Finance and Administration – Office of Risk Management and Compliance
February 19, 2018, Revised June 4, 2021
UAH values safe driving practices and procedures on and off our campus. The Vehicle Safety Management Program (“VSMP”) seeks to protect the safety of our employees, students, and the general public. This Program applies to all UAH faculty, staff, students, volunteers, and any other individual operating a motor vehicle owned by or on behalf of UAH.
This program manual combines various vehicle safety practices and procedures of The University of Alabama in Huntsville (“UAH” or “University”) into a comprehensive set of guidelines and procedures that constitutes the University’s Vehicle Safety Management Program. It is intended to foster a proactive approach to safe driving practices, thereby promoting the safety of University students, employees, and the general public and reducing the number of vehicle accidents.
  1. Definitions
    1. Authorized Driver: Regular, Incidental, and Restricted drivers who have completed all documentation and training requirements to operate a Vehicle on UAH business. See § III-Driver Requirements.
    2. Incidental Driver: Individuals at least twenty-one (21) years of age and authorized to drive a UAH Vehicle or a personal vehicle on UAH business, who than two (2) times per year, and never have more than four (4) passengers at any one time.
    3. MVR: Motor Vehicle Record, or “driving record.”
    4. Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business: any personal vehicle operated by an Authorized Driver on UAH business or on behalf of the University for any golf carts, utility vehicles, and electric carts.
    5. Police Officer: Employees of the UAH Police Department, who are subject to a departmental screening and driver qualification process consistent with law enforcement standards and practices.
    6. Program: The University of Alabama in Huntsville Vehicle Safety Management Program, or “VSMP.”
    7. Regular Driver: Individuals authorized to drive a UAH owned or leased Vehicle, or a personal vehicle on UAH business, who have at least three (3) years licensed driving experience, and who have driving duties that exceed the limitations imposed on Incidental Drivers.
    8. Restricted Driver: Individuals under the age of twenty-one (21) but at least age eighteen (18), who have a minimum of two (2) years licensed driving experience, who are authorized to drive a UAH Vehicle, never have more than four (4) passengers at any one time, and only drive on campus roadways. See also § III, Restricted Drivers.
    9. RMC: The UAH Office of Risk Management and Compliance.
    10. Root Cause Analysis: A collection of investigative tools, techniques, and information gathering used to determine the underlying cause(s) of an incident or accident.
    11. UAH: The University of Alabama in Huntsville.
    12. UAS: The University of Alabama System, which for purposes of this Program includes all campuses and endeavors under the direction of The Board of Trustees of The University of Alabama (the “Board”), and affiliates who participate in the UAS automobile self-insurance program.
    13. Unsafe Act: A personal action, which directly permitted or caused an accident, or has the potential to permit or cause an accident.
    14. Unsafe Condition: A hazardous physical or environmental condition or circumstance, which directly permitted or caused an accident, or has the potential to cause an accident.
    15. UAH Vehicle: All motorized vehicles other than lawn equipment, tractor equipment, or commercial lift equipment, whether licensed for road use or not, which are owned, rented, and/or leased by UAH. This definition includes but is not limited to cars, vans, trucks, golf carts, utility vehicles, and electric carts.
    16. Vehicle: Collectively refers to both UAH Vehicles and Personal Vehicles Operated on UAH Business.
  2. Driver Requirements

    Authorized drivers, including Regular Drivers, Incidental Drivers, and Restricted Drivers, must meet the following requirements in order to operate a UAH Vehicle or a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business:

    1. MVR Review and Approval - A MVR review is required prior to an Authorized Driver operating a Vehicle. Authorized Drivers must sign and submit a Disclosure and Authorization (MVR release and request) form (available from Fleet Services or from HR) authorizing UAH Fleet Services to obtain a MVR for the intended driver. See also Appendix D – Driver Eligibility. All pages of the disclosure form must be submitted. An MVR must be considered acceptable under the guidelines set forth in the UAS MVR Guidelines (See Appendix C – MVR Guidelines).
    2. Driver License Requirement – A valid driver license, issued in the United States, is required. The license must be appropriate for the type of Vehicle the driver is seeking to operate. A copy of the driver license must be provided to Fleet Services at the time of an MVR request and after each subsequent license renewal. The license must be current, unexpired and not suspended or revoked.
    3. Physical Limitation or Restrictions – Any person intending to operate a Vehicle should have the physical ability to do so without endangering themselves, their passengers, other motorists, pedestrians or any other person or property. Any restrictions (i.e., corrective lenses, not operating after dark, special controls, etc.) indicated on the license of an Approved Driver must be followed. With regard to any such license or other restrictions, Human Resources will provide assistance to employees, and the Office of Disability Services will assist any students, where a reasonable accommodation might be needed for the safe operation of any Vehicle.
    4. Compliance with this Program – Any person operating a Vehicle is expected to comply with this Program.
    5. Training Requirements – All persons who operate a Vehicle are required to complete the required driver training. Refer to §XIII for driver training requirements.

