Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
Section 200: Workplace Safety
Revised: 04/29/2004


To provide safe and economical operation of all vehicles used for OSU purposes.


This policy applies to all vehicles used for official state business, whether owned by or loaned to OSU, and to private vehicles owned or used by the employees, students, and volunteers, if carrying passengers who are also on official state business. 

Background Information

This policy applies to all vehicles used for official state business, whether owned by or loaned to OSU, and to private vehicles owned or used by the employees, students, and volunteers, if carrying passengers who are also on official state business. 


All vehicles used for OSU business shall be used legally, courteously, and safely.  Drivers that have a valid driver license and are acting at the direction and under the control of a department, unit, or officially sanctioned program of OSU, may drive any way or for any purpose that is lawful and necessary to carry out the official business of the University.  Whenever a drivers drive otherwise, they are personally liable for all driving costs and related risks.

Supervisor Responsibility
Supervisors are responsible for being aware of, adhering to, and assuring their employees comply with all policies and regulations covering use of OSU vehicles and private vehicles on official state business.

Vehicle Usage
Oregon State University vehicles may be used only for official state business.  The use charge for the vehicle must be paid from an appropriate state account.  “Official state business” means any activity conducted in conformance with these regulations and directed and controlled by OSU to advance the lawful purposes of the University.  Any vehicle use contrary to the law or these regulations shall mean the driver is acting outside the definition of official state business and the driver shall be personally liable for any damage to the vehicle or harm to other parties or property.

Authorized Drivers
All vehicles used for official state business must be driven by a driver authorized by a Dean, Director, or Department Chair.  Regular employees, contract employees, students, and volunteer workers engaged in the performance of official state business may be authorized to drive OSU vehicles as long as they meet the driver qualifications listed below.  An “Oregon State University Drivers Authorization” form must be completed for every authorized driver and a copy sent to Transportation Services.  The form must be updated annually for students and volunteers.

Driver Qualifications

  1. Driver has a valid U.S. driver's license. International drivers' licenses are not acceptable.
  2. Driver has not been convicted of a major traffic offense in the last three years.
  3. Driver has had satisfactory driving experience with the type of vehicle being checked out.  Motor Pool Transportation Services may require performance tests for certain vehicles.

Traffic Conviction
No person convicted within the past three years of a major traffic offense shall be permitted to drive vehicles owned by or loaned to OSU for official state business, or to drive a private vehicle if carrying passengers on official state business.

Major traffic offense includes the following:

  • Reckless driving as defined in ORS 487.550.
  • Driving while under the influence of intoxicants, as defined in ORS 487.540.
  • Failure to perform the duties of a driver involved in an accident or collision, as defined in ORS 483.602(1) and (2) and 483.604.
  • Driving while license is suspended or revoked, as defined in ORS 487.560.
  • Fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer, as defined in ORS 487.555.
  • Driving after being declared to be a habitual offender, as set forth in ORS 484.740.

Passengers, unless performing official state business, may not ride in an OSU vehicle.  The employee's spouse may accompany a full-time employee as a passenger with prior approval of the employee's department chairman.

Travel in Private Vehicles
Travel for official state business in private vehicles owned or used by employees, students, and volunteers shall be authorized only in accordance with these regulations. Authorized drivers of private vehicles used for official state business are to comply with the vehicular safety, operation, and maintenance rules included herein.  Drivers authorized to operate private vehicles must be advised of their responsibility to carry liability insurance.

Student Driver Permits
Department heads or their designated alternates must complete an Oregon State University Drivers Authorization form for student drivers before the time of vehicle use.  The requester is responsible for checking to see that the student driver meets the driver qualifications listed herein.  Authorization forms are available from the Motor Pool Transportation Services department.

Vehicle Accidents
All accidents involving OSU-owned vehicles and private vehicles used for official state business must be reported to Transportation Services within 24 hours from the time of the accident.  Serious accidents should be reported immediately if possible.

Accident Review Board
Members of the Accident Review Board are appointed by the Vice President of Finance and Administration.  The board is charged with the review of each accident/incident involving OSU-owned vehicles engaged in OSU business to determine whether or not the accident/incident was preventable.  In the case of a preventable accident, the board may recommend appropriate disciplinary action to the responsible administrative office.  The board’s responsibility extends only to accidents involving OSU-owned vehicles.

Vehicle Safety
An annual safety inspection is required for all OSU-owned vehicles.  Operable seat belts are required for every person to be transported.

For passenger-carrying vehicles, the following equipment is also required:

  • Tire chains
  • Flares
  • Ice scraper
  • Flashlight
  • Service station credit cards
  • Fire extinguisher
  • First Aid kits
  • Accident report blanks
  • Instructions for handling emergencies
  • Trauma kits are available at the Motor Pool Transportation Services for use by groups traveling long distances and involving travel in remote or isolated sections of the country.
  • Vehicles that are placed on line for dispatch from Transportation Services will have been checked for fuel, oil, tire condition, items listed above as appropriate, and any other problem that may be visible to trained personnel.

Travel Conditions
Prior to the trip, drivers should evaluate the route, weather conditions and other circumstances to determine if additional safety equipment is necessary.  No OSU vehicle will be driven when weather conditions create an unacceptable risk to the health and safety of passengers.  Vehicles traveling continuously for over four hours and carrying passengers must have provisioned for a relief driver.  Rest stops are to be made every two hours where practical.  Drivers should file itineraries describing destinations and anticipated departure and return times.