The college has developed this handbook to assist and guide employees and students in the safe operation of motor vehicles while on college business.
The following expectations apply to all who may drive on "college business" (see below)--whether using college-owned or personal vehicles. For more information contact Transportation Services or Institutional Resilience.
Employees are monitored using the DMV pull notice program who may: A) drive as part of their job description; B) drive students on official business; or C) otherwise conduct college business while driving on a more than an incidental or occasional basis. They must complete and submit to Transportation Services the top part of this form. (It is only required once while employed.)
Students who may at some time in their college career wish to drive on college business (either a college car or their own or borrowed) are expected to complete the form on their Student Profile page. Their subsequent use of vehicles will be governed by the Student DRIVER Program (Driver Record Information Verified to Evaluate Risk).
Faculty should generally expect students to make their own transportation arrangements as necessary for academic endeavors. Where faculty have occasion to participate in planning automobile transportation, to the extent practical they should select and authorize as drivers only those students whose records reflect (by means of the green DMV indicator on the class roster or in the Student Directory) that they have been permitted under the Student DRIVER Program.
Note that at the beginning of each year (and for mid-year permission requests) it can take some weeks for the green DMV indicator to appear on record. In cases where no student in a class or organized activity has been marked as permitted, employees should exercise their best judgment in assessing students' relative maturity when assisting with a driving arrangement.
Reservations of college vehicles for student use must be made by an employee overseeing that activity, and can be initiated at this link. Transportation Services will not generally accept vehicle reservations for students who are not permitted to drive under the Student DRIVER Program. Students are not allowed under any circumstance to convey other students in a vehicle with more capacity than a Suburban (9 seats); college-approved employees or contractors with appropriate licensure are required for all instances involving 10 or more vehicle occupants.
College vehicles are for college business. Any non-incidental other use is discouraged and must be approved in advance. College vehicles are not for use by spouses or children of approved drivers. Employees must be aware of the following policies:
- Use of Personal Vehicles for College Business
- Vehicle Damage on Campus
- College Policy on Cellphones while Driving
Students may use college vehicles only for authorized purposes as specified below.
Official College-Related Business (not limited to these categories and examples)
- In connection with academic related activities:
- off-campus internship
- faculty and/or staff supervised course-related trips
- departmental errands
- transporting college guests to and from the airport, hotels, etc
- In connection with extracurricular activities:
- official residence hall events
- official Westmont Activities Commission events
- official campus ministry or club event
Limited Personal Use (The college provides and pays for the cost of student use of college vehicles for the following limited personal purposes.)
- Necessary health care or counseling appointments for services the Westmont Health Center is unable to provide
- Church attendance
- Off-campus ROTC commitments
- Limited, local personal use for on-campus students enrolled in Mayterm
- use of this type is at the discretion of the Mayterm resident director, limited to a 25- mile radius, and restricted to a 4-hour time period.
- Users of their own or borrowed personal vehicles while on college business:
- should be aware of the applicable limits of coverage under the college's insurance policy;
- must ensure that the vehicle is covered by at least the basic IRS-approved limits known as 100/300 coverage.
- Because these factors may influence safety assessments pertaining to future driving, drivers must advise the college (employees to Transportation Services; students to Institutional Resilience) if:
- their license is suspended, revoked or restricted by the issuing authority;
- they have been cited for speeding, driving under the influence;
- they have been involved in a collision unrelated to college business which caused personal injury, or property damage exceeding $1000.
- Drivers must report any collisions involving a vehicle used for college purposes (college vehicles to Transportation Services; personal vehicles to Institutional Resilience).
- Use the Accident Reporting Form found in the glovebox of college vehicles, or
- Use the form found at this link.
- Fines, penalties, citations for moving or parking violations are the personal responsibility of the driver.
- Driver should inspect vehicle before use.
- Employees should not typically take an active role in seating arrangements when students choose to use their personal vehicles for college-related driving.
- Drive in a safe, prudent and lawful manner at all times.
- Abide by all federal, state and local motor vehicle regulations.
- Seat belt use is mandatory.
- Driver conversation by cell phone is not permitted for students; and is discouraged for employees (but limited to hands-free operation in compliance with California law). More on this.
- Texting, and other use of electronic devices in a manner that distracts the driver, is not permitted. See video underscoring the importance of this expectation.
- Driving while under the influence of any substance that may impair judgment is prohibited (includes but not limited to alcohol or other prescription or non-prescription drugs that may influence driving ability).