      Restricted Drivers must meet all requirements for Restricted Drivers in § I-Definitions plus the following:

    6. No Restricted Driver use of personal vehicles for UAH business – Restricted Drivers may not operate a personal vehicle (Personal Vehicle Operated for UAH Business) for UAH business.
    7. Driving privileges restricted to campus only – Restricted Drivers may not operate a UAH Vehicle off campus or on non-campus roadways. Restricted Drivers may not travel in UAH Vehicles along Sparkman Drive, Holmes Avenue, or any other non-campus roadways. This restriction allows for crossing Sparkman Drive at Technology Drive when needing to access Shelbie King Hall or Olin King Technology Hall, crossing Sparkman Drive at Knowledge Drive to/from Cramer Hall, crossing Sparkman Drive at the Bevill Center when accessing Executive Plaza, and crossing Holmes Avenue when traveling to/from John Wright Drive from/to Ben Graves Drive.

      Incidental Drivers must meet all requirements for Authorized Drivers and Incidental Drivers as shown in § I-Definitions as well as those additional qualifications for Authorized Drivers as shown in this section.

      Regular Drivers must meet all requirements for Authorized Drivers and Regular Drivers as shown in § I-Definitions as well as those additional qualifications for Authorized Drivers as shown in this section.

  3. Safe Driving Responsibilities

    Drivers are responsible for operating the Vehicle in a reasonable and responsible manner, including appropriate compliance with the following:

