687  Motor Pool Services

Approved by President
Effective Date: April 17, 2019
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Facilities Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Facilities Services

I.  Purpose

This Motor Pool policy applies to all vehicles used in official Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) business, whether they are University-owned vehicles (Motor Pool  vehicles, department vehicles, or the University President’s vehicle), third-party leased/rented vehicles, or personal vehicles.

All vehicles on official University business must be used in accordance with applicable University policies as well as state and federal laws and regulations.

II.  General

A.  MTSU maintains a Motor Pool Service from which employees engaged in official University business may request the use of a Motor Pool vehicle.

B.  The University President may elect to receive an assigned Motor Pool vehicle for his/her use or receive a motor vehicle allowance. See Policy 606 Assignment of Motor Pool Vehicle to the President for more information.

C.  All University-owned vehicles shall be marked with a University decal.

1.  The University decal will contain a minimum surface area of sixty (60) square inches.

2.  The University decal will be displayed on the passenger and driver’s door. Some vans will be marked on the side at mid-panel height, and some vehicles will have further identification such as Maintenance, Grounds, Police, etc.

3.  Vehicles assigned to the University President will not be marked with a University decal and will carry regular series license plates.

D.  It is the responsibility of all employees who use a motor vehicle on official University business to comply with all local, state, and federal traffic laws and regulations.

E.  It is the responsibility of all employees to ensure efficient and economical utilization of all University-owned vehicles.

F.  Each Motor Pool vehicle is equipped with instructions for the operator regarding vehicle breakdown/repair, fuel purchases, and accidents.

G.  Employees choosing to use personal vehicles for official University business are responsible for all related expenses. Travel expenses will be compensated in accordance with Policy 658 Travel.

III.  Types of Motor Pool Fleet Vehicles

A.  Sedans

B.  Mini vans

C.  Large vans

D.  Mini buses

E.  Raider Xpress shuttle buses are available through the Parking and Transportation Services Department.

F.  Other types of vehicles may be available. Contact Motor Pool Services for more information.

IV.  Assignment and Cost of Vehicles

A.  The assignment of Motor Pool vehicles are by vehicle type, by vehicle availability, and according to the number of people to be transported. If considerable luggage or cargo is to be carried, a vehicle with greater capacity than that indicated by the number of passengers will be assigned.

Normally, assignment is made as follows:

1.  Sedans are assigned to transport from one (1) to four (4) people.

2.  Mini vans are assigned to transport from five (5) to seven (7) people, including driver.

3.  Large vans are assigned to transport as many as twelve (12) people.

4.  Mini buses are assigned to transport as many as fifteen (15) people. Passenger vans are not considered mini buses.

B.  Special short and long-term assignments of Motor Pool vehicles may be made to a division, department, or individual when necessary for use on a regular basis.

C.  The costs of Motor Pool vehicles are listed in the Motor Pool Services’ Standard Rate Schedule.

V.  Vehicle Request and Operation

For information and instructions regarding Motor Pool vehicle request/reservation, check-out/check-in, and refueling, reference the Motor Pool Services’ Vehicle Request and Operation Procedures.

VI.  No Smoking Requirement

Per T.C.A. § 4-4-121, smoking is prohibited in all motor vehicles that are owned, leased, or operated by the State, which includes MTSU. Therefore, all vehicles that are scheduled through Motor Pool Services are designated as no smoking.

VII.  No Texting Requirement

Per T.C.A. § 55-8-199, no person while driving a motor vehicle on any public road or highway shall use a hand-held mobile telephone or a hand-held personal digital assistant to transmit or read a written message. Therefore, texting is prohibited in all vehicles on official University business.

VIII.  Luggage, Cargo, and Trailers

A.  Motor Pool Services does not supply, and departments must not use, tie down material, luggage racks, or trailers.

B.  At no time shall gasoline or other flammable liquids, in containers or small fuel driven motors, be carried in Motor Pool vehicles.

IX.  Toll and Parking Charges

Toll and parking charges incurred when using a University-owned vehicle shall be paid by the employee operating the vehicle. Receipts must be forwarded, along with a Travel Expense Claim Form, signed by all approving authorities, to Accounting Services for reimbursement in accordance with Policy 658 Travel.

X.  Authorized Operators and Passengers

A.  Only current MTSU employees with proper departmental authorization are authorized to operate a University-owned vehicle for official business. Authorization to use a University-owned vehicle shall be limited to official use within the scope of employment of the employee.

Students, graduate assistants, teaching assistants, and student assistants must be on active payroll (employee) status while operating a University-owned vehicle. Students on academic service (scholarship) programs are not part of the official payroll and therefore should not drive University-owned vehicles.

For Motor Pool vehicle reservations, a Motor Pool Vehicle Request Form is required for both in-state and out-of-state travel.

B.  All employees must have an appropriate valid driver’s license prior to being authorized to operate the assigned vehicle. All authorized driver’s information must be listed on the Motor Pool Vehicle Request Form when a vehicle is reserved from Motor Pool Services.

For all other vehicles used for official University business, it is the responsibility of the department to maintain a list of approved drivers, driver’s license numbers, and driver’s license issue and expiration dates.

