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Motor Vehicle Policy

Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

Purpose

(1) This Policy outlines the provision of University motor vehicles for business and private use.

(2) This Policy supports the University's vehicle use in a flexible, cost-effective, sustainable, and safe manner and complies with legislative requirements.

Scope

(3) This Policy applies to all those authorised to drive University motor vehicles, including:

  1. University employees, adjuncts, visiting and conjoint appointees;
  2. Council member and other University committee members;
  3. Students with Head of Work Unit approval; and
  4. Volunteers or representatives who contribute to or act on behalf of the University.
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Section 2 - Content and Implementation

(4) All University vehicles are to be operated and maintained in accordance with this Policy and associated Procedures and the:

  1. Travel Policy;
  2. Driving Safety Policy;
  3. Drug and Alcohol Policy;
  4. Work Health Safety Policy
  5. Code of Conduct; and 
  6. Procurement Policy. 
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Section 3 - Definitions 

(5) For the purposes of this policy;

  1. University Travel means travel required for University purposes and does not include travel to and from work.
  2. Driver refers to those authorised to drive a University Vehicle.
  3. Work Unit is the responsible faculty or work unit associated with the driver of the motor vehicle.
  4. University Vehicles refer to all types of vehicles purchased and/or provided by the University, including Pool Vehicles, Operational Vehicles, and Salary Packaged Vehicles.
  5. Pool Vehicle refers to vehicles purchased as part of the dedicated University fleet for the sole purposes of supporting essential University Travel. These Pool Vehicles can be booked by authorised drivers via online booking request forms.
  6. Operational Vehicle are allocated to a specific Work Unit for University Travel only approved by the Vice President (Operations)
  7. Salary Packaged Vehicle means a vehicle provided to a staff member as part of a salary package.
     
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Section 4 - Procedures 

Part A -  Procurement and Disposal of Vehicles 

(6) All University Vehicles are to be purchased in accordance with the University's Procurement Policy and Procurement Procedures

(7) Property Services are responsible for the purchasing and disposing of University Vehicles.

(8) University Vehicles are replaced according to the schedule in place at the time and is based on maximising the trade-in value.

(9) The make and models of vehicles purchased is reviewed periodically by the University and is restricted to those which are appropriate for, and align with, the Southern Cross University brand and have optimal resale value, warranty period, maintenance and running costs and appearance.

Part B -  General Conditions of Use

(10) The following conditions of use apply to all University Vehicles:

  1. Drivers must be appropriately licensed for the particular vehicle class;
  2. Smoking and vaping is not permitted in any University Vehicle (either owned or rented);
  3. Drivers must complete the University Driver Safety Induction before using a vehicle;
  4. 'L' plate drivers are not permitted to drive University Vehicles, including salary-packaged vehicles;
  5. Driving of buses, whether hired or otherwise, is limited to drivers over 21 years;
  6. All vehicles must be maintained and returned clean and tidy (all rubbish removed). Vehicles returned or found in a poor state will be detailed cleaned and the costs will be charged back to the Work Unit; and
  7. Traffic and parking fines incurred by a driver of a University Vehicle are the responsibility and personal cost of that driver. The University will not accept responsibility for payment of any fines or penalties incurred by drivers.

Driving – Workplace Health and Safety 

(11) Drivers have a responsibility to be familiar with and must observe University regulations, policies and procedures concerning driving and servicing vehicles and reporting accidents.

(12) Drivers should familiarise themselves with the vehicle assigned to them before commencing a journey. If a driver has any questions or concerns with a vehicle, this must be reported to Security before commencing their journey.

(13) Every University Pool Vehicle and Operational Vehicle contains a first aid kit. Details of items used from kits should be reported to Security Services soon as possible, and an incident report completed via the online reporting system Riskware

Part C -  Pool Vehicles 

(14) Pool Vehicles are managed by Property Services, available at each campus as deemed appropriate.

(15) Pool Vehicles may only be used for University Travel and are booked for use on an as-needed basis.

(16) Work units are charged for Pool Vehicle use as per the published rates. Hire rates are approved by the Vice President (Operations) and are subject to change.

(17) Pool Vehicles must be collected and returned to the same campus location.

(18) Pool Vehicles must be returned with a full tank of petrol, drivers must refuel using the provided fuel cards in the vehicle.

