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Purpose

This policy is established to prevent increased risk of accidents or injuries associated with the use of 15 passenger vans, noted in recent research and warnings issued by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). These warnings indicate that 15 passenger vans from all domestic manufacturers have a significantly increased risk of roll-over than other vehicles under certain driving and occupancy conditions. A 15 passenger van is a van with seating for 15 passengers; this includes the driver (driver + 14 passengers).

Policy

The College will require certain precautions and enforce certain restrictions on the use of 15 passenger vans consistent with NHTSA warnings in order to reduce the risk of accidents or injuries associated with their use.

Refer to Administrative Policy 3.15 Risk Management Policies for further clarification to this policy.

Limitations on Use:

  1. Driving Limited to Employees: Drivers must be 21 years of age or older, current employees of the College, possess a valid state driver’s license, have a safe driving record and successfully complete an MC-required training program for driving 15 passenger vans. Student employees are prohibited from operating 15 passenger vans.
  2. Passengers: Passengers are normally limited to persons who are 18 years of age or older and are employees, students of the College, or other individuals on official College business. Exceptions to the age restriction are made for students of the College who are under the age of 18.
  3. Training: The completion of 15 passenger van written test must be completed prior to the use of a 15 passenger van. The goal of the course will be to familiarize drivers with this policy, as well as provide practical instruction on the handling characteristics of 15 passenger vans, proper backing, braking, obstacle avoidance and return to road technique if a wheel drops off the roadway. The training will consist of satisfactory completion of a written examine.
  4. Safe Driving Record: A safe driving record generally means no suspensions or revocations within the past 2 years, and no accidents for which the operator was cited.
  5. Vehicle: The use of 15 passenger vans built after 2008 is highly recommended as most newer models have incorporated the use of stabilizers.

Operating Restrictions:

  1. Distance and Hours Restrictions: Fatigue is a primary factor in 15 passenger van accidents. High speed travel is also a major factor in 15 passenger van accidents. The use of 15 passenger vans should be limited to locations less than 2 hours from campus. Employees are not permitted to drive a 15 passenger van if by driving that 15 passenger van their workday will exceed 8 hours.  It is highly recommended that the use of a professional and/or bus is used for any distances greater than 2 hours or in the event where driving creates a workday greater than 8 hours. Night driving should be kept to a minimum.   Travel itineraries should avoid high speed and limited access highways where possible.
  2. Vehicle Occupancy: Occupancy is highly recommended not to exceed 12 passengers including the driver for trips that exceed 15 miles from campus or speeds in excess of 50 miles an hour.
  3. Vehicle Rental: All 15 passenger van rentals must be processed through the Facilities Management Office.
  4. Weather Restrictions: Poor weather is a major contributing factor in 15 passenger van accidents. Operation of 15 passenger vans during hazardous weather conditions is discouraged. Safe driving conditions are road conditions absent snow-cover, heavy rain, ice, fog, or forecasts predicting such conditions. If drivers already on the road are confronted by developing conditions such as these, the vehicle should be stopped in a safe location until conditions improve.
  5. Cell Phones: Drivers operating 15 passenger vans are prohibited from using cell phones while the vehicle is in operation.
  6. Seat Belt Requirement: The driver and all passengers must wear seat belts at all times while the vehicle is in operation.
  7. Load Evenly: Passengers will be seated from the front seats back. (If 10 passengers are riding, the first 10 seats will be occupied.) The roof will not be used for storage for any purpose. Keep luggage on the floor if at all possible.
  8. No Towing: 15 passenger vans are prohibited from towing a trailer.

 

PROCEDURE

Drivers:

  1. 15 Passenger Van Driving Test Completion: Drivers must complete a written test prior to the operation of a 15 passenger van.
  2. Visual Inspections Before Use: Prior to use, drivers are responsible for making a visual inspection of the mirrors, tires and other safety equipment of the vehicle.
  3. Mapping Routes: Drivers should take care to map routes when using 15 passenger vans to avoid limited access and other high speed highways whenever possible.
  4. Driver’s Record: Drivers of 15 passenger vans are expected to self-report suspensions or revocations of driving privileges by the Kansas Department of Transportation. The College will complete a national motor vehicle screen on each driver.
  5. Seat Belt Requirement: Drivers of 15 passenger vans are expected to visually confirm that all passengers properly secured by a seat belt
  6. Unsafe Operating Conditions: Drivers of 15 passenger vans should determine if an alternative mode of transportation exists when driving conditions are unsafe for a 15 passenger van to be used.

Facilities Management:

  1. Driving Test: Facilities Management will conduct a written driving test and provide records of completion to Human Resources.
  2. Vehicle Rental: Facilities Management, Admissions and the Athletic Department will be responsible for the rental of all 15 passenger vans. Poor planning by drivers may result in the inability to reserve a 15 passenger van.

Policy Violations: Failure to comply with these requirements may result in a driver or a department losing access to 15 passenger vans.