than their next scheduled workday. Said reporting applies, whether the employee is on state or personal/private business and whether they are driving a state vehicle or a personal/private vehicle. DRIVERS CONVICTED OF ANY MOVING VIOLATION MUST RE-APPLY TO BE CERTIFIED TO DRIVE AND MUST TAKE THE ORM DRIVERS SAFETY TRAINING COURSE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF THEIR CONVICTION.

High risk drivers

High-risk drivers shall not be authorized to drive vehicles on state business from the date of discovery for a minimum of twelve (12) months. High-risk drivers are those individuals:

  • Having three or more convictions, guilty pleas, and/or nolo contendere pleas for moving violations within the previous twelve (12) month period or
  • Having a single conviction, guilty plea, or nolo contendere plea for operating a vehicle while intoxicated, hit and run driving, vehicular negligent injury, reckless operation of a vehicle, or similar violation within the previous twelve (12) month period.

If an employee is not authorized to drive, that employee and his/her supervisor shall be notified in writing that they shall not drive on state business. The immediate supervisor and the fleet control officer shall be notified that this employee shall not be given authority to drive on state business.

The Louisiana Tech University Environmental Health and Safety Office (EHS)

EHS coordinates the Agency’s Driver’s Safety Program. Prior to authorizing a person to drive on Agency business, EHS must complete the following for persons that are applying to be authorized to drive:

  • Certify that each applicant has completed an ORM recognized defensive driving course.
  • Sign and date, along with the applicant and their Budget Unit Head, the Driving Authorization and History Form (DA 2054).
  • Notify the appropriate Budget Unit Head if an employee has not been authorized to drive.
  • Maintain a list of applicants who have been authorized to drive on Agency business.
  • Ensure that the applicable policies and procedures are established and implemented.
  • Provide and document Defensive Driving training courses.
  • Insure coordination between the Driver Safety Program and the Fleet Management Program.
  • In January of each calendar year, verify that each applicant has a valid and properly classed driver’s license and that the applicants meet all program requirements to drive.
  • In January of each calendar year, obtain and review official driving records (ODR’s) from the Louisiana Department of Public Safety or driving records of applicants with out-of-state Drivers Licenses which the applicant must obtain from equivalent Public Safety agencies in these states. This review includes:
  • Verification that the applicant’s name, address and license number match the information on the Driving Authorization and History Form (DA2054).
  • A check if the license expiration date.
  • A check of the license class and any restrictions that may affect the employee’s ability to drive.
  • A check of any violations that were received by the applicant in the past twelve months and whether these violations meet the “high-risk” driver definition .
  • Assuring that the following flags are not noted on the record above the violations section:

NI = No Insurance

SUS = Suspended

REV = Revoked

AF = Affidavit outstanding

*PUL = Pull notice for license

Any inconsistencies in information or “flags” in a Driving History negates an applicant’s ability to drive on State business. DRIVERS CONVICTED OF ANY MOVING VIOLATION MUST RE-APPLY TO BE CERTIFIED TO DRIVE AND MUST TAKE THE ORM DRIVERS SAFETY TRAINING COURSE WITHIN 90 DAYS OF THEIR CONVICTION.

“STEP-BY-STEP” GUIDE TO FOR DRIVER CERTIFICATION/RE-CERTIFICATION

NOTE:  ALL APPLICANTS MUST COMPLETE THE FOLLOWING STEPS AT LEAST 3 WEEKS PRIOR TO TRAVEL TO ALLOW ALL PAPERWORK AND DRIVING RECORDS TO BE RECEIVED AND REVIEWED.

STEP 1- REVIEW: The applicant shall review:

  • University Travel Policy- Policy #5401
  • University Vehicle Use – Policy #5408

STEP 2 A- CERTIFICATION REQUIREMENTS FOR CLASSIFIED, NON-CLASSIFIED AND STUDENT EMPLOYEES WITH LOUISIANA DRIVERS LICENSE

  • The applicant shall fill out both pages of the State of Louisiana Driver Authorization Form (DA 2054) and the Louisiana Tech University Driver Authorization Supplement Form. Both forms are found in the Forms section of the EHS web page. Sign each form and obtain the signature of their Budget Unit Head. NOTE: ONLY THE APPLICANT’S DEAN/ DIRECTOR/ DEPARTMENT HEAD IS AUTHORIZED TO VERIFY AND RECOMMEND THE APPLICANT TO DRIVE. NO EXCEPTION!!! Do not fill out the “Agency Head” section of this form. This will be completed by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety after this Office requests and receive a satisfactory driving record from the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles.
  • The applicant shall complete the Louisiana State Office of Risk Management Defensive Driving training (see Step 3, below)
  • The applicant shall submit their signed Authorization and Driving History form and “Certificate of Completion” of the Defensive Driving training course to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (Campus Box 22) for processing.

