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5,100: Vehicle Use Policy

Revised: April 2014

All state-owned motor vehicles used by the University are incorporated into this general Vehicle Use Policy. State-owned vehicles include all state purchased vehicles, vehicles purchased for university use from other than state funds, and all vehicles of affiliated 501(c3) organizations. This policy also pertains, when specified in this policy, to rental vehicles through State of Nevada or Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) contracts and personal vehicles that are used for the convenience of the University. It is the responsibility of the appointing authority of each work unit to reinforce and ensure employee participation with the requirements of this policy through routine communications and related department procedures.

Vehicles owned by the State of Nevada or NSHE or affiliated 501(c3) are to be used only for official university business. "Official university business" shall be defined as any activity which directly relates to the conduct of university affairs. The driver and/or the person to whom such a vehicle is assigned may be held accountable for any damage which results from the use of a state or university vehicle while not conducting official university business.

To avoid violations of State policy prohibiting the use of State vehicles for non-State use, agency department heads and division administrators are urged to remind their employees who utilize State-owned motor vehicles of the provisions of NRS 204.080. This section provides that:

  • It shall be unlawful for any individual, individuals, or groups of individuals, whether an employee or employees of the State of Nevada or not, to use any automobile, truck, or other means of mechanical conveyance, property of the State of Nevada, for their own private use.
  • The executive officer of any State office, agency, department, commission or institution to which such auto, truck or other means of conveyance is assigned, and the operator of such equipment, shall be jointly and severally responsible to the State for the unauthorized use of such equipment while so assigned, used or operated.
  • A violation of any provision of this section by any person other than the officer or employee of the State of Nevada is a misdemeanor.
  • A violation of any provision of this section by an officer or employee of the State of Nevada shall constitute malfeasance in office.

Drivers of University-Owned Vehicles:

Drivers of state-owned (university) vehicles are restricted to university employees, volunteers or contractors approved by the applicable appointing authority. Each driver must have and maintain a valid Nevada driver's license unless they are a student employee who retains his home address in another state or an employee whose primary residence is in another state and who have and maintain a valid driver's license in said state.

Drivers must report a suspension or revocation of their driver's license to their supervisor within one business day of the action. Drivers must obey all traffic laws and immediately report (the same or next working day), to their immediate supervisor and the Risk Management Department the receipt of a traffic citation received while operating a university owned vehicle. If a driver's job duties include transporting students, the driver must report, prior to the next scheduled work shift, the receipt of a traffic citation received off the job for a serious driving violation as defined by the Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles, including DUI, careless or reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident to the Risk Management Office. Drivers must report any vehicular accident while driving a university-owned or rental vehicle within two hours of the accident and may be required to submit to drug and alcohol testing. An employee must also report a vehicle accident involving a 3rd party when driving a personal vehicle for university business prior to the next scheduled work shift. Drivers must obtain a police report if the accident involves a 3rd party. Drivers must not operate a vehicle while in an impaired condition, such as under the influence of alcohol or drugs, prescribed or illegal, or when sleep deprived. Employees who are considered "regular drivers" (i.e. driving is an essential function of the position or the employee drives a vehicle on an average of more than one time a week), must sign an Employee Driver Acknowledgement Form and submit it to the Risk Management Office prior to the start of their first shift. Drivers who have multiple vehicular accidents may be required to provide a copy of their DMV Motor Vehicle Report to the Risk Management Office.

Defensive Driving Training:

In accordance with the State Administrative Manual Section 0521.0 employees who drive state-owned vehicles must participate in an approved Defensive Driving class and applicable refresher courses once every four years or subsequent to an at fault accident if recommended by an accident review committee.

Passengers:

Passengers in state-owned (university) vehicles are to be restricted to university employees and students, and volunteers or individuals cooperating in university projects and programs. Courtesy rides to individuals not qualifying under the above are prohibited.

General Requirements:

When traveling on university business, all employees are required to use vehicle seat belts and to require all passengers to use seat belts. This includes all vehicles whether publicly or privately owned, leased or rented. Smoking in state-owned vehicles is expressly prohibited.

Use of Cell Phones:

  1. A person shall not drive a state motor vehicle, rental vehicle or personal vehicle while conducting university business while using an electronic wireless communications device to call, write, send, or read a text-based communication.
    1. As used in this section "write, send, or read a text-based communication" means using an electronic wireless communications device to manually communicate with any person using a text-based communication, including, but not limited to, communications referred to as a text message, instant message, or electronic mail.
    2. For purposes of this section, a person shall not be deemed to be writing, reading, or sending a text-based communication if the person reads, selects, or enters a telephone number or name in an electronic wireless communication device for the purpose of making or receiving a telephone call.
  2. 2. This does not apply to a driver who is:
    1. A law enforcement officer designated by the Chief of Police who is acting within the course and scope of his or her employment.
    2. A person who is reporting a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity or who is requesting assistance relating to a medical emergency, a safety hazard or criminal activity.
    3. A person who is responding to a situation requiring immediate action to protect the health, welfare or safety of the driver or another person and stopping the vehicle would be inadvisable, impractical or dangerous.
    4. A person who is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission as an amateur radio operator and who is providing a communication service in connection with an actual or impending disaster or emergency, participating in a drill, test, or other exercise in preparation for a disaster or emergency or otherwise communicating public information.
    5. Conducting hands-free wireless interpersonal voice only communication that does not require manual entry, except to activate, deactivate, or initiate a feature or function.

University Vehicle Storage:

Ordinarily, university vehicles will be stored overnight at a university facility. Vehicles in use on official university business may be temporarily stored elsewhere (including infrequent, one night storage at the employee's home), as made necessary by travel and the nature of the university business being conducted. Permanent overnight storage at a non-university facility must be approved by the Executive Vice President & Provost or designee in writing on the basis of a request submitted by the operator through the dean, director or supervising officer.

Vehicles shall not be taken to the operator's home without prior written permission from the operator's appointing authority and may not exceed two consecutive nights, and two such occurrences within a calendar month. Storage at the employee/operator's home in excess of the above time limits must be approved by the Executive Vice President & Provost or designee. Such permission may be obtained on the basis of adequate justification submitted by the operator through his dean, director, or supervising officer. The permission above must specify that the vehicle may not be used for personal purposes other than commuting. According to IRS requirements an amount for the value of the commute will be added to the employee's reported taxable wages.

For more information please refer to the State Administrative Manual.

Vehicle Rentals:

Vehicle rentals may be obtained from a variety of sources:

  1. State of Nevada Fleet Services Division: For more information pelase visit Fleet Services Division.
  2. State Contracted Rental Agencies: The list of companies and code information is listed on the BCN website. For more information contact the University's Travel Program at (775) 784-4167. Supplemental liability and physical damage insurance is included in the formal rental contracts as long as the assigned NSHE user code is applied. It is the responsibility of each employee who rents a vehicle to provide this code that is available on the website noted above. However exclusions apply for any vehicle use that will be "Off Road" or "not on regularly maintained roads". In the event that a vehicle is rented for this purpose it must be disclosed to the rental company and the driver/department will be responsible to purchase the supplementary physical damage insurance as the self-funded pool does not provide insurance for non-owned vehicles. If a non-contracted rental company is utilized the driver/department is encouraged to purchase the supplementary insurance to avoid personal liability for damages.

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University of Nevada, Reno
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