State Vehicle Use Policy
|Chief Operating Officer|
|Director of Safety and Security|
|Safety and Security|
|First draft March 2021|
|Motor Vehicle, State Vehicle Usage, Motor Vehicle Record Standard|
This policy was created to clearly define procedures regarding what protocols shall be followed regarding the use of state vehicles, along with procedures for reporting an accident while operating a state vehicle.
The purpose of this policy is to set forth the requirements applicable to all drivers of SUNY Empire State College owned, leased, or rented vehicles or of personal vehicles while on college business. This policy is intended to ensure the safety of drivers, passengers and the public as well as minimize losses, damages and claims against the College.
Driving a SUNY Empire State College owned, leased, or rented vehicle is a privilege and the College reserves the right to deny, suspend, or revoke the driving privileges of any driver in the event the driver fails to meet the qualifications set forth in the policy.
Acquisitions and Disposition of State Vehicles:
Decisions to acquire vehicles shall be made by the Executive Vice President for Administration and Chief Operating Officer (COO). It is the College’s policy to purchase alternative fuel vehicles where appropriate, in accordance with the Governor’s Executive Order 4. All acquisitions of state vehicles shall be subject to approval by the State University of New York and/or the Division of the Budget, when appropriate.
Vehicles will be acquired upon appropriate budgetary considerations and after a cost/benefit analysis has been performed to determine if purchasing a vehicle is the best alternative given the proposed use of the vehicle and the estimate of annual mileage. Such analysis shall consider alternative solutions, such as car rentals, use of OGS fleet vehicles, or reimbursement of employees for personal mileage.
Disposal or Reassignment of Vehicles:
Vehicles should be traded-in or surplused through OGS in accordance with state policies.
Use and Assignment of State Vehicles:
The College shall purchase and maintain a vehicle for the exclusive and unrestricted use by the College President, in accordance with state and SUNY policy. The President is responsible for determining the personal use of the vehicle for proper income declaration based upon IRS guidelines.
Other vehicles purchased shall be assigned to individuals or departments for specific duties, as directed through the Executive Vice President for Administration and COO.
Drivers must be at least eighteen (18) years of age, have a valid US driver’s license, or an International Driving Permit (IDP) issued by either the American Automobile Association or American Automobile Touring Alliances National Automobile Club. Drivers are required to immediately report any change in license status (e.g., convictions, suspensions, revocations, etc.) to their supervisor and the Office of Safety & Security.
Motor Vehicle Record Standards:
The College reserves the right to deny, suspend or revoke the driving privileges to operate a College owned, leased, or rented vehicle based on the initial or subsequent review of an employee’s motor vehicle record per the eligibility requirements listed below. Employees with the following violations are ineligible to operate a College owned, leased, or rented vehicle for three (3) years from the date of the most recent violation:
- Leaving the scene of a personal injury or property damage auto accident.
- Reckless Driving
- Driving While Intoxicated (DWI) or Driving While Ability Impaired (DWAI) alcohol or drugs.
- Vehicular homicide or assault.
- Participating in an unlawful speed contest.
- Eluding or attempted eluding of a police officer.
- Operating a vehicle with a suspended or revoked license.
- Using a motor vehicle in the furtherance of committing a crime.
- Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle as defined in section 165 of the NYS Penal Law.
- Permitting unlicensed operator.
- Two (2) or more at fault accidents or moving violations in the preceding 12 months may result in denial or revocation of College vehicle driving privileges.
- Other violations not listed above are subject to denial based on incident review.
No employee is authorized to operate a College owned, leased, or rented vehicle with a “probationary”, “court restricted”, or “junior” license
Note: The listed violations must be convictions.
Employees Required to Drive:
Employees required to operate a College motor vehicle as part of their employment are subject to the same eligibility requirements in the Motor Vehicle Record Standards section of this policy and will automatically be enrolled in the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles License Event Notification Service (LENS) (Appendix A) at the time of appointment. LENS notifies the Office of Safety & Security when an enrolled employee receives any license activity (accidents, suspensions, convictions, expirations, etc.).