(19) Pool Vehicle Booking Forms will not be processed, and a vehicle will not be released, unless the driver provides both a Driver Safety Induction certificate of completion and a valid driver’s license. 

(20) The driver of the vehicle is responsible for completing and submitting the Pool Vehicle Booking Request Form.

(21) Pool Vehicle bookings must be canceled at least 12 hours before the scheduled collection time or the Work Unit will incur the costs.

(22) For Pool Vehicles fitted with a log book, drivers are required to complete a log book entry.

(23) Animals, including pets, are not allowed to travel in Pool Vehicles.

Pool Vehicle Unavailability – Hire Cars

(24) In the event a Pool Vehicle is unavailable, employees may use a hire car. Hire cars are only to be used when access to a pool vehicle or re-arrangement of travel plans is not possible. In these circumstances, the full costs of the hire car will be charged to the relevant Work Unit.

Part D -  Operational Vehicles 

(25) All operating costs including fuel, repairs and maintenance are the responsibility of the Work Unit assigned the Operational Vehicle.

(26) Typically, vehicles will be white in colour and fitted with appropriate signage and branding.

(27) Routine inspections of Operational Vehicles must be conducted as part of the University’s scheduled Work Health and Safety Inspection schedule.

(28) All Operational Vehicles require a Log Book to be kept in the vehicle and maintained. Property Services may request copies of log book entries at any stage.

(29) The Work Unit is responsible for ensuring vehicle keys are kept secured at all times and a record of the employees who have the keys, including days and times, is maintained. 

Part E -  Salary Packaged Vehicles 

(30) Salary Packaged Vehicles are identified as part of an employee's salary package. The employee will contribute to the running costs of the vehicle through a fortnightly payment of an annual contribution rate which is determined by the Vice-Chancellor from time to time. These vehicles are subject to FBT due to employee's private use of the vehicle.

(31) In exceptional circumstances, and following approval by the Vice Chancellor, Salary Packaged Vehicles purchased in excess of the category limit are subject to an additional contribution by the employee based on the purchase cost difference.

(32) Where an employee with a Salary Packaged Vehicle takes leave in excess of six months, the employee may be required to leave the vehicle at the University for alternative use. In these circumstances, the employee’s annual contribution will be temporarily halted for the relevant period.

(33) Regular servicing and maintenance of University Vehicles is a mandatory requirement of Salary Packaged Vehicles. Where it is found that servicing has not occurred in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations, the vehicle may be removed from the employee.

(34) When an employee’s vehicle is scheduled for disposal, the employee is responsible for ensuring the vehicle has been thoroughly cleaned (externally and internally) before being returned and all vehicle assets, including fuel cards, log books and E-tags remain in the vehicle. If the vehicle is returned in such a state that detail cleaning is required before sale, the employee will be responsible for the cost.

(35) Where a new employee commences and a Salary Packaged Vehicle is already allocated, the employee must be assigned this vehicle until the agreed disposal time, unless otherwise approved by the Vice Chancellor.

(36) Where an employee is assigned a Salary Packaged Vehicle, Pool Vehicle bookings are only permitted if the assigned vehicle is not available for use for reasons including maintenance or repairs.

Part F -  Fuel Cards and E-Tags

(37) Fuel cards and E-tolls are provided for all University Vehicles and must always remain within the vehicle. The only cost that can be charged to fuel cards is fuel and oil.

(38) Under no circumstances are fuel cards to be used for personal expenditure.

(39) It is a requirement that kilometre readings for University Vehicles are recorded with each fuel purchase.

(40) Loss of fuel cards or E-tolls should immediately be reported to Property Services who will arrange for cancelation and reissue of a replacement card.

(41) Vehicles should only be refueled at service stations that accept the fuel cards provided. If this is not possible, the driver must use an alternative payment method such as a corporate card. A valid tax invoice must be obtained from the place of purchase.

Part G -  Log Books 

(42) A log book entry must be completed by the driver at the commencement and completion of each journey for those vehicles fitted with log books.

(43) Log books are an important record and care should be taken to ensure they are correctly completed. Incorrect entries may result in a journey being deemed by the Taxation Office as a fringe benefit for taxation purposes. Any costs incurred by the University as a result will be the responsibility of the relevant Work Unit.

