Purdue rolls out policy to promote safe driving
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – After two years of study and input from across all campuses, Purdue University on Thursday (Feb. 4) rolled out a new policy to promote safe driving and ensure that anyone driving for university business has an acceptable driving record.
The change is part of Purdue's ongoing risk management review and was prompted by an increase in insurance claims and severe losses, said comptroller John Shipley. The policy applies system-wide to faculty, staff, students and volunteers whether driving a university-owned, rental or personal vehicle on university business. There will be no costs to individuals.
"The goal was to create a policy that will improve safety and help reduce costs," Shipley said. "Many universities already have a program like this in place."
The university's Risk Management area will request a motor vehicle report for anyone driving a university vehicle falling into one of these categories:
* Employees who drive a university vehicle five times or more times a week on university business.
* Employees whose job descriptions require that they have a driver's license.
* Undergraduate or graduate students who drive for student organizations or Purdue offices.
* All volunteers.
Those employees driving for Purdue who do not fall in these categories must sign statements that their driving record is acceptable, as defined by Risk Management.
Risk Management will handle the paperwork for everyone and absorb the costs for certifying employees and graduate students through the Indiana Department of Motor Vehicles. Sponsoring areas or student organizations will be responsible for paying the fee, expected to cost about $11, for certifying students or volunteers, while Risk Management will handle the processing.
Employees who have records showing any of the following citations in the past three years will be considered unacceptable risks:
* Alcohol- or drug-related driving offenses.
* Refusal to submit to a Breathalyzer test.
* Reckless driving.
* Leaving the scene of an accident.
* Any felony committed with a vehicle.
* Three or more at-fault accidents.
* Four or more moving violations.
Drivers who fall in the "unacceptable" category will lose their privilege to operate a vehicle on university business until their record becomes "acceptable." Purdue's Human Resources staff will work with departments with "unacceptable" drivers to determine if alternate jobs or job descriptions are appropriate.
Students and volunteers will be graded similarly to employees but will be allowed one fewer moving violation or at-fault accident.
Employees who have records showing three moving violations or two at-fault accidents in the past three years will be placed in a "conditional" status. They may be allowed to drive on a monitored basis and may be required to take part in a drivers' training assigned by Risk Management.
Other guidelines established by the policy require that Purdue drivers:
* Possess a valid U.S. or Canadian driver's license or a valid license from another country where a vehicle is being driven.
* Must be 18 years old or older and have at least one year of driving experience. (20 years old or older and have at least two years of driving experience to operate a van.)
Purdue will begin implementing the policy March 1. Individuals who violate the policy will be subject to discipline, may assume personal liability and will not be covered by university insurance in the event of an accident.
Writer: Jeanne Norberg, 765-494-2084, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: John Shipley, 765-494-7536, email@example.com
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