    1. Compliance with Traffic Laws – Comply with applicable traffic laws, traffic warning signs, speed limits, road markings, traffic control devices, railroad crossing signals, parking regulations, warning signals, pedestrian crossings, school bus stop requirements, etc., as set forth in the Alabama Rules of the Road (Code of Alabama, Title 32, Chapter 5A), other applicable laws, and University policy.
    2. Attention on Driving – Do not engage in any activity that would distract from the safe operation of the Vehicle. This includes controlling the actions and activities of passengers to prevent distractions and having the necessary focus on the safe operation of the Vehicle. Avoid eating, reading, or adjusting audio equipment.
    3. Mobile Phone or Communication Device Use – Do not operate cellular telephones or other wireless telecommunication devices (i.e. text message devices, PDAs, smartphones, tablets, voice-activated devices, etc.) while the Vehicle is in motion, except as allowed by law. Rely on a passenger to use such devices or pull off the road to a safe location. Additionally, Code of Alabama § 32- 5A-350 (2012) prohibits a driver from texting while the Vehicle is in motion. Many other states and local governments have similar laws prohibiting texting while driving.
    4. GPS Units - GPS units are allowed in Vehicles to assist in navigating a suitable route and locating destinations. Always remain focused and do not allow the GPS unit to distract from safe operation.
    5. Audio Equipment – Do not wear audio equipment headsets or ear plugs while operating a Vehicle. The volume level of Vehicle or other audio equipment must be kept at a level that allows you to hear horns, sirens, and other noise-making devices from emergency and other vehicles.
    6. Alcohol or Substance Use – Do not consume alcoholic beverages or allow passengers to consume alcoholic beverages while in a Vehicle. Do not operate a Vehicle on UAH business while under the influence of any substance, such as drugs or alcohol. Post-accident substance testing may be required as provided for by UAH Human Resource and other applicable UAH policies.
    7. Directional Signals – Use signals at appropriate times as a courtesy and as required by law.
    8. University Parking Regulations – Vehicles are subject to the UAH Motor Vehicle Rules and Regulations, including parking requirements. Drivers are personally responsible for any parking citations.
    9. Emergency Parking – Use traffic cones, signs, emergency flashing lights and/or other appropriate warning methods if the Vehicle is parked in a travel or emergency lane to perform a special duty or if the Vehicle becomes disabled.
    10. Vehicle Parking – Park in an area where the Vehicle will be safe while unattended, and where ample lighting and observation is possible. Always remove the keys, close the windows completely, remove items prone to theft, and lock all doors. Do not hide the keys in the Vehicle.
    11. Backing a Vehicle – Be aware of your surroundings. Use both interior and exterior mirrors, checking both sides as backing occurs. When necessary, walk around the Vehicle and confirm surroundings. Whenever possible while backing a trailer, one person should be on each side to confirm the area is clear and to provide direction. You should always have clear sight of the people offering backing assistance, and they should never be in a blind spot or area where your view is obstructed.
    12. Secure Cargo and Personal Items – Securely fasten loads to prevent rolling, pitching, shifting or falling. No one should be allowed to physically steady the load while the Vehicle is in motion. Tailgates are to be secured in an upright position before the Vehicle or trailer is moving except when the load exceeds the length of the bed of the Vehicle. If a load extends beyond the end or width of the Vehicle, use caution and review Alabama Code § 32-9-29 and other applicable laws to determine if an escort or other precautions or permits may be necessary. Extended or wide loads should generally not be transported during periods of darkness or limited visibility. Loads of loose materials such as sand, gravel, or trash should generally be covered by a tarp or transported in an enclosed truck bed. If a Vehicle is equipped with a load barrier to protect the driver and passengers from unsecured cargo, the barrier must be in sound condition and in place when carrying unsecured cargo.
    13. Driver/Passenger/Occupant Safety – Without exception, all occupants must be seated and secured with seat belts. Except in emergencies, you should not allow a passenger to ride in the bed or cargo area of the Vehicle, sit on the tailgate or sides of a truck/utility bed, ride in a trailer, or allow passengers to extend their arms or legs beyond the Vehicle while it is moving.
    14. Non-Smoking & Use of Tobacco Products – Do not smoke, “vape”, or use smokeless tobacco products while in a UAH Vehicle or while driving on campus in a Personal Vehicle Operating on UAH Business. Refer to the UAH Smoke- and Tobacco-Free Policy for additional information.
    15. Weather Conditions – Evaluate weather conditions and determine what precautions are necessary, such as stopping travel, reducing speed, increasing following distance, using headlights in limited visibility situations, etc. If necessary, cancel a trip, temporarily suspend travel, or delay departure times until dangerous weather conditions have abated.
    16. Travel Time & Distance – Be appropriately rested and alert when operating a Vehicle. Fatigue behind the wheel of an automobile is dangerous, and each driver should consider when rest breaks are needed or when driving responsibilities should be turned over to another approved and rested driver. The length of time behind the wheel before fatigue becomes an issue will vary by driver and may depend upon weather conditions, traffic, road conditions and the amount of rest prior to driving. Consider taking a 15-20 minute break every 3-4 hours and avoid driving more than 10 hours without a rest period with at least 7-8 hours of sleep.
    17. Vehicle Inspection & Condition – Confirm that critical equipment and operating features (i.e., engine, transmission, steering, defroster, brakes, tires, mirrors, lights, signals, wipers, horn, etc.) are functioning properly before every trip. If a Vehicle displays a warning light or alarm, the Vehicle should be taken out of service immediately until the problem can be identified and repaired or it can be determined that the Vehicle is safe to drive until repairs can be made. If unsafe to operate, the Vehicle may not be used on UAH Business until repairs are completed.
    18. Vehicle Load – Vehicles shall not be loaded beyond the rated capacity for weight and/or number of passengers.
  4. Driving/Parking Violations and Convictions
    1. Drivers cited for any traffic violation referenced in Appendix C – MVR Guidelines must immediately report the citation to the driver’s supervisor, manager, or in the case of a non-employed student or non-employee volunteer, the appropriate contact such as the academic department or person responsible for the organization or activity. This requirement applies to any traffic violation, whether received while operating any Vehicle on UAH business or for personal use.
    2. Citations received by Authorized Drivers while driving for personal reasons must be reported to RMC in addition to reporting as outlined in item IV.A above. The driver’s manager or supervisor is responsible for reporting to RMC.
    3. Temporary suspensions of driving privileges may be imposed pending further investigation and court adjudication, depending on the severity of the citation. Suspensions will be automatic for citations for: driving under the influence/driving while intoxicated; reckless driving; hit and run/leaving the scene of an accident; evading law enforcement; vehicular assault; commission of a felony with a motor vehicle; negligent homicide or manslaughter involving a vehicle.
    4. If convicted of a driving offense, the authorization to drive a UAH Vehicle and a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business may be withdrawn and the employee may be subject to job reassignment or disciplinary action, including possible termination in accordance with applicable Human Resource policies.
