Related Policies and Additional References:
The purpose of this policy is to manage a designated pool of University-operated vehicles in a manner that best serves the entire St. Mary’s community. The policy serves as a guide to the efficient and fair use of these vehicles, and delineates driver eligibility and responsibilities, as well as reservation and accident reporting procedures.
The Vehicle Pool Program is a system of managing a limited set of vehicles that are leased and/or owned by the University, and operated for the express purpose of conducting official St. Mary’s business. The Program is facilitated by the St. Mary’s Facilities Services Department and supervised by the Facilities Administrator.
A list of vehicles governed by the Program is available in the Facilities Services Department and does not include private vehicles or vehicles not explicitly included in the pool.
Eligible Program Participants
Members of the St. Mary’s community, including faculty, staff, students, and Marianists, may reserve vehicles in the Vehicle Pool Program for official University business.
Any member of the University community may reserve the vehicles in the Vehicle Pool Program; however, only certified drivers that are registered in the Program may operate the vehicles.
All currently employed St. Mary’s faculty and staff (full-time, part-time and adjunct), as well as graduate student assistants are eligible to become certified drivers and register for the Program if the following criteria are met:
- 25 years of age or older
- Possess a valid Class A, B, or C Texas Driver’s License, or a Texas Commercial Driver’s License (per the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 522) Active Duty Military is exempt and can use current Driver’s License from another state.
- Upon recommendation of the president or a vice president, and provided annual driver training is completed, 21-to-24 years of age
Driver Application, Certification and Registration
To apply, an interested driver must complete an application for acceptance into the University’s Certification Orientation that is available in the University Police Department. In addition, the applicant must submit the following items along with the application:
- Texas Driver’s License. A copy of the applicant’s valid Class A, B, or C Texas Driver’s License, or a Texas Commercial Driver’s License (per the Texas Transportation Code, Chapter 522)
- Proof of Personal Automobile Insurance. The applicant’s proof of personal automobile insurance. In addition, the applicant must submit proof of renewal of personal automobile insurance every six months or as necessary to maintain certification.
- Statement of Safe Driving Record (Done through Human Resources). A signed statement of Safe Driving Record, indicating that the applicant has maintained a driving record clear of major driving-related violations (e.g. a conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs) for the past five years. (The Safe Driving Record form is available in the University Police Department.) The driver’s Statement of Safe Driving Record grants authorization to the University to review the applicant’s driving record as provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). No one will be permitted to operate any vehicle in the Vehicle Pool Program if their DPS report shows a suspended, revoked, or expired license, or if there is any indication of a negative driving record.
NOTE: The driver must maintain a clear driving record to remain certified. Receipt of a negative DPS report during the period of participation in the Program will result in immediate termination of driving privileges.
Certification and Registration
To be certified, an applicant must complete the University’s Driver Certification Orientation administered by the University Police Department. Once completed, the applicant will become a registered driver. The applicant’s Certificate of Completion of the University’s Driver Orientation will be kept on file in the University Police Office.
The applicant must re-take the University’s Driver Orientation every three years to maintain certification. Drivers between the ages of 21 and 24 must take the University’s Driver Orientation every year.
All reservations are made by contacting the Facilities Services Department, by phone or e-mail. The nominal use fee of leasing a vehicle is $25.00 per day. The Office will maintain a schedule for each of the vehicles within the Vehicle Pool. (Note: The Athletics Department has designated vehicles for their use that are not required to follow this reservation process, however all other rules and regulations apply to those vehicles as well.)
Vehicle keys must be picked up from, and returned to, the Facilities Services Department by the registered driver during business hours. After business hours and on weekends, vehicle keys should be returned to the University Police by the registered driver. An additional late rental use fee may be assessed if keys are returned after designated date indicated on Rental Agreement.
Registered drivers must have their current driver’s license in their possession when picking up a vehicle. Vehicles will not be released to anyone who does not present a valid license.
Keys will be placed in an envelope along with the following items:
- St. Mary’s University Vehicle Pool Program including Emergency Road Assistance information and phone numbers
- Copy of the St. Mary’s Vehicle Rental Agreement
- Property and Casualty Loss Report (in case of an accident)
- Credit card for fuel and repairs
- Each vehicle will be assigned a Bank of America Credit Card with a limit of $1,500.
- This University-issued credit card is to be used only for fuel and emergency vehicle repairs.
- Credit card charges will be expensed to the Department’s account number identified in the Rental Agreement.
- As with all University-issued credit cards, original receipts must be submitted at time of vehicle return.
Parking and Fueling
Pool vehicles are located in a designated parking area, and are to be returned to the same location with a full tank of gasoline. All trash and personal items must be removed upon returning the vehicle to campus. An additional fee may be applied if a vehicle is returned without a full tank of gas and proper cleaning.
Registered drivers are expected to note the fuel level and the mileage on the envelope when returning keys.
