Office of the Vice President for Administrative Services Memorandum

To: Deans, Directors, Department Chairs, and Faculty
From: Vice President Arnold B. Combe
Date: March 23, 2006
Subject: Safe Use of Passenger Vans

Since 2001, the University has had special rules for the safe use of passenger vans. A
tragic accident involving faculty and students of Utah State University, along with
changes in similar rules applied by the State of Utah Department of Administrative
Services, prompted a reevaluation of the University’s rules.

The following rules were developed by an ad hoc committee with representation from
Academic Affairs, Health Sciences, Student Affairs and Services, Athletics, and
Administrative Services. They were presented to the Council of Academic Deans in
February. Please note that the rules are in addition to existing provisions of University
Policy 3-030 (Travel)and 3-215 (University Motor Vehicles).


“Large van” means any passenger van larger than a seven-passenger mini-van that is
owned by the University or is borrowed, rented or leased from the University, State Fleet
Services, commercial rental agencies or any other outside party. This includes 12 and 15
passenger vans.


1. Departments are prohibited from renting 15-passenger vans from State Fleet Services
and commercial rental agencies.

2. Departments are prohibited from a) purchasing or leasing 15-passenger vans, and b)
use of any 15-passenger vans that are personally-owned, borrowed, or donated,
effective immediately.

3. Departments are prohibited from towing trailers with 12 or 15-passenger vans.

4. All 15-passenger vans owned by the Motor Pool and departments must be eliminated
by December 31, 2006.

5. K-12 aged children may not be transported in 12 and 15 passenger vans, except for
trips within the Salt Lake Valley that do not involve travel on a freeway.

6. Each driver must have a valid driver’s license.

7. If the van is going outside the Salt Lake Valley, drivers must be at least 21 years old.
Within the Salt Lake Valley, drivers who are 18-20 years old are allowed, but only if
the trip does not involve any freeway driving.

8. Each driver must be able to indicate to the cognizant department head or principal
investigator that he/she has not within the past year:

  • Caused an accident without subsequently completing an approved driver
    training course,
  • Been convicted of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol,
  • Received a citation for reckless driving.

9. Before driving a large van, each operator shall attend an orientation at the University
Motor Pool even if the van is not rented from the U Motor Pool. The orientation is
intended to familiarize drivers with van operations, safety guidelines and risks, and
includes hands-on driving experience.

10. The maximum number of occupants, including the driver, shall be nine.

11. An operator shall not drive a large van for more than 4 continuous hours without
switching off with another trained driver. If it is not possible to switch with another
driver, a mandatory rest stop of at least one hour is required after 4 hours of driving.
No driver can drive more than 8 hours in a 24-hour period.

12. Large vans cannot be driven between 1:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m.

13. Drivers must obey applicable speed limits and slow down in adverse weather
conditions. Seat belts must be worn at all times by all occupants.
Basic rules and safety reminders must be prominently posted in University-owned
vans, including notice that:

  • Seat belts must be worn by all occupants at all times.
  • Compliance with speed limits is required.
  • Alcohol is not allowed in the vehicle. Operators must not have consumed
    alcohol within 6 hours of operating the vehicle.
  • Failure to comply with University requirements can result in a loss of rental
    privileges and/or disciplinary action, including termination.

14. If exceptional circumstances appear to warrant departure from these rules,
advance approval must be obtained from a Cabinet member (ordinarily the Cabinet
member with management responsibility for the organization seeking the exception).

Whenever an exception is granted, the Cabinet member should notify the Risk and
Insurance Management Department in writing.

For ongoing reference these rules may be found at both the University Motor Pool and
Risk and Insurance Management web sites, along with safety tips and other information
regarding rental and operation of sedans and other vehicles.

These rules are effective immediately. Because departments independently handle
van rental arrangements, responsibility for ensuring compliance with these rules
necessarily rests with department heads and principal investigators. If a faculty or staff
adviser is not present in the van, the cognizant department head or principal investigator
should designate the driver or another responsible person to monitor and enforce the
rules. We recognize this will require extra time and effort, but believe the added safety is
well worth it.

The Motor Pool has been given the responsibility and authority to monitor
compliance with these rules. Questions regarding this may be directed to David Rees,
Motor Pool Manager at 581-8155 or Questions may also be
referred to Jerry Allred, Risk and Insurance Manager at 581-5590 or