    5. The failure to self-report a violation will be treated as a violation of University policy and handled through the appropriate faculty, staff, or student disciplinary process.
    6. Drivers are solely responsible for providing timely updates on the status or outcome of the adjudication process for each citation.
    7. Drivers are personally responsible for all fines, penalties, legal fees, and other costs resulting from a citation or parking violation issued while operating a UAH Vehicle, or when operating a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business.
    8. The driver may, at his or her expense, elect to contest the citation or parking violation. The driver must adhere to the decision of the court and pay the fines, costs, interest or other charges levied.
    9. Should the court allow the driver to attend a driving school in lieu of a fine or penalty, the same will be at the driver’s personal expense.
  5. Department/Business Unit Responsibilities
    1. Program Compliance – Confirm with RMC and/or Fleet Services that all drivers meet the Program requirements and are authorized by this Program to operate a Vehicle. Notify Fleet Services of any change in driver status relating to Regular, Incidental, or Restricted Driver criteria.
    2. Program Awareness – Inform all Authorized Drivers of this Program, and provide access to a copy. Inform Restricted Drivers of the campus-only driving restriction. Instruct drivers to read the Program carefully. After a driver has read this Program, confirm and document that he or she understands it and agrees to comply with it.
    3. MVR Review and Driver Approval – Ensure drivers are properly vetted and approved prior to operating a Vehicle. Contact RMC for instructions and guidance concerning the Regular Driver approval process. See § XII – Campus Contacts.
    4. Monitor Training – The department or business unit must confirm completion of all required training programs, set out in § XIII – Required Training.
    5. Weather Conditions – Support the expense of trip delays when weather conditions warrant delay or discontinuance of travel.
    6. Vehicle Maintenance – All UAH departments, which maintain or operate UAH owned Vehicles, must have vehicle maintenance manuals and procedures specifically for their respective fleets. The department must be familiar with those vehicle maintenance manuals and remain in compliance. For more information, contact Fleet Services.
    7. Pre-Trip Safety Checks – Confirm that a driver has reasonable knowledge to perform periodic safety checks.
    8. Driving Violations & Convictions – When a Regular Driver is cited for a traffic violation, the matter must be reported to RMC (see § IV – Driving/Parking Violations and Convictions). RMC will re-evaluate the acceptability of the driver using the UAS MVR Guidelines (See Appendix C). If convicted of an offense, the authorization to drive a Vehicle may be withdrawn. In the event of a suspension or revocation of driving privileges, the employee may be subject under other applicable UAH policies to job reassignment and/or disciplinary action, including possible termination. If the driver is an employee, the department or business unit should consult with Human Resources for guidance. If a supervisor, manager, or person responsible for a Regular Driver or Incidental Driver becomes aware of a situation where a driver fails to self-report a driving citation and/or conviction, this failure to self-report the citation or conviction is a matter that should be discussed with Human Resources if the driver is an employee, or with the appropriate person within the academic or other department/unit if the matter involves a non-employed student. A citation does not necessarily indicate guilt, and the driver will generally be given the opportunity to have his or her case adjudicated before any final action is taken. However, depending on the circumstances (such as in the event of a DUI or reckless driving citation), an employee’s driving privileges may be suspended temporarily pending investigation and adjudication. (See § IV-Driving/Parking Violations and Convictions; see also Appendix C)
    9. Traffic & Parking Violations – If a citation is issued to a UAH Vehicle by a “red- light” camera, unmanned traffic monitoring device, or a parking or traffic enforcement officer, the department to which the Vehicle is assigned must identify the responsible driver and require that individual to respond as instructed by the issuing agency. The driver is responsible for the payment of any fines, court costs, and fees.
    10. Disciplinary Action – Any driver who fails to comply with the Program is subject to disciplinary action in accordance with UAH employment policies or the UAH Code of Student Conduct, as applicable, and other applicable UAH policies.
  6. MVR Review and Approval
    1. Authorization – Every driver seeking classification as a “Regular Driver” under this Program or seeking approval to operate a Vehicle must sign a release to authorize an MVR review. This requirement applies to every employee, student, volunteer, spouse or family member seeking to operate a Vehicle with only two exceptions: (1) Police Officers and (2) Incidental Drivers of Personal Vehicles Operated on UAH Business. MVR review and approval for Police Officers will be performed in accordance with applicable UAH Police Department operating procedures. Those procedures shall be no less stringent than the requirements of this Program.
    2. MVR Review Frequency – The MVR authorization allows UAH to periodically check a driver’s MVR. The frequency of the periodic check will typically be every three years for Regular Drivers, but may vary based on other factors such as a driver’s history of moving violations and at-fault accidents. The Chief Risk and Compliance Officer is responsible for making determinations regarding the need for more frequent MVR reviews in individual instances where he or she determines a driving record warrants such review.
    3. Review Criteria – Fleet Services performs the initial review of MVRs and makes the initial determination of acceptable or unacceptable based on the UAS MVR Guidelines (See Appendix C – MVR Guidelines; Appendix D – Driver Eligibility).
    4. Prospective Employees – If the job duties of a prospective employee include routine or incidental use (reference Appendix D), the prospective employee must complete the MVR authorization process with Human Resources. If a prospective employee has an out-of-state driver license, processing may take additional time and may require a state-specific MVR authorization. Fleet Services will inform the hiring department or HR of any state-specific requirements.
    5. MVR Appeal Process – A driver whose MVR is determined to be “unacceptable” may request to have his or her driver status reviewed a second time by RMC after additional information is obtained. The driver is responsible for obtaining all the necessary information such as accident reports, court records and records from agencies that maintain traffic conviction and accident information. The review process typically takes two (2) to three (3) business days. This appeal review is to allow the driver to correct or clarify entries on his or her MVR and is not intended to be a request for an exception. The decision of the RMC to grant or deny an appeal after reviewing additional information may be appealed to the Vice President for Finance and Administration.
    6. Unacceptable MVR Re-Review Request – A driver whose MVR is determined to be “unacceptable” may request that RMC review his or her driver status if there are changes to an MVR that might impact a prior “unacceptable” determination. The requesting driver (or department/unit, if approved by department/unit head) will be responsible for the cost of the MVR. Reviews should only be requested if there are changes in the driving record that warrant such a review. This would include citations and/or accidents that have aged beyond the criteria set forth in Appendix C – MVR Guidelines
  7. Use of a Personal Automobile for UAH Business