STEP 2 B- CERTIFICATION REQUIRMENTS FOR CLASSIFIED, NON-CLASSIFIED AND STUDENT EMPLOYEES WITH OUT-OF-STATE DRIVERS LICENSES

  • The applicant shall fill out both pages of the State of Louisiana Driver Authorization Form (DA 2054) and the Louisiana Tech University Driver Authorization Supplement Form. Both forms are found in the Forms section of the EHS web page. Sign each form and obtain the signature of their Budget Unit Head. NOTE: ONLY THE APPLICANT’S DEAN/ DIRECTOR/ DEPARTMENT HEAD IS AUTHORIZED TO VERIFY AND RECOMMEND THE APPLICANT TO DRIVE. NO EXCEPTION!!! Do not fill out the “Agency Head” section of this form..
  • The applicant must obtain an official, certified 3 year Driving History from the State in which their license was issued. NOTE: The Office of Environmental Health and Safety Department is not authorized to request out-of-state driving records. As long as you hold your out-of-state driver’s license, this Office will need a new driving record for the applicant’s file in January of each calendar year. Please be reminded that one will not be certified to drive until this out-of-state driving history is received in the Environmental Health and Safety Office. If one gets a Louisiana License, please call the Environmental Safety Office at x2120, immediately, so that their records can be changed!
  • The applicant shall complete the Louisiana State Office of Risk Management Defensive Driving training (see Step 3, below)
  • The applicant shall submit their signed Authorization and Driving History form and “Certificate of Completion” of the Defensive Driving training course to the Office of Environmental Health and Safety (Campus Box 22) for processing.

STEP 2C- CERTIFICATION REQUIRMENTS FOR NON-EMPLOYEE DRIVERS

NOTE: Certification only applied to non-employees that are driving their personal vehicles on approved University business. Non-employees are prohibited to drive State-owned vehicles , including motor pool vehicles or rented vehicles on State business.

  • For certification to drive a personal vehicle, the applicant must have a “Travel Authorization” which approves the travel and the travel exemption, that is signed by the Budget Unit Head for which the University business is conducted.
  • The applicant must sign and forward to the Comptroller’s Office ,with the Travel Authorization this, Hold Harmless Agreement
  • The applicant shall follow the requirements in Step 2 A or 2B, which ever applies and proceed to Step 3,

STEP 3- Defensive Driving Course Requirement

All applicants must complete the on-line Louisiana State Office of Risk Management Defensive Driver Training Course and print out two copies of the “Certificate of Completion” located at the end of the training module. The link to the Training Course can be found on the Driver’s Safety  and Forms sections of the EHS web site.

STEP 4- Review and Authorization to Drive

Send one copy of the Certificate of Completion (from Step 3), the completed and signed DA 2054 and the Louisiana Tech University Driver Authorization Supplemental Forms to the Environmental Safety Office, Campus Box #22. Applicants with out-of-state licenses must also submit an official, certified 3 year Driving History from the State in which their license was issued. Once all paperwork is received in the Environmental Health and Safety Office, it will be reviewed for completeness. Incomplete applications, including that which are not signed by a Budget Unit Head, will be returned to the applicant’s Dean/Director/Department Head and the applicant will not be certified to drive. If applications are complete, the driving history of in-state applicants will be requested from the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles by the Office of Environmental Health and Safety. When a satisfactory driving record is received from the Louisiana Department of Motor Vehicles or from out-of-state counterparts, you will be approved for travel.

PLEASE NOTE THAT A REFRESHER COURSE FOR RE-CERTIFICATION IS REQUIRED EVERY 3 YEARS (1 YEAR FOR STUDENT EMPLOYEES) IN ORDER TO REMAIN CURRENT AND CONTINUE TO BE ABLE TO OPERATE A VEHICLE ON STATE BUSINESS.

LISTS OF AUTHORIZED DRIVERS

THE LIST OF AUTHORIZED DRIVERS MAY BE ACCESSED AT ANY TIME BY GOING TO THE EHS DRIVERS SAFETY WEB SITE

NOTE: If for privacy or any other reason, an individual wishes to relinquish their driving privileges, they may request in writing that their name be removed from the authorized driving list.  Anyone found in violation of the Agencies driving policies, anyone not having completed the driver safety program or anyone removing their name from the authorized list will not be permitted to drive a university vehicle or personal vehicle on university business.