Vehicles are to be locked when not in use, and stored in secure areas when parked off campus. The University is not responsible for lost or stolen items left in the vehicles.
Pool vehicles are to be used for official University business and not for personal use. In addition, the vehicles are limited for use in the State of Texas to areas within a 200 mile radius of the campus.
The University reserves the right to suspend or terminate the driving privileges of any registered driver. Some circumstances that might result in the loss of driving privileges include, but are not limited to:
- Driver’s immediate supervisor or University Police observe the driver speeding or driving recklessly.
- Driver has been reported using a cell phone or other mobile electronic devices while driving the vehicle.
- Driver is convicted of a major driving-related violation while operating the vehicle.
- Driver is transporting unauthorized passengers. (Note: Authorized passengers are University Trustees, Marianists, alumni, faculty, staff, students and prospective students participating in official University events. Generally, participants are 17 years of age or older.)
- Driver is transporting more passengers than the limit allowed for safe operation of the vehicle.
Drivers may be held responsible for paying the full cost of damage associated with an accident if it is determined that use of the vehicle at the time of the accident was unauthorized. (See Section V-Insurance)
Mechanical problems encountered during a work day should be reported to the Facilities Services Department by calling 210-436-3335. After hours, on weekends and in emergency situations, drivers should seek the necessary assistance to repair the vehicle and use their University-issued credit card for payment.
The University’s general and automobile liability coverage is limited to personal injury and property damage to others caused by vehicles operated in the course and scope of the Vehicle Pool Program.
Personal Injury to Employees
Faculty, staff and graduate student assistants who sustain injuries during the authorized use of a Vehicle Pool vehicle need to contact the Office of Human Resources for information about the Worker’s Compensation Program. Injuries sustained during an unauthorized use of a vehicle are not covered under the Worker’s Compensation Program.
Loss or Damage to Vehicles
The University’s insurance covers Vehicle Pool vehicles for physical damage caused by collision or comprehensive exposures, unless such damage is caused by or results from unauthorized use and/or negligence.
The driver of a vehicle is responsible for paying for the cost of damage associated with an accident if it is determined that the use of the vehicle was unauthorized or the vehicle was intentionally misused.
Unauthorized use and/or negligence include, but are not limited to:
- Personal use of vehicles
- Failure to stop after an accident (hit and run)
- Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Using a cell phone or other mobile device while driving
- Reckless driving or flagrant violation of speed laws
- Unauthorized loan or rental of a vehicle to non-University individuals
- Operating a vehicle without possession of a valid Texas Driver’s License
- Lack of proper sleep to safely operate a vehicle
Procedures for Reporting Vehicle Accidents
Drivers of pool vehicles involved in an accident, regardless of fault, are required to complete the Property/Casualty Loss Report. This report form is located in the key envelope in the glove compartment of the vehicle and/or can be obtained at the Facilities Services Department and must be submitted by the next business day after returning to campus.
In addition, all damages, including those considered minor, such as cracked windshields and mirrors, scratches, etc., should be reported to the Facilities Services Department.
Accident with Injuries or Death
All accidents involving injuries or death should be called in immediately to the local law enforcement agency and/or the emergency response (using the 911 system if available), and to the St. Mary’s University Police Department thereafter on their non-emergency line at 210-436-3330.
Driver’s Responsibilities at the Scene of the Accident
The driver should obtain as much information about the accident as possible:
- If police are at the scene, name, address, and badge number of the investigating police officer
- Facts about other vehicle(s), such as: license number(s); names, address, and phone number of registered owner(s) and driver(s); name and address of insurance company covering the other vehicle(s); damage to other vehicle(s)
- Facts about injured person(s)
- Facts about other property damaged
- Identify witnesses (witness information cards are available with the accident report forms in the glove compartment)
- Describe and diagram accident
Drivers are advised to:
- not argue or admit responsibility, regardless of the facts
- not agree to pay for anything
- not sign any papers
- not discuss the accident or give statements to anyone other than police officers
- protect vehicle and other property from further damage
All claims against the University are managed by the vice president for Administration and Finance in conjunction with outside assistance. Claims adjusters or other professionals, authorized by the vice president, may contact drivers to discuss the accident.
Any contact from an attorney, other insurance company, investigator, etc., regarding the accident should be referred to your immediate supervisor, then to the vice president for Administration and Finance. Drivers and/or passengers should not make any statements, written or oral, to anyone other than their immediate supervisor or professionals representing the University.
Damage to an Unattended Vehicle
If a driver causes damage to an unattended vehicle, the driver must leave a note, regardless of the amount of damage, with the following information:
- Driver’s name
- Business address and telephone number
- Statement explaining what happened
Damage to Vehicle Pool Vehicles due to Unknown or Uncontrollable Causes
Drivers are required to inspect vehicles before and after each usage and report any observed damages to the Facilities Services Department as soon as possible.