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Vehicle and Safe Driving Guidelines

Category Health and Safety
Type Guideline
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 27 April 2009
Date Guideline Took Effect 27 April 2009
Last Approved Revision 23 March 2018
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible Officer Head, Health and Safety Compliance
Review Date 23 March 2023

Purpose

These guidelines are designed to support the University’s Vehicle and Safe Driving policy, in the prevention of vehicle related events and to ensure driver and passenger safety.

Organisational Scope

To all University vehicles and the use of private vehicles for the use of University business as covered by the Vehicle and Safe Driving policy.

Definitions

Designated Driver A person who has completed the Designated Driver agreement and been approved by the University to drive on its behalf.
Passenger vehicles Vehicles being used with the purpose of carrying passengers, which are designed to carry more than four passengers.
University Business Any activity directed and controlled by the University.
University Vehicle Motor vehicles used to conduct the University’s business including owned and leased vehicles.
Vault The University’s online health and safety management system.

Policy Content

1. University owned vehicles requirements

(a) Safety ratings of any new or used vehicles must be considered for compliance with the Vehicle and Safe Driving Policy, prior to the purchase of the vehicle. Ratings are available at the following web site: http://rightcar.govt.nz/ancap-test-results.html

(b) All departments using vehicles will record designated drivers in Vault.

(c) All departments using vehicles will ensure effective communication of driver and passenger responsibilities to all vehicle users.

(d) All University owned vehicles will be registered with a current warrant of fitness and insurance documentation.

(e) All University owned vehicles will be maintained (records in Vault) with a spare wheel and sufficient tools to change a wheel, a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, torch and emergency triangle. The Fire Extinguisher should be a Dry Powder extinguisher and secured in the vehicle.

2. Vehicle users

(a) While driving University vehicles, or driving for the University, staff shall comply with traffic legislation, be conscious of road safety and demonstrate safe driving and other good road safety habits.

(b) All drivers must hold a current and valid driving licence, with the correct classes and endorsements for the vehicle concerned, to be authorised to operate a University vehicle.

(c) Designated drivers must produce their original licence annually and complete a ‘designated driver agreement’ (appendix A) before driving a University vehicle.

(d) Application for dispensation to drive a University vehicle, despite a traffic conviction which jeopardises the currency of a licence, is the responsibility of the licensee, refer to the NZTA Website.

(e) Appropriate security measures will be taken when leaving the vehicle unattended.

(f) Appropriate footwear shall be worn whilst driving.

(g) The use of mobile devices, including hands free sets, is prohibited.

(h) Vehicles will be used for University business only.

(i) Any driving related fines are the responsibility of the individual driver, not the University.

3. Insurance

(a) If a University vehicle is involved in an incident, a motor vehicle claim form is available from the Insurance Officer:
Financial Services Division, (03) 479 8578, email: fsd.assets@otago.ac.nz

(b) The department in charge of the vehicle at the time the damage or loss was sustained is responsible for paying the excess to the repairer.

(c) An excess of $500 is payable on motor vehicle claims. Departments that occur losses at less than $500 are responsible for meeting the entire costs.

(d) Departments must notify the Insurance Officer of any vehicle damage or loss event and forward the Insurance Officer any third party correspondence.

(e) Where staff are authorised to use their privately owned vehicle for University business, the vehicle must meet the required New Zealand roadworthy standards, refer to NZTA road code. In the event of loss or damage incurred during the business related use of the vehicle, if the individual private insurance will not cover the loss or repairs, the University’s insurance will provide cover. Contact the Insurance Officer for further details.

4. Accident/Incidents

(a) In the event of a road accident or incident while working, immediately stop the vehicle at the scene or as close to it as practicable and safe, making sure there is no obstruction to traffic.

(b) Ensure the safety of you and your passengers.

(c) Help any injured people, call 111 emergency services for assistance.

(d) Inform your department/Line Manager as soon as practicable.

(e) For events resulting in physical injuries and/or damage to public or private property, report the event immediately to the Police and involve a third party. In situations where this is not possible and you are without telephone coverage, attempt, where appropriate, to document the situation by photographing, making notes, and/or sketching the scene.

5. Breakdowns

(a) In the event of a problem, the vehicle should be taken to the nearest garage for repairs – ensure the cost is charged to the vehicle’s Fleetsmart card.

(b) The repairer will ensure the Fleetsmart has the required authorisation for University repairs.

6. Safe driving practices

(a) Prevent fatigue as this impairs driving ability and causes slower reaction times, particularly when encountering the unusual, unexpected or emergency situations.

(b) On long distance travelling, drivers need to plan for regular breaks – a 10 minute stop at least every 2 hours, or arrange a number of designated drivers to share the driving.

(c) Fuel stops should include safety checks – tyres, water and oil levels.

(d) Keep hydrated and eat sensibly.

(e) Smoking is not permitted in any University vehicles.

(f) Always travel within the speed limit and take into consideration the conditions at the time, adjust speed accordingly.

(g) Check with your doctor that any prescribed medication does not impair your ability to drive.

(h) Check with any pharmacy purchased medication for possible side effects that may impair your ability to drive.

(i) Seat belts must always be worn by all vehicle passengers.

7. Towing a trailer/caravan/boat

(a) Any trailers must have a current warrant of fitness and registration.

(b) For specific requirements regarding lights, reflectors, registration plate lamp, direction indicators and braking systems, refer to the NZTA website.

8. Transporting materials

(a) All materials transported in a vehicle or trailer (see section 7) must be secured against excessive movement.

(b) The transport of substances classified as Dangerous Goods must comply with the Land Transport Rule: Dangerous Goods 2005. Information on these requirements can be found on the NZ Transport Agency website.

Please contact the Health and Safety Office for advice on how to comply with these requirements.

(c) Where goods or materials are transported in the back of utility vehicle, van or station wagon and there is risk that these items could cause injury or death to the driver or passengers in a collision, cargo barriers must be fitted as per AS/NZS 4034.1:2001 or to the vehicle manufactures recommendations.

Related Policies, Procedures and Forms

Contact for Further Information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy, procedure or guideline or need further clarification, contact Head, Health and Safety Compliance on hsa@otago.ac.nz