ACCIDENT REPORTING INVOLVING VEHICLES

When an authorized driver is involved in a vehicular accident while conducting Agency business, the driver and/or their supervisor shall:

  • Call the police, to investigate the accident and write a police report of their findings.
  • Do not talk to anyone, except the police, about how the accident happened.
  • Make no statements about payment of damages. The other party may be contacted by the Office of Risk Management in Baton Rouge.
  • Admit no liability (fault). Sign nothing (except police report, if asked).
  • Obtain the names, addresses, and daytime telephone numbers of all witnesses.
  • Obtain the address and telephone number of the police department completing the accident report.
  • Call the Environmental Health & Safety Department (318) 257-2120 and the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Administration (318) 257-2769 and notify them of the accident.
  • Complete the DA-2041- “Accident Report Form” located in the glove box of each vehicle or in the “Forms” section of the EHS web site
  • Give the completed report form to your immediate supervisor as soon as possible after the accident. The supervisor will fill out the “supervisor’s portion of the form and then transmit the form to the Environmental Health & Safety Department (EHS). EHS must transmit the first page of the DA 2041 to the Office of Risk Management within 48 hours of the accident, so this Office must receive the completed form from the supervisor in a timely fashion (preferably the day of the accident).

If the driver or another employee who is a passenger in the vehicle in injured and require medical treatment, the supervisor must also complete a LDOL-LOC-1007- “Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease Form”.

SAFE DRIVING TIPS

Defensive driving is a full-time job.  Driving involves the mental processing of many things, including road conditions, other vehicles in the traffic stream, and the operation of the vehicle being driven, often requiring split-second judgment.  If a person is overly tired, in a hurry, or under the influence of drugs, including alcohol, the ability to correctly process and interpret all the information necessary for safe driving can be severely hampered. These suggestions will help to reduce the risk of an accident caused by driver error, if followed.

  • Take frequent “stretch breaks” when driving long distances to avoid falling asleep at the wheel. The small amount of time it takes will assist you in maintaining concentration and make the trip more enjoyable.
  • Read all labels and instructions that come with prescription and non-prescription drugs. Many drugs can cause drowsiness.
  • Leaving early for your destination will allow extra time for the unexpected, such as bad weather conditions or road construction.
  • Many accidents can be traced to a vehicle going either too fast or too slow for existing conditions. You will reach your designation just as quickly and with much less risk if you drive with the flow of traffic rather than always trying to get ahead of it.
  • Communicating your intentions in traffic is very important. Use turn signals and your brake lights far in advance to get the attention of other drivers.
  • The vast majority of vehicle drivers that are seriously injured or killed in a wreck, impacted the interior of their vehicles or were ejected from the vehicle during a crash. Using seat belts is the single most effective step you and your passengers can take to reduce your risk should an accident take place.  Do yourself and your loved ones a favor…BUCKLE UP!

USE OF VEHICLE OCCUPANT RESTRAINT SYSTEMS

In accordance with the mandate by the Governor of the State of Louisiana in Executive Order No. EWE 85-6 and Systems Safety Policy SSP-18-85.

Each Louisiana Tech University employee who rides in a university vehicle or a privately owned vehicle on official travel status shall utilize the complete occupant restraint system provided in those vehicles. 

It shall be the responsibility of each department head to take what actions they deem necessary to assure that employees utilize the occupant restraint system while on official travel status.

Louisiana House bill No. 1158 requires that “each driver of a passenger car, van, or truck having a gross weight of six thousand pounds or less…in this state shall have a safety belt properly fastened about his or her body at all times when the vehicle is in forward motion.  The provisions of this Section shall not apply to those cars, vans, or pickups manufactured prior to January 1, 1981.”

The Environmental Health & Safety Department recommends that all employees and their families wear vehicle occupant restraint systems whenever they are in a vehicle, not because it is the law, but because it could save your or a member of your family’s life.

TRANSPORTING OF PERSONNEL IN OPEN BED TRUCKS AND TRAILERS

Laws pertaining to transporting and securing persons in open bed trucks and trailers varies with jurisdiction. It is the driver’s responsibility to determine and follow these laws. In Louisiana, all employees shall remain entirely within the confines of the sides and tailgates of open bed vehicles.  No extending of arms or legs over, on, or through sideboards or tailgates is allowed.  Employees shall be seated on fixed seating provided in the bed of the truck or on the bed itself. Information on utility trailer safety is found in the “Shop” section of this Plan.

VEHICLE REPAIR AND MAINTENANCE SHOPS

Safe vehicles, trucks, and autos (and other rolling stock) are a must for transportation of university personnel and materials. Each University vehicle that is used for State-sponsored trips undergoes routine maintenance and all safety features are verified as operational by personnel in the Physical Plant between each use of the vehicle. Maintenance of and pre-trip safety checks of safety features of personal vehicles that are used for University business are the responsibility of the owner.