Prospective employees who require a driver’s license as part of their College employment may be offered conditional employment contingent upon the results of a Motor Vehicle Records check.
All passengers must be participating in a College business or sponsored activity or event at the time they are traveling in a College owned, leased, or rented vehicle. Passengers shall be limited to other employees or students unless authorized by the responsible employee’s supervisor.
Drivers must comply with the following when operating a College owned, leased, or rented vehicle:
- Operate vehicles in accordance with all applicable College, local, state and federal laws.
- Immediately report any vehicle accident to their supervisor and the Office of Safety & Security. Failure to report an accident may result in suspension/revocation of College authorized driving privileges.
- No smoking or use of tobacco in accordance with NYS Clean Indoor Air Act.
- Assume responsibility for all operator related traffic violations, including parking citations.
- Unauthorized use of College owned, leased, or rented vehicles for non-authorized purposes may result in suspension/revocation of College authorized driving privileges.
- Possession and/or use of alcohol, illegal drugs or other intoxication substances in the vehicle is prohibited.
- Other than special needs, pets are prohibited in the vehicle.
Fleet Vehicle Use:
In addition to the uses outlined above, the following is required when utilizing College fleet vehicles:
- Routine vehicle maintenance will be arranged through the Office of Facilities.
- Vehicle registration, insurance and inspection will be the responsibility of the Office of Facilities.
- Vehicle operators are responsible for inspecting the vehicle at the beginning and end of their work hours. Any issues shall be immediately reported to their supervisor.
- Fuel receipts, logbooks, EZ Passes and any other applicable vehicle documentation/items shall be regularly reviewed by the employee’s supervisor.
- Scrapers and snow brooms shall be used to avoid damage to wiper units/blades
Personal Vehicle Usage:
Employees who drive their personal vehicle for College business or other College activity are responsible for their own safety as well as their passengers. The College takes no responsibility for the operation or operating condition of personal vehicles and expects drivers of personal vehicles to comply with local, state and federal laws.
Process for Suspending/Revoking Driving Privileges:
Authorized drivers may have their College vehicle driving privileges suspended/revoked for failing to comply with the provisions in this policy. In the event of a Motor Vehicle Record violation, the Office of Safety & Security will provide written notification to the driver, their supervisor and the Office of Human Resources of the employee’s suspended/revoked driving privileges. Verbal suspension/revocation of an employee’s driving privileges is authorized in extenuating circumstances but must be followed-up in writing within 48 hours as described above.
Applicable Legislation and Regulations
NYS Penal Law section 120, 125, 160.
NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law
Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices
Prior to authorizing a College employee’s request to utilize a state owned, leased, or rented vehicle, their supervisor shall contact the Office of Safety & Security via email, who will conduct a review of the driver’s record through the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles covering the most recent three (3) year period. Safety & Security will communicate the approval/denial, via email, to the requesting employee and their supervisor.
Accident Procedure for Drivers:
All College owned vehicles are covered under a state automobile insurance policy. It is the responsibility of the Executive Vice President for Administration and COO to instruct the Bureau of Insurance at OGS to add the vehicle to the state’s fleet coverage upon acquisition. All accidents should be immediately reported to the Executive Vice President for Administration and COO and the Office of Safety & Security, but no later than 24 hours after the incident. If for some reason the operator is unable to report the accident, it is the responsibility of the operator's immediate supervisor to report the accident. It is also the driver’s responsibility to report (within 10 days) any accident occurring in New York State which causes death, personal injury, or damage exceeding $1,000 to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles. A completed OGS MV-104 Motor Vehicle Accident Report using Empire State College’s name and address, as the agency’s vehicle owner shall be sent to the Executive Vice President for Administration and COO, the Office of Safety and Security and:
Appendix LENS Authorization Form (PDF 172kB)