    Operation of a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business is covered under this Program, and drivers are subject to the MVR review and approval requirements and all other requirements of this Program. Use of a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business requires the approval of the appropriate department/unit head and the approval must be in writing.

    Employees operate their personal vehicles on UAH business at their own risk and volition. The University does not provide insurance or otherwise cover physical damage to an employee’s vehicle, even if it is damaged while being operated on University business. Additionally, the University does not provide primary liability insurance for an employee while operating a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business. The mileage reimbursement paid to employees for the use of a personal Vehicle is intended to cover all operating expenses including insurance premiums, gasoline, and normal wear and tear. Personal Vehicles operated on UAH business must have liability insurance coverage. Refer to § X – Insurance Coverages for minimum insurance requirements.

    Anyone operating a personal Vehicle on behalf of UAH is obligated to consider the elements of this Program covering safe driving practices, compliance with compulsory insurance laws and compliance with traffic laws.

  8. Vehicle Registrations

    The following uses of, or activities while using, UAH Vehicles or Personal Vehicles Operated on UAH Business are strictly prohibited:

    1. For UAH Vehicles - Personal use, including but not limited to off-route trips (side trips for personal reasons).
    2. For UAH Vehicles - Transporting family, friends or other passengers who are not on UAH business.
    3. For any Vehicle while operating on UAH business - Transporting students for purposes other than for UAH business, including, but not limited to, events or activities not sponsored, supported, or endorsed by the University.
    4. For UAH Vehicles - Transporting items or materials that are not related to UAH business other than incidental personal items such as clothing or travel necessities.
    5. For UAH Vehicles - Transporting animals except for personal assistance, law enforcement, or approved academic or research purposes.
    6. For any Vehicle while operating on UAH business - Transporting any hazardous material including, but not limited to, chemicals, biological, and radioactive materials, except for UAH Vehicles only when prior written approval is granted by the director of the Office of Environmental Health and Safety.
    7. Use of radar detectors, laser detectors, or “jammers” while operating any Vehicle on UAH business.
    8. For any Vehicle while operating on UAH Business - Disabling, altering, or modifying of vehicle safety equipment including but not limited to: seat belts, airbags, traction control, warning lights, and audible alarms.
    9. Use of motorcycles, motor scooters, and motor-driven cycles on UAH business is additionally prohibited.
  9. Vehicle Accident Reporting and Investigation Procedures

    All Vehicle accidents must be reported. Any driver involved in an accident must report the matter to his or her supervisor and to RMC immediately. Accidents involving golf carts and utility vehicles are included in this requirement. The following procedures apply to operators of Vehicles following an accident:

    If a person is injured:

    • Away from campus, call “911”
    • On UAH campus call UAHPD at 256-824-6911

    If no one is injured:

    • Away from campus, contact the appropriate law enforcement agency in the area.
    • On UAH campus call UAHPD at 256-824-6596
    1. Do not admit fault or guilt to anyone.
    2. Do not offer to pay for any damage, medical bills, towing, rental cars, taxi service or any other charges incurred by another party resulting from the accident. You do not have authority to bind UAH to such commitments.
    3. Exchange contact and insurance information with the other driver(s) involved, if possible. Obtain contact information for every witness and passenger. Contact information should include name, home address, employer, and at least two telephone numbers. Insurance information should include insurer name, policy number, and name of insured (may be different than the driver’s name).
    4. If your Vehicle is towed from the accident scene, determine where the Vehicle will be taken and what may be necessary to retrieve the Vehicle.
    5. Ask the investigating law enforcement officer to provide the accident or incident report number. Ask the officer how a copy of the report can be obtained. Note: for accidents occurring on private property, such as in a parking lot, some law enforcement agencies will complete an incident report rather than a traffic accident report.
    6. Drivers who are involved in a traffic accident may be subject to post-accident substance abuse testing in accordance with applicable UAH employment policies.
    7. Contact RMC and report the accident within one business day using the Vehicle Accident Report Form (see Appendix A). The accident must also be reported to the driver’s direct supervisor or manager.
    8. Following any Vehicle accident, the driver and driver’s direct supervisor or manager shall assist RMC in conducting an accident investigation using the Vehicle Accident Investigation Report (see Appendix B).
  10. Insurance Coverage

    The University participates in the UAS automobile liability self-insurance and automobile physical damage insurance programs. These programs provide coverage, with some limitations, for UAH Vehicles (owned, leased, or rented vehicles).

