15 Passenger Van Policy
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an advisory stating that 15 passenger vans have a high "rollover" risk when fully loaded. Studies have shown that they are three (3) times more likely to rollover when carrying ten (10) or more passengers, or with baggage being stored above seat level; both of which cause the vehicle's center of gravity to be raised, thereby increasing the risk of rollover. It has been advised that only experienced drivers be allowed to operate these full sized vans, especially in other than ideal circumstances.
For those using 15-passenger vans, please abide by the following policy and procedures:
Van Occupancy Standards:
- No more than 8 individuals, including the driver, can ride in a van.
- No baggage can be stored above seat level.
Driver Qualifications and Standards:
- Driver must currently possess a state issued or equivalent license.
- Drivers must be over the age of 25.
- All drivers must complete the College Van Driver Safety Program.
- All Drivers must complete the Driver History Information Form.
Drivers whose history includes the following violations will not be permitted to drive College leased or rented vans:
- Conviction of driving under the influence/while intoxicated (DUI/DWI), with the last three years.
- Conviction of other serious offenses including but not limited to homicide by motor vehicle, hit and run, careless/reckless driving, leaving the scene of an speed limit), use of vehicle in drug use/possession/trafficking, driving under suspension, fleeing a police officer, and vehicle theft.
- Conviction of three (3) or more ordinary traffic violations, or no more than two (2) chargeable accidents, or more than two (2) violations in the past 12 month period. Ordinary violations (to include but not limited to): failure to obey traffic control devices, speeding (under 25 MPH over posted limit), improper passing, improper lane change, following too closely, failure to signal, improper backing, failure to use seatbelts.
- Suspension or revocation of driver's license within the last three years.
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are legally two types of motor vehicle accidents, Reportable and Non-Reportable.
A Reportable accident involves physical injury to a person, and/or damage to property (in the case of damage to a vehicle-the vehicle must be damaged to such a degree that it can not be driven safely from the scene). Motor laws of the Commonwealth require that all parties remain at the scene and that the local police be notified immediately; failure to do so will result in criminal charges being filed against the driver. An accident report form (located in the van with registration and insurance form) should also be completed.
A Non-Reportable accident is just the opposite, involving no injuries or serious damage to property (a vehicle can be driven from the scene safely). According to the laws of Pennsylvania, the police need only to be notified if the damage to property has occurred without the owner's knowledge (owner/operator not present).
All drivers should note that Lycoming College requires that in any accident, no matter how limited, the driver must contact the local police (or other law enforcement agency covering the area). This policy has been put in place so that there is no confusion about reporting requirements for the driver, and to ensure that the College and its insurer will be provided with all necessary information. In the event of a non-reportable accident where the local police cannot come to the scene due to workload or other constraints, the driver is to complete an Accident Report form (located in the vehicle with the registration and insurance paperwork). This must then be submitted to the Director of Human Resources upon return to campus.
Alcohol consumption is prohibited by anyone who will be driving a College van (rented or leased). The transportation of alcohol in a College van (rented or leased) is also prohibited.
The use of cellular (or similar) telephones by the driver of a College van, while the van is in motion, is strictly prohibited due to numerous local, county and state ordinances/laws, as well as several studies that have shown that such use significantly increase the risk of accidents. While the College allows drivers to maintain/possess a "cell phone" as a means of convenience and added safety, drivers are required to pull off the roadway and park to use these devices.
Long Distance/Overnight Trips:
In instances where students are involved in a class-related overnight outing or athletic event, a College staff member must drive/ride in the van. Multiple vans should have a staff member in each vehicle whenever possible. In all cases, and especially if there are more vans than staff members, the vans should be in a close proximity to the staff member. Under no circumstances should students be taking rented, leased, or owned vans on side trips without a staff member being present. Once arriving at the destination all keys should be kept by a staff member. Under no circumstances should students be in possession of keys overnight.
In the event that the driver of a College van commits a parking violation (receives a parking ticket), it is the responsibility of the driver to pay any and all parking fines and fees. The driver must also notify the Department of Public Safety of this violation upon return to campus; failure to promptly report such a violation will result in sanctions being assessed.
Drivers of any campus van are required to wear their seatbelt and require others to do so in accordance with state laws.
All traffic and/or moving violations ("tickets") must be reported to the Department of Public Safety upon return to campus. It is the responsibility of the driver to pay any and all traffic violations and fees.
This information, including circumstances, location, violations and citation information should be as specific as possible, and be directed to Director of Public Safety for review. Failure to report traffic/moving violations will result in the immediate loss of driving privileges and other sanctions.
Turn off vehicle, remove keys, and lock all doors of the van when left unattended.
Rented or Leased Vans:
When renting or leasing a van, it is not necessary to obtain additional insurance. The College policy will cover this. Prior to leaving for your trip, you should obtain an insurance identification card from the Director of Human Resources. If she is not available, you can obtain an insurance ID card from the Department of Public Safety.
All rented or leased vans should be inspected prior to leaving the lot. Immediately report any dents, dings, tears, etc. to the leasor. Also inspect the van upon return to the rental agency. Ensure an agency employee also inspects the van with you. If that's not possible, note for yourself the condition of the van inside and out.
Speed Detection Devices:
The use of radar detectors, or other forms of speed enforcement detection equipment is prohibited.