(44) Each log book entry must specify:

  1. the date and time on which the journey began and ended;
  2. the odometer reading at the start and end of the journey;
  3. the length of the journey in kilometres; and
  4. the reason for the journey, not merely the destination.

(45) Where the motor vehicle is used by a driver over more than one day, then each day's travel must be completed in the log book, including where the motor vehicle was garaged overnight.

(46) Two or more journeys on the same day in the same vehicle for work purposes can be recorded as one journey. That means that if a vehicle is used only for University purposes on multiple journeys on a particular day, only one log book entry is required for that day.

Part H -  Maintenance and Repairs 

(47) It is the responsibility of a driver to take reasonable steps to protect and safeguard a vehicle from theft or damage.

(48)  Vehicles other than Pool Vehicles are the responsibility of the Work Unit concerned.

(49) University Vehicles must be serviced and maintained in line with manufacturer-recommended schedules through authorized dealers and agents.

(50) Vehicle defects, including minor damage, must be reported immediately to Property Services and an incident report completed via the online reporting system Riskware

(51) Repairs to vehicles are not to be approved without prior consultation and the approval of Property Services.

Part I - Parking and Traffic Fines 

(52) Traffic and parking fines incurred by a driver of a University Vehicle are the responsibility and personal cost of that driver. Fines must not be charged to a corporate credit card or cost centre account.

(53) The Work Unit must identify the driver responsible for the offence. Where no driver is identified, the Work Unit will be responsible for associated costs. 

(54) Pool Vehicle offences will be the responsibility of the driver who requested and completed the Pool Vehicle Booking Form.

(55) Property Services will arrange to transfer fine notices to the relevant authority.  Drivers must provide the relevant license and personnel details, if requested, unless they identify another person who was the driver at the time of the offence.

Part J - Motor Vehicle Accidents

(56) The procedures to be followed in the event of an accident are contained inside each University Pool Vehicle, including contact details for Fleetcare.

(57) In the event of an accident, the following action is to be taken:

  1. Stop and render assistance as required, and seek any necessary medical attention. Call Emergency Services on 000, if required.
  2. Notify the police immediately in the event:
    1. of any injury to either party;
    2. of failure of the third party to stop or exchange details;
    3. the third party appears under the influence of alcohol or drugs;
    4. of damage to other property; or
    5. a tow truck is required.
  3. Do not make any admission of liability, this is a condition of the University's motor vehicle insurance policy and could prejudice any insurance claim.
  4. Exchange driver names, addresses, contact details, registration and licence numbers of vehicles involved. The name of the insurer of the other party should be obtained if possible.
  5. Advise the third party they should contact the University's insurance office for details of the University's insurer.
  6. Record the nature of the accident together with the exact location, time and condition of the road or environment.
  7. Record the names, addresses and contact numbers of as many witnesses as possible to the scene of the accident.

(58) Details of any accidents or vehicle damage must be reported to Property Services soon as possible, and an incident report completed via the online reporting system RiskWare

Emergency Roadside Service

(59) Fleetcare provides emergency roadside assistance for University Vehicles. Contact details are contained inside the vehicle glove box.

Insurance – Conditions

(60) All University Vehicles are comprehensively insured. In the event of an accident the Work Unit is responsible for the repair cost up to the insurance excess value of $5,000.00.  

(61) The insurer will deny any claim where the driver is proven to have:

  1. driven under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol;
  2. been an unlicensed driver;
  3. not exercised due care of the vehicle;
  4. caused loss, damage or liability by own criminal acts;
  5. or where the vehicle being used is in an unsafe or un-roadworthy condition.

(62) Personal property which is damaged within or stolen from a University Vehicle is not covered by insurance and the University does not accept responsibility or liability in any form whatsoever.

Part K -  Sustainability

(63) The following factors should always be considered when determining the most appropriate mode of transport for University Travel:

  1. Lowest cost to the University;
  2. Period of time for which the vehicle is required;
  3. Length of the trip; and
  4. Location or distance of travel.

(64) Alternatives to travel, such as video conferencing, must be considered prior to travel. If alternatives to a motor vehicle are not practical, drivers must consider sharing trips with other people who may be traveling to the same location at the same day or time and only book the smallest and most-efficient vehicle for the trip.