University Automobile Use Policy

Introduction and Statement of Policy

Each time a City University of New York (hereafter referred to as “CUNY” or “University”) vehicle is operated in an inappropriate and unsafe manner, it places the University, the vehicle operator, any passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk. Proper use of any University vehicle will protect CUNY and the vehicle operator from potential public liability and negligence lawsuits in the event of an accident.

The University will attempt to ensure that all drivers are instructed in the safe and proper use of the University vehicles and that all vehicles are properly maintained. Our goal is to reduce the risk of and/or eliminate all vehicle accidents involving University vehicles.

This manual contains the information you will need to safely operate and properly maintain any University vehicle. This manual also applies when renting vehicles or using your personal vehicle for University business.

Please read this manual carefully and keep it handy for future reference.

Vehicle Safety Program

Minimum Requirements for Operating a CUNY Vehicle

  1. All potential drivers of University owned or leased vehicles must satisfy all of the criteria listed below:
    1. Drivers must possess a legal current drivers license, valid in the State of New York, a copy of which must be provided to the Campus Fleet Safety Manager.
    2. Any and all drivers must be University employees or Research Foundation employees conducting University business;
    3. Drivers must be of driving age and preferably, but not necessarily, licensed 4 or more years;
    4. Must have a good driver record as defined by the Annual Motor Vehicle Records Review [see Section II (B) below and the Evaluation Form on page 9]
    5. Employees who are required to attend a Defensive Drivers course will be allowed to continue to drive until successful completion of the course, except for violations as noted in (ii) below.
  2. ANY driving violations involving a conviction for intoxication and/or use or possession of any controlled substance, reckless driving, license suspension or failure to report an accident are unacceptable and may lead to revocation of driving privileges by the University.
  3. It is each driver’s responsibility to immediately report all restricted licenses and/or suspended licenses to your Campus Fleet Safety Manager. Failure to report the existence of a restricted or suspended license may lead to revocation of driving privileges.

Motor Vehicle Records (MVR's) Review

The University or its agents will review all vehicle operator’s Motor Vehicle Records to evaluate their driving history. The University or its Agent will complete the attached Driver Evaluation Form that will be used (with scores assigned) to determine driver risk, as shown. Drivers, who exceed a total score of 7 or higher, may be required to attend and successfully complete a University-approved Defensive Driving Course within 3 months of the evaluation [see section II (D) below]. Records will be maintained in a confidential manner, to the extent possible.

Safety Check and Maintenance Schedules

Drivers are responsible for routine checks of the vehicle they are assigned or about to use. This includes but is not limited to:

  1. Visual inspection of tire wear and inflation;
  2. Inspection to insure all lights and horn are operational;
  3. Inspection to insure brakes operate in a normal fashion; and
  4. Inspection to insure gas, oil and other fluid levels are adequate.

No driver should perform work, other than safety and fluid checks listed above, to vehicles themselves. Each driver is responsible for notifying management in the event a vehicle is not operating properly, requires repairs and/or there is a reason to believe the vehicle is not safe to drive.

Defensive Driving Course

All drivers may be required to attend a National Safety Council Defensive Driver Course if they receive a score of 7 or higher on the Driver Evaluation Form. The Defensive Driver Course will be provided by the University at no cost to the employee and can be taken during the employees regular work schedule. Completion of the course will result in an “acceptable rating” for purposes of the University Evaluation Form.

License Suspension/Revocation - Due Process Rights

In the event of a suspension or revocation of the drivers license of an employee, who is required to drive as part of his/her duties and responsibilities, the college may proceed to file disciplinary charges subject to the employee’s due process rights to representation and a hearing in accordance with the disciplinary procedures of CUNY’s Blue and White Collar Unit Agreements.

The CUNY Automobile Use Policy does not diminish an employee's collective bargaining rights or rights under Section 75 of the New York State Civil Service Law, as may be applicable.

University-Owned or Leased Assigned, Pool and Multi-Passenger Vehicles

Assigned Vehicle Use Policy

  1. Passenger automobiles assigned for use by College and University Officers shall only be used for College and University purposes.
  2. Only University or Research Foundation employees may drive the vehicle.
  3. The vehicle may be used by the Officers to whom it is assigned for transportation between the University or College and the Officer’s place of residence.
  4. The vehicle may be used by the Officer to whom it is assigned, for personal business, only if such business is conducted incidental to other authorized purposes.

Pool Vehicles

  1. Access to Pool Vehicles shall be restricted to drivers authorized by the University.
  2. Keys to Pool vehicles shall be kept in a secure location.
  3. The Fleet Safety Manager shall maintain a Pool Vehicle Use Log that will contain: Drivers Name, vehicle license plate number, date and time vehicle taken, date and time date of return, etc.
  4. Drivers must sign the Pool Vehicle Use log prior to removing any Pool Vehicle from its space.
  5. Pool Vehicles shall only be used to conduct official University business.