C.  Passengers in University-owned or third-party leased/rented vehicles shall be limited to the following:

1.  Employees of MTSU, when within the scope of employment and on official University business,

2.  Students of MTSU engaged in University or University-sponsored activities, and

3.  Other persons, when it is necessary for them to accompany an employee on official business or as a guest of MTSU. The spouse and children of employees generally are not considered a guest of the University unless their attendance is required at the event and they are listed on approved travel authorizations. This provision does not apply to the University President.

XI.  Restrictions on Commuting

University-owned vehicles may not be used for commuting to and from home. Under no circumstances should a University-owned vehicle be at an employee’s home unless approved in advance by the President. This provision does not apply to the University President.

XII.  Accident Instructions

Should the vehicle on official University business be involved in an accident where personal injury or property damage occurs, the employee should not leave the scene of the accident and is responsible for:

A.  Calling emergency services (911) or police non-emergency services, as needed.

B.  For vehicle accidents while on official University business involving two or more parties, where one is a citizen or citizen’s vehicle, follow the Auto Accident Reporting Instructions issued by the State of Tennessee Auto Liability Program.

XIII.  Required Driver Reports

Should any of the following occur, the responsible employee operating the University-owned vehicle should report the incident, in writing, to his/her supervisor with a copy to Motor Pool Services:

A.  Parking citation

B.  Traffic, moving violation, or other tickets issued. Citations and tickets issued for unlawful acts that include monetary fines are the responsibility of the employee operating the vehicle to either pay or settle in a legal manner.

C.  Vehicle accidents while on official University business where personal injury or property damage have occurred. Return the following information to Motor Pool Services:  a copy of the police/authority report, the details of the incident provided to and/or received from the State of Tennessee Auto Accident Call Center (as required per Section XII.B.), and a copy of the written notification to supervisor.

XIV.  Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles

A.  All University-owned vehicles shall be serviced and repaired either by, or under the direction of, the Motor Pool Services lead mechanic.

B.  A Motor Pool vehicle scheduled for routine preventive maintenance will not be pulled off the auto shop work schedule for use on less than two (2) working days’ notice.

C.  Maintenance and repair costs of University-owned vehicles are the responsibility of the associated department.

D.  Where property damage occurred in an accident involving a University-owned vehicle, the associated department is responsible for the costs of the damages borne by the University. If the vehicle involved in the accident is from the Motor Pool, these costs may be charged to the department operating the vehicle at the time of the accident after a review by the Vice President for Business and Finance.

XV.  Purchasing a Vehicle

A.  When purchasing a vehicle, departments must obtain approval of the bid specifications from Motor Pool Services prior to submission of the requisition to Procurement Logistic Services.

B.  Procurement Logistic Services shall consult with Motor Pool Services on any deviation from specification and/or alternatives prior to issuing a purchase order.

XVI.  Misuse of Vehicles

A.  Employees who misuse University-owned vehicles will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, depending upon the magnitude of the misuse and the frequency with which it has occurred. Misuse includes, but is not limited to, any of the following:

1.  Violations of traffic laws including exceeding posted speed limits, reckless driving, and illegal parking;

2.  Careless operation that results in damage to the vehicle or injury to persons or property;

3.  Use for personal business or unauthorized commuting purposes;

4.  Use of radar detection devices;

5.  Use contrary to the provisions of this policy;

6.  Failure to comply with instructions regarding auto accidents including notification of State of Tennessee Auto Accident Call Center; or

7.  Failure to provide required driver reports per Section XIII.

B.  Where vehicle and/or property damage occurred in an accident involving misuse of a Motor Pool vehicle, all repairs costs from the accident borne by the University may be charged to the department that misused the vehicle after a review by the Vice President of Business and Finance.

C.  Employee disciplinary action for misuse of vehicles shall be recommended and approved through the employee’s chain of command to the President of the University. Additionally, the employee may be required to reimburse the University for all costs and damages caused by misuse.

XVII.  Notice of Liability

Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) is part of the State of Tennessee, which is self-insured. Therefore, in case of accidents involving employees of MTSU operating MTSU vehicles, claims against MTSU for personal injury and/or property damage resulting from the negligence of MTSU employees in performing their work duties must be made through the State of Tennessee, Division of Claims Administration. For more information, see Notice of Liability – Claims against Middle Tennessee State University.

This information shall be posted at the site where Motor Pool vehicles are reserved. Each University-owned vehicle will be equipped with the information for the benefit of the drivers.

XVIII.  Exceptions

Any exception to this policy must be approved in writing by the President.

Forms: 
Travel Expenses Claim
Auto Accident Reporting Instructions
Vehicle Request and Operation Procedures
Rate Schedule
Motor Pool Vehicle Request Form
Notice of Liability – Claims against Middle Tennessee State University

Revisions: June 5, 2017 (original); April 17, 2019.

Last Reviewed: April 2019.

References: Policies 606 Assignment of Motor Pool Vehicle to the President and 658 Travel; T.C.A. §§ 4-4-121; 55-8-199.