    1. Covered vehicles. Coverage is provided for vehicles owned, leased, or rented by UAH. (UAH must be named on any lease or rental contracts in order for coverage to be afforded.) Consult with Procurement Services for appropriate rental/lease guidance to ensure coverage is extended.
    2. Coverage - liability. Coverage generally includes claims made by a third party for bodily injury or property damage liability arising out of the operation of a UAH owned or leased vehicle.
    3. Coverage – physical damage. UAH insures the most recent six (6) model year UAH Vehicles against physical damage.
      1. UAH Vehicles older than the most recent six (6) model years are not covered by the UAS physical damage insurance policy. Departments/units should contact RMC if they have concerns regarding specific vehicles that are not covered. Departments/units are responsible for all repairs to vehicles not covered under the physical damage insurance policy.
    4. Personal vehicle insurance requirements. Employees operate their personal vehicles at their own risk and volition. The University does not provide insurance or otherwise cover physical damage to an employee’s vehicle, even if it is damaged while being operated on University business. Additionally, the University does not provide primary liability insurance for an employee while operating a personal vehicle on University business. The mileage reimbursement paid to employees for the use of a personal vehicle is intended to cover all operating expenses including insurance premiums, gasoline, and normal wear and tear.
      1. In order to operate a personal vehicle on UAH business, automobile liability must at a minimum meet the statutory minimum requirements for the State of Alabama or the state in which the vehicle is being operated, whichever is higher. Higher limits are strongly encouraged.
      2. Individuals operating a personal vehicle on UAH business are strongly encouraged to have adequate comprehensive and collision coverage for automobile physical damage. Drivers should consult with their insurance carrier to ensure adequate automobile liability and physical damage coverage.
    5. Personal property. The UAS vehicle insurance program does NOT cover the loss, theft, or damage to personal property. (Note: Theft of University property may be covered under the property insurance program. Personal property – property not owned by UAH – is not covered by UAH for any loss.
    6. Rental car insurance. Coverage is provided through the UAS insurance program for short-term rental from car rental agencies when vehicles are used for UAH business. The insurance program includes physical damage or comprehensive/collision coverage for damage to short-term rental vehicles valued at $75,000 or less. Departments/units must contact RMC prior to renting or leasing any vehicle valued at greater than $75,000.
      1. Except as provided for through special contract agreements, the car rental agency’s optional coverage should be declined or waived by the renter, unless the rental is outside of the United States. Contact UAH Procurement Services to determine what special contract agreements for rental vehicle physical damage coverage may currently be in effect.
      2. The vehicle renter should always ask the rental car agency to include UAH on the rental agreement as confirmation that the rental is related to UAH business. Consult with Procurement Services for specific rental agreements/contracts currently in place.
    7. Foreign Travel - Rental Car Insurance. When traveling in a foreign country, it is usually preferable to use public transportation, since unfamiliarity with vehicles, roads, and the motor vehicle laws of a foreign country increase the risk of driving. If a vehicle is rented or leased outside the U.S., U.S. territories, or Canada for use on UAH business, the renter should purchase any liability and/or physical damage (collision/comprehensive coverage) that is offered by the rental company. Secondary insurance may be available through UAH. The UAH Office of Risk Management and Compliance must be notified in the event of any accident occurring while on UAH business, regardless of the location.
    8. Deductibles. Departments/units are responsible for the policy deductible amount for any physical damage claims for UAH Vehicles that are owned by, assigned to, or rented by that department/unit. The vehicle owner and/or driver are/is solely responsible for any deductibles resulting from accidents involving a Personal Vehicle Operated on UAH Business.
    9. Stop-loss “open lot” coverage. Effective April 1, 2018, UAH participates in the UAS “open lot” stop-loss physical damage coverage for UAH Vehicles that are owned or leased. This program provides coverage against catastrophic loss or damage to fleet vehicles of any model year while on the UAH campus. This coverage carries a high deductible and is intended only for extensive property damage situations, such as damage to multiple vehicles from severe weather hazards.
  11. 12 and 15 Passenger Vans
    1. No additional 15-passenger vans may be purchased or leased after April 30, 2018.
    2. The short-term rental (30 days or less) from a car rental agency of a 15-passenger van is allowed, but the driving distance for each trip one way must be less than 25 miles, and the van may not carry more than 12 passengers including the driver.
    3. All 12 passenger vans purchased, leased or rented from a car rental agency shall be equipped with stability control (e.g. AdvanceTrac, Roll Stability Control-RSC, Stabili-Trak, and Electronic Stability Program-ESP) and anti-lock brakes.
    4. Any owned or leased 15-passenger vans in operation after this Program was established may only be used to haul cargo or for utility purposes and may be operated only for trips of 25 miles or less, one way.
    5. In addition to the other rules and guidelines contained in this Program, the following suggested practices should be considered:
      1. Travel of more than four hours prompts the need for at least two qualified drivers to allow for rest periods after 3 to 4 hours behind the wheel.
      2. Operating a van between 11:00 p.m. and 5:00 a.m. is discouraged.
      3. The van shall be loaded with passengers seated in the most forward positions to keep weight behind the rear axle at a minimum.
    6. No cargo may be secured and transported on the van roof.
    7. Towing trailers with a van is prohibited unless authorized by the Office of Risk Management and Compliance.
  12. Campus Contacts

