Section: University Vehicle Use
In the course of our duties, faculty, and staff frequently travel to conferences and meetings, field trips, to classes away from campus, and for many other purposes. It is ordinarily in the best interests of the University for such travel to be made in University vehicles which are assured of proper maintenance and insurance coverage.
The number of University vehicles on Maine’s roads and highways, however, creates significant potential liability. That risk imposes upon drivers the obligation to drive safely and upon the University, the duty to assure that only qualified and responsible drivers are assigned University vehicles, and that they clearly understand their obligations.
The University of Maine System has recently issued Administrative Practice Letter #27, Standards – University Vehicle Use. The following regulations control the use of UMM’s vehicles:
- Persons driving UMM vehicles must be properly licensed to drive in Maine. State law requires residents (including University employees) to have a Maine license, but allows students from out-of-state to drive on a valid license from their home state or province. Students from countries other than the U.S. or Canada, must have a valid international driver’s license. This office must have a photocopy of the driver’s current license on file prior to the use of the UM vehicles.
- Anyone whose license has expired, been revoked, or is under suspension may not drive a UMM vehicle. Violation of this regulation will subject the driver to disciplinary action. Violation of State OUI laws while driving a UMM vehicle will also subject the driver to disciplinary action, as will misrepresentation of a driving record.
- UMM vans or trucks will be issued only to persons whose ability to handle such vehicles has been demonstrated, either through a test drive or by evidence of prior experience in the type of vehicle involved. The Director of Physical Plant will inform employees of a "testing schedule". If prior to, or following this schedule, a van or truck is needed, the employee will be required to provide the Physical Plant Office with at least two days notice.
- No one under 18 years of age is permitted to drive a UMM vehicle. Drivers under the age of 21 are not permitted to drive vehicles which are transporting 7 or more passengers including the driver, unless the driver has at least two years of driving experience without a moving violation. The driving records of such individuals shall be subsequently verified.
- No vehicle with University plates may be kept overnight at the home of a University employee, even when an early morning trip is planned. Personal use of these vehicles beyond commuting to and from work locations is not permitted.
- Any accident involving a UMM vehicle must be reported to the Director of Physical Plant as soon as possible and in all cases within 72 hours of the time of the accident. Under Maine law, all accidents involving personal injury or property damage exceeding $500, must be reported to the police and a report filed with the Secretary of State within 48 hours.
- Drivers are personally responsible for fines resulting from their actions. No University funds of any kind may be used to pay such fines.
- All drivers of UMM vehicles are subject to University and insurance company verificatiion of their driving record.
- No illegal drugs or alcoholic beverages may be transported in UMM vehicles.
- UMM reserves the right to deny use of a UMM vehicle to any individual with a poor driving record as evidenced, for example, by frequent accidents, or for violation of these regulations.
- The University strongly urges its employees to wear seat belts while driving or riding as a passenger in any vehicle. Additional insurance in the amount of $50,000 is provided employees covered by University life insurance as an incentive to wear seat belts. This added insurance applies to all covered employees, while driving or riding n any vehicle, whether or not on University business.