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Category Health and Safety
Type Policy
Approved by Vice-Chancellor, 27 April 2009
Date Policy Took Effect 1 May 2009
Last approved revision 28 August 2017
Sponsor Chief Operating Officer
Responsible officer Director, Health, Safety and Wellbeing


To promote a safe driving culture by encouraging sensible and safe use of University of Otago vehicles, thereby eliminating or reducing the number of motor vehicle incidents and injuries.

Organisational scope

All University of Otago vehicles used for University of Otago business, and any associated road equipment.

Staff personal vehicles may be authorised for use for University business.

Privately owned vehicles transporting University employees between home and work and vehicles used by contractors engaged by the University are excluded from this policy.


University Business
Any activity directed and controlled by the University of Otago.
University Vehicle
Motor vehicles used to conduct University business including owned and leased vehicles.
Passenger Vehicles
Vehicles being used with the purpose of carrying passengers, which are designed to carry more than four passengers.
University of Otago's online health and safety management system.


1. Vehicles:

  1. All University of Otago vehicles are required to have a current Warrant of Fitness/Certificate of Fitness and registration and meet all legal requirements.
  2. All University vehicles used for University business must meet the following criteria:
    1. Passenger vehicles will be no more than six years old.
    2. All other vehicles will be no more than ten years old.
    3. All passenger vehicles will have a minimum of a four-star Australasian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP) safety rating level.
    4. All University vehicles are required to be equipped with dual front airbags as a minimum.
    5. All University of Otago vehicles will be fitted with anti-lock brakes and where available for the class of vehicle be fitted with traction control and electronic stability programming.
    6. All University of Otago vehicles will have 12 or fewer seats to negate the requirement for 'P' endorsed University drivers.
    7. All vehicles used for the transportation of cargo shall be fitted with the required cargo barriers (AS/NZS 4034.1:2001), or meet the manufacturers specifications.
    8. Personalised number plates are not permitted.
    9. In very exceptional circumstances, Deputy Vice-Chancellors, Pro-Vice-Chancellors or the Chief Operating Officer may approve the purchase of vehicles that do not meet these criteria, provided a risk assessment has been undertaken in consultation with Health and Safety that considers factors such as; the proposed use of the vehicle, distance travelled, where they travel, how many passengers carried etc.
  3. When hiring vehicles, the safety factors outlined in this policy for purchased vehicles must be applied wherever practicable.
  4. All University of Otago vehicles shall be fitted with a first aid kit, fire extinguisher, torch and emergency triangle.

2. Driving:

  1. The University of Otago does not permit staff or students to drive under conditions that are unsafe and/or are likely to create an unsafe environment or physical distress.
  2. All drivers must hold a current driver's license and adhere to the legal driving requirements.
  3. The University of Otago will provide a Corporate Defensive Driving course and on road driver assessments, as appropriate, for staff and students required to drive University vehicles on work related business.
  4. All documentation must be completed and current, including copies of driving licences (which must be appropriate for the class of vehicle being used) and a designated driver agreement.
  5. All drivers must be 'authorised' to use vehicles on University of Otago business. This means each user holds the necessary licences, relevant insurances and is adequately trained and competent in the use of vehicles and equipment.
  6. The transportation of hazardous substances by vehicles must meet the requirements of the Hazardous Substances and New Organisms Act (HSNO), NZS 5433 Transport of Dangerous Goods on Land, the proved HSNO Exempt Laboratory Code of Practice and the University of Otago Exempt HSNO Laboratories Compliance Manual. Drivers must be authorised prior to driving any University vehicle, including signing of the designated driver agreement.
  7. Anybody requiring a dispensation to drive a University of Otago vehicle for a traffic conviction must advise his or her Manager/Department.
  8. Mobile Devices, including hands free sets, must not be used while driving.
  9. Secure footwear must be worn at all times while driving.
  10. Any speeding or other infringement fines are the responsibility of the driver. The University will not pay any speeding or infringement fines.

3. Incidents:

  1. All vehicle related incidents must be reported immediately to the University 24 hour contact number – 0800 479 5000 and an injury/incident report completed as soon as practical. An incident report must also be completed in Vault.
  2. Any incident resulting in injury must be reported to the Police as soon as reasonably possible and within 24 hours.
  3. A motor vehicle insurance claim form must be completed for any vehicle damage that occurs to a vehicle used for University of Otago business.

Related policies, procedures and forms

Contact for further information

If you have any queries regarding the content of this policy or need further clarification, contact:

Director, Health, Safety and Wellbeing

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