- Non-permitted uses or activities with college vehicles or while on college business:
- Radar detectors
- Towing of other vehicles
- Driver training
All collisions involving vehicles being used for college business, whether owned by the college, by employees, or by third parties, must be reported immediately to the Office of Institutional Resilience. Send the completed Auto Accident Form via interoffice to Institutional Resilience, or preferably scan and emai itl to the Institutional Resilience Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use of Personal Vehicles for College Business
This information applies to all who may use their personal vehicles for college business (broadly defined)--whether student, employee, volunteer or otherwise. This can include errands, field trips, organized social activities, and so on.
There are significant limits to the extent to which Westmont's insurance may be involved if you have a collision while driving on college business. The Additional Background section below explains these limitations. If you have questions not answered there, please contact Troy Harris (x6633 or email).
In order to qualify for mileage rate reimbursement, Westmont requires that you maintain current personal auto insurance based upon the standard used by the IRS in calculating the rate:
- liability limits customarily referred to as 100/300
- $50,000 property limit; and
- $500 deductible for comprehensive and collision
Note: If you drive rental cars on college business, always decline the coverage offered by the rental company.
- If using the National/Enterprise contract, the coverage is already included (for business use).
- If using other providers, please obtain a college insurance card from the office of the VP for Finance prior to renting the vehicle.
_ _ _ _ _
State law dictates that the registered owner of a vehicle has primary liability for any event involving that vehicle, and that the vehicle be insured for liability. Also under state law, the insurance for the owner of the vehicle must respond first in the event of an accident. If the operator is other than the owner, then the operator's insurance would respond second.
Westmont's auto policy would respond third in sequence on what's called an excess basis as a "non-owned automobile" when the vehicle is used on Westmont business. That is, only liability losses which EXCEED those of the insurance carried by the owner/operator would be covered by Westmont's insurance, up to our total limits, which are typical for our size of institution.
As is customary for institutions whose employees use personal vehicles on company business, and as a prudent measure to guard the college's assets, Westmont requires all faculty and staff using their cars on official business to carry standard automobile insurance, with the IRS-based typical limits referenced above.
IMPORTANT: Westmont's automobile insurance applies to: a) bodily injury and property damage to "third parties" (ie, not to the college as "first party" nor to employees as "second party"); and b) property damage to college-owned vehicles.
Westmont has NO COVERAGE for your vehicle even if used on college business, EXCEPT that Westmont will cover the deductible for your property loss, up to $1,000* and IF you had the above-specified insurance coverage in place at the time of an accident while driving your personal vehicle on college business. If you have sub-standard personal coverage, you will not qualify for any Westmont participation in your loss. (In any event, we do not share the cost of any future premium increases that may result from an accident.)
Your circumstance is the same as if your car were in an accident on personal time. If it were caused by another driver, the other driver's policy should cover the cost of fixing or replacing your car. If s/he had no [or inadequate] insurance, your own policy would instead cover the damage to your car. Regardless of fault, though, you would be personally responsible for any applicable deductible and also for any property loss not covered by the other driver's [or your own] policy.
It is unfortunate that the insurance marketplace does not offer coverage that Westmont could purchase designed to address your property loss in the event of an accident on college business. If you prefer not to carry the personal auto insurance or accept the risks associated with driving your own car on college business, you may arrange for use of a college fleet vehicle instead.
Please drive safely, whether on college business or not!
* - Despite the IRS standard of $500 deductible, Westmont will cover up to $1,000 in order to match the deductible on our own commercial auto policy. In other words, we're willing to cover up to that much "out of pocket" on our own vehicles, so we would have that much at stake anyway and it's thus available to employees.
Vehicle Damage on Campus
If Westmont has liability for damages occurring on campus to vehicles not owned by Westmont, we will see that appropriate restitution is made. If Westmont is not liable, then we will gladly cooperate in providing access to information we possess that is necessary to assist vehicle owners in seeking a way to recover their damages.
The key factor in our response, then, is liability. Under the law, liability arises when a party has been negligent. Negligence refers to a failed duty. So the hinge is whether we had a duty with respect to a given loss. Here are some examples of how that can play out. Obviously, many other circumstances could be illustrated or could occur, involving both human and natural causes.
Westmont Employee Driving Golf Cart Hits Parked Student Car
Our employees have a duty to exercise caution to prevent damage to others in the course of their work. Although the outcome could depend upon particular circumstances, it would appear in this illustration that the college would be obliged to cover the cost to repair the student's car.
Student Driving Personal Vehicle Hits Guest's Car
Since both the student and the guest are independent third parties, then--assuming for this illustration that nothing the college did or failed to do was applicable to the circumstance--resolution of this matter would be between the student and the guest. If we had happened to take photos or have other information pertinent to the matter, we would share the same information with either or both parties upon request.