Multi-passengers Vans/Buses

  1. All occupants in multi-passenger vans must wear seatbelts.
  2. Drivers must be properly licensed to operate a multi-passenger van/bus as required by the State of New York.
  3. Van operators must participate in a National Safety Council approved training course for van drivers. A record of successful completion must be kept on file at the campus. Current courses available from the National Safety Council ( are:
    • Coaching the School Bus Driver™ - Coaching program addresses the needs and challenges of school bus drivers.
    • Coaching the Van Driver II™ - Coaching program addresses the needs and challenges of van drivers.
  4. The Fleet Safety Manager shall maintain a Van/Bus Vehicle Use Log that will contain: Drivers Name, vehicle license plate number, date and time vehicle taken, date and time date of return, etc.
  5. Drivers must sign the Van/Bus Vehicle Use log prior to removing any van/bus from its space.
  6. Vans/Buses shall only be used to conduct official University business.

In Case of an Accident

Immediately at the Scene

If you are involved in an accident, your first duty as a driver is to:

  1. Immediately call 911 for help;
  2. Protect the scene so that further damage and/or injuries do not occur;
  3. If possible, give first aid and assistance to anyone who has been injured.

Vehicle Accident Reporting

A Vehicle Accident Reporting Kit is provided for every University vehicle. A sample of the items contained in the Accident Reporting Kit is attached to this manual in Appendix A. This kit must be kept in your vehicle’s glove compartment at all times. Instructions for completing the forms are included in the kit. If you need a replacement kit please contact the Fleet Safety Manager or Hometown Insurance Agency at 631-589-0100.

Any driver involved in an accident must:

  1. Render aid as described above, if possible;
  2. Get names, addresses and telephone numbers of any witnesses. If witnesses refuse to give their contact information, copy down their vehicle license plate number, if possible;
  3. Draw a rough diagram of the scene of the accident. If possible, take photos;
  4. When police arrive, request a formal police report. Get name, precinct and badge number of officer;
  5. Unless your vehicle creates a hazard, do not move the vehicle until the police department, fire department and/or other emergency responders arrive;
  6. Do not give statements or sign anything other than those absolutely necessary for the police report;
  7. NEVER admit responsibility or agree to pay for anything;
  8. NEVER argue about who is responsible for the accident. BE COURTEOUS!;
  9. You must report all accidents and/or property damage within 24 hours, and personal injury/deaths or major accidents immediately as instructed in the Accident Reporting Kit.

Mobile Phone Usage

Many localities and municipalities have enacted regulations governing the usage of mobile phones while operating an automobile. In New York State, it is illegal to operate a mobile phone without using a hands free device, nevertheless, it is expected that all drivers of University vehicles obey the law and comply with applicable regulations.

Drivers must adhere to the following safety guidelines:

  1. Make driving your priority— you may be endangering yourself and others if you are using a mobile phone while driving.
  2. Choose a phone with hands-free capabilities, but understand that while risk is diminished, it is not eliminated.
  3. Pull to the side and put the vehicle in PARK to place your mobile phone call(s) or use a hands free mobile phone headset.
  4. If you receive calls while driving, use a hands free headset and keep conversations as brief as possible. Reserve discussions that require complex thought or note-taking for your non-driving time.
  5. Actively compensate for the potential distraction created by mobile phone use. Move to a slower travel lane, increase your following distance, and be alert to current conditions and be prepared for the unexpected.
  6. Terminate a call immediately if the traffic situation requires.
  7. Keep mobile phones as near as possible to your line of vision while dialing so that your eyes are diverted from the road for the least amount of time.
  8. Use the memory-dialing features to program emergency numbers and frequently called numbers into your phone.
  9. Practice using your mobile phone keypad and memorize the number placement before attempting to use it while driving.
  10. TURN OFF your mobile phone if you need to jump start your vehicle, while refueling and/or in accordance with “Blasting Operations” warning signs.

Seat Belts Save Lives

All University vehicles are equipped with seat belts, as required by law. Drivers and all passengers of University vehicles are required to use available seat belts at all times while the vehicle is in motion including passengers in the rear seat(s).

Use of Radar Detectors

The University prohibits the installation, possession, and/or use of radar detectors in University vehicles.

Use of Personal Vehicles on CUNY Business

Employees who use their personal vehicles for University business must maintain the minimum statutory automobile liability limits as required by the State in which the vehicle is registered.

Certificates of insurance verifying these minimum limits may be requested and must be provided upon request.

Last modified: Oct 13, 2011