    Please use the following contact information for inquiries relating to this Program:

    Office of Risk Management and Compliance

    Kevin Bennett, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer

    229A Shelbie King Hall

    Huntsville, AL 35899

    (256) 824-6875

    Fleet Services

    124 Physical Plant Building

    Huntsville, AL 35899

    (256) 824-2594

  13. Required Training

    Driver Safety Training: Students, faculty, staff, volunteers, and any other party who will operate a UAH vehicle or a Personal Vehicle on UAH Business must complete a UAH approved driver safety training course prior to any such operation and every three (3) years thereafter.

    UAH currently provides online training through the United Educators’ EduRisk program. Instructions for registration and completion of the required training may be found on the Fleet Services web page at:

    Persons successfully completing the defensive driving course must forward a copy of the course transcript to the Fleet Services office.

    Vehicle Safety Management Program: The VSMP must be read and acknowledged prior to driving a UAH owned or leased vehicle or operating a personal vehicle on UAH business.

Appendix A - Vehicle Accident Report Form Instructions

All drivers involved in a vehicle accident while driving on behalf of UAH are required to complete a Vehicle Accident Report Form (VARF) and submit copies to their direct supervisor or manager and the Office of Risk Management and Compliance within one (1) business day following an accident. This requirement applies to drivers of University-owned vehicles, leased vehicles, golf carts and utility vehicles. It additionally applies to personal vehicles when said vehicles are being used for University-related business.

The Vehicle Accident Report Form is required in addition to police accident reports. A police accident report may not be substituted in place of the VARF. All information should be completed to the best of the driver’s ability. A supplemental report may be submitted at a later date if additional information becomes available or is recalled after the fact.

The VARF should be submitted in its entirety – three (3) pages. Electronic versions are acceptable for submission. A fillable PDF version is available on the Fleet Services web site at and on the RMC web site at

The driver should attach witness statements, photos, and other additional information to the VARF. Drivers are responsible for providing a copy of the police accident report to RMC as soon as it is available.

The following Vehicle Accident Report Form is to be used for all UAH vehicle accidents:

Appendix B - Vehicle Accident Investigation Report Instructions

Vehicle accident investigation is critical to the success of an effective vehicle safety program and is necessary in order to determine the true cause of accidents. A proper accident investigation will lead to a proper determination of whether or not the accident was preventable.

The Office of Risk Management and Compliance (RMC), in consultation and cooperation with the driver and driver’s supervisor or manager, will conduct a vehicle accident investigation for each vehicle accident. These investigations are intended to:

  1. Determine the sequences of events leading to the accident,
  2. Identify the cause of the accident,
  3. Find methods to prevent similar accidents from occurring.

In addition, the vehicle accident investigation process will help to track direct and indirect consequences of accidents, such as:

  1. Personal injury,
  2. Property loss,
  3. Lost time/wages,
  4. Other direct and indirect costs.

Any driver involved in an accident and the direct supervisor or manager of the driver are required to cooperate with RMC during the investigation process.

Instructions for Completing a Vehicle Accident Investigation Report

  1. Begin your investigation as soon as possible after the loss.
  2. Part I and II should be completed within 24 hours after an accident.
  3. Parts III and IV should be completed within 2 weeks after an accident.
  4. Go to the scene of the accident if possible. Get the big picture first. Consider making a diagram or taking photos.
  5. Talk with the driver involved -- at the scene of the accident, if possible.
  6. Talk with other people who know what happened -- witnesses, other employees.
  7. Put each person at ease
  8. Investigate to get the facts, not to place blame
  9. Make each interview in private away from others
  10. Ask others not to talk amongst themselves until you have interviewed them
  11. Ask questions and repeat the story back to them to be sure you understand all of the circumstances.
  12. End each interview on a positive note.
  13. Look for all of the causes -- unsafe acts, unsafe conditions, contributing factors, and base causes.
  14. Be careful of re-enactments. Don't ask for actions to be repeated.
  15. Record the facts quickly.
  16. Develop your conclusions. Confer with others, solicit prevention ideas.
  17. Act positively to prevent re-occurrence. Correct or refer correction to higher authority as appropriate under UAH Human Resources policies and practices.
  18. Follow up to make sure the corrective action is effective. Publicize the corrective action taken for the benefit of all.