Tree Limb Falls on Parked Employee Car
If Westmont had specific reason to believe that a particular tree posed a threat, and did not take appropriate and timely action to mitigate the threat, then it would appear in this illustration that we would be obliged to cover the cost to repair the employee's car.
If, however, among the many trees on campus one were to fall during a storm, then unless that particular tree had previously been identified as posing a danger we would regard this as an act of God outside of our control, and the employee would need to pursue recovery independently thru their own insurance carrier.
There exists no industry standard of care—nor would it be reasonable to expect—that every tree on campus be checked routinely as if to guarantee that no storm could cause any tree to fall. The college does have arborists inspect our trees from time to time, so in the event of damage from a falling tree or limb we will check our records as to the tree involved and be forthright in disclosing if that tree had been brought to our attention prior to the loss.
Wayward Baseball Damages Vehicle
Signs posted at parking lots near baseball field are to warn people of the possibility that damage could occur to their vehicle. Furthermore, someone parking a car within range of a foul ball is presumed to be aware of the potential hazards associated with choosing to park in proximity to an athletic activity, in this case baseball, in which errant balls are an inherent part of the game (or practice).
To illustrate the rationale, with reference to the tree limb scenario described above, parking in an area with posted signs near the baseball field is comparable in concept to moving cones or caution tape in order to park near a tree that we'd observed as hazardous and placed barriers around in order to prevent damage.
Consequently, the college will not assume responsibility for the costs associated with such damages. The loss should be reported to the vehicle owner's insurance company if they want insurance proceeds to assist with the cost of repair.
College Policy* on Cellphones while Driving
As of July 1, 2008 it is illegal in California to use a cell phone while driving unless a hands free set is used. Of course, the college always expects its employees to abide by the law. But furthermore, we want to encourage responsible decision making about the use of cell phones while driving.
Even if you have a hands free device for your cell phone, please consider the following before taking or making call while driving:
- Do I need to take or make this call?
- If so, would it be unsafe to take or make the call in light of current weather, traffic and other travel conditions?
- Can I return or make the call once I pull over, or once travel conditions are better?
Your safety is important to us, as is the safety of those around you. Whether or not you are using a cell phone for college business while driving, please put safety first!
For those who would like additional information about the new state law or about safe use of cell phones while driving, a number of web-site resources are available for you at this link.
* - Per memo from Executive Team on 6/9/8.
Dangers of Texting while Driving
Please watch this video for input on why it's good to pull over if you must communicate en route.
Westmont Student DRIVER Program
Driver Record Information Verified to Evaluate Risk
Go to your Profile page and put in your license information IF ...
you might ever drive
|even once (Note: you only need to complete this form once in your entire time as a Westmont student.)|
|or other registered motor vehicle belonging to you, a friend or family member, the college, a workplace, or otherwise|
on "college business"
|broadly defined, and including field trips; off-campus class or ministry; Winter Formal; Spring Sing errands; RA-planned social activities; internships; employment for a college department; and on and on|
What happens after that ...
|The college's will have an independent agency check your motor vehicle record initially and then early each semester, and alert us if they observe anything of concern.|
Marked if OK
|If nothing of concern is found, your listing in the Student Directory and in each Class Roster will show "DMV" in green letters. That will remain so for your entire college career unless at some future point the independent agency reports a downgrade of your driving history.|
If you have questions ...
Scroll down to review the Asked & Answered Questions below
By submitting my driver license information I agree to these things:
- Westmont can review my driving record.
- If I am permitted to drive, an indicator will appear on the student directory and in the faculty class roster.
- I have a valid license to drive, with no restrictions that preclude safe and legal operation of a motor vehicle.
- If my driver license is suspended or otherwise restricted by the issuing authority, I will so advise Westmont's risk manager.
- I will drive in a safe, prudent and lawful manner at all times.
- If I use my own vehicle, it will be insured to at least the minimum requirements, which are listed below in Asked and Answered Questions
My assent here applies to all situations in which I may be construed as operating a vehicle on college business.
|Simply submitting your information and clicking to accept the Driving Agreement does not constitute permission to drive. Permission has only been granted if the green DMV indicator appears on your record.|
Employees should use the Rental Vehicle Program. Contact Procurement for guidance on that.
If you rent a vehicle for business purposes, and then use it instead or in addition for personal purposes, please be aware that the college's insurance program is not designed for personal use, and you could find your personal insurance and/or your personal assets at stake in case of a collision.