The Vehicle Accident Investigation Report (VAIR) is to be used for all vehicle accident investigations. VIARs shall be initiated by the department/unit to which the driver involved is employed or is directly affiliated with (volunteers, student workers, etc.). In the event that a student is the responsible driver and a clear department/unit relationship cannot be established, Student Affairs shall appoint an appropriate Student Affairs supervisor, manager, or student group advisor (e.g., Housing and Greek Life) to complete the necessary portions of the VAIR.

The VAIR should be submitted in its entirety – two (2) pages. Electronic versions are acceptable for submission. A fillable PDF version is available on the RMC web site at

Appendix C - MVR Requirements

University of Alabama System MVR Guidelines

Effective: May 01, 2018

The following criteria are used to weigh an individual’s eligibility to operate a vehicle under the University safety program. An individual can be disqualified if the following violations are identified through any MVR, background check vendor, or through other information that becomes known to the risk manager.

A. Any of the following violations ever:

  1. Vehicular homicide or assault
  2. Conviction of a felony involving a motor vehicle

B. Any of the following violations occurring within five (5) years of the date of review:

  1. DUI/DWI/Refusal to Submit – Driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs
  2. Open Container/Chemical Test Failure/possession of a controlled substance
  3. Leaving the scene of an accident – hit and run
  4. Eluding or attempting to elude a police officer

C. Any of the following violations occurring within three (3) years of the date of review:

  1. Reckless/Careless Driving
  2. Passing a loading or unloading school bus
  3. Racing
  4. Speeding in excess of 25 MPH over the posted speed limit
  5. Speeding over 85 MPH regardless of the posted speed limit
  6. Driving on a suspended or revoked license
  7. Three or more (combined) minor violations or at-fault auto accidents

D. Two or more minor violations occurring within one (1) year of the date of review:

Minor Violations are defined as any moving violation not specifically listed in any section above including, but not limited to, speeding tickets, at-fault auto accidents, suspensions/revocations, driving distracted or texting while driving.

E. Other circumstances which, under the discretion of the risk manager, constitute grounds to suspend privileges.

These guidelines are not intended to serve as an inflexible checklist, and will be reasonably interpreted by the risk manager with good judgment and discretion, in light of known and relevant circumstances.

APPENDIX D: DRIVER ELIGIBILITY – Motor Vehicle Record and Commercial Driver’s License Review (UAS Requirements, updated 02/18/2020)

Eligibility to drive on University business is a privilege. The Vehicle Safety Management Program and the MVR Review Criteria documents outline age, licensure, training, driving experience and other criteria for eligibility. This appendix describes motor vehicle record (“MVR”) review requirements and the process for confirmation of Commercial Driver’s License (“CDL”) when applicable. Even if an MVR review is not required, other eligibility requirements including driver age, driver training, and vehicle specific requirements (i.e. 12 and 15 passenger vans) still apply.

Department heads, directors, managers and deans are responsible for requesting MVR reviews for employees in their areas of responsibility through the Office of Risk Management and Compliance. Certain departments, such has University Police, may have a different process and criteria for review. Human Resources is responsible for ensuring that any new hire for a position which requires eligibility to operate a University owned or leased vehicle has undergone a motor vehicle record review.

Department heads, directors, managers and deans are also responsible for identifying vehicles assigned to their areas which require CDL drivers. The Office of Risk Management and Compliance should be notified of all drivers requiring a CDL so that the Office of Risk Management and Compliance can verify that the CDL is in good standing as part of the MVR review process. The department heads, directors, managers and deans are also responsible for insuring that only drivers who hold a valid CDL drive such vehicles. The Fleet Services manager and the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer can assist in determining the appropriate classification of vehicles.

The following chart describes categories of drivers and the type of vehicle use which require regular MVR review. MVR Review Required indicates that the driver’s MVR should be reviewed prior to driving on University business and regularly thereafter. “Regularly” means not less than every three years, but refer to the Vehicle Safety Management Program for the required frequency. These guidelines are intended as general guidelines and are subject at all times to the reasonable discretion of university officials including the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer.

These guidelines are intended as general guidelines and are subject at all times to the reasonable discretion of university officials including the Chief Risk and Compliance Officer.

University Owned or Leased Vehicle Personal Vehicle
Routine Use Incidental Use Routine Use Incidental Use
Employee MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Not Required
Student MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Review
All Others MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Review Required MVR Review

Routine Use: Drives vehicle on a daily, weekly or other routine basis on University business.

Incidental Use: Drives occasionally on University business, for example to attend meetings or conferences. Driving is not a requirement for daily/weekly activities.

Questions regarding these definitions should be addressed to the UAH Chief Risk and Compliance Officer.

The Office of Risk Management and Compliance is responsible for review of this Program every five (5) years or whenever circumstances require.

Vehicle Safety Management Program