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Motor Vehicle Policy

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Section 1 - Purpose and Scope

Purpose

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

(2) This Policy aims to provide a safe and reliable motor vehicle service to the University community while protecting and maintaining the University's assets.

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 Members and other University committee members;
  3. Students; 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; and
  5. Code of Conduct.

Business Travel

(5) Business travel is defined as travel exclusively for work and includes:

  1. travel between two places of employment/business;
  2. where employment requires duties to be performed in more than one place and the nature of the job makes travel essential to perform those duties;
  3. where the employee makes a business call involving substantial employment duties, on the way to or from work. In this situation the whole trip may be accepted as business; and
  4. where the employee is required to transport bulky equipment to their place of residence for essential work purposes.

(6) Travel to and from work is considered private use of a vehicle.

Private Use of University Vehicles

(7) University vehicles are provided for authorised travel in connection with approved University business, research and teaching purposes. Vehicles will not be used for private use unless the vehicle is part of a salary package or employment contract.

Note that for Fringe Benefit Tax (FBT) purposes, private use includes the garaging of the vehicle at the employee's place of residence.

(8) Unauthorised use of vehicles will be referred to the relevant Executive member for action.

Business Use of Private Vehicles

(9) Employees travelling on approved University business should familiarise themselves with the Travel Policy.

Categories of University Motor Vehicles

(10) The range of motor vehicles available for eligible senior managers is reviewed periodically by the University and is restricted to makes and models 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.

(11) Vehicles will be replaced from time to time at a frequency to be determined by the Director, Property Services, with consideration of the resale value and maintenance costs. 

(12) Special Use Vehicles, as authorised by the Vice President (Operations), may be purchased and allocated for specific duties. Special Use Vehicles are not normally available for private use by employees.

(13)  University vehicles will normally be fitted with a list of standard inclusions that maximise safety and resale value. Standard inclusions are:

  1. ABS braking and dual air bags;
  2. air-conditioning;
  3. headlight and bonnet protectors;
  4. mudflaps;
  5. floor mats - carpet; and
  6. cargo mats barriers in station wagons.

(14) Optional extras over and above standard inclusions for salary packaged vehicles require approval of the Director, Property Services. Optional extras incur a surcharge of 50% per item payable by the employee concerned. Optional extras may include the following:

  1. tow bars;
  2. window tinting;
  3. rear spoiler (other than standard); and
  4. leather seats.

Salary Packaged Vehicles

(15) 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.

(16) 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.

(17)  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.

(18) Regular servicing 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.

Purchase and Disposal of Vehicles

(19) All University vehicles are to be purchased in accordance with the University's Procurement Policy and Procedures.

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

(21) Property Services are responsible for the disposal of University vehicles.

(22) University vehicles are sold through registered dealers, and not by public auction

Pool Vehicles

(23) Pool vehicles are not available for private use.

(24) Pool vehicles will not be released unless a current driver's licence is produced at the time of vehicle collection.

(25) Drivers must be appropriately licenced for the particular class of vehicle.

Pool Vehicles - Hire Rates

(26)  Hire rates are approved by the Vice President (Operations) and are subject to change from time to time. 

Pool Vehicle Unavailability - Hire Cars

(27)  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.

Fuel Cards

(28)  Fuel cards are provided for pool vehicles and must remain within the vehicle at all times. The only cost that can be charged to fuel cards is fuel and oil.

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

(30) It is a requirement that kilometre readings for University vehicles are recorded with each fuel purchase

(31) Loss of fuel cards should immediately be reported to Security. They will arrange for cancellation and reissue of a replacement card.

Driver and Passenger Restrictions

(32) Smoking is prohibited in University vehicles.

(33) 'L' plate drivers are not permitted to drive University vehicles including salary packaged vehicles.

(34) Driving of buses, whether hired or otherwise, is limited to drivers over 21 years.

(35) Hitchhikers are not permitted to travel in University vehicles.

Parking and Traffic Infringements

(36) 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.

Maintenance and Servicing

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

(38) Vehicles must be serviced in line with manufacturer's recommendations.

(39) Vehicles other than pool vehicles are the responsibility of the Work Unit concerned.

(40) Vehicle defects must be reported immediately to the Security Officer or an appropriate Property Services representative.

Toll Tags

(41) Toll tags are fitted to pool and salary packaged vehicles. Fleetcare purchase, distribute and manage toll tags.

(42) Toll tag holders are responsible for ensuring that toll tags are not misused and will incur replacement costs should the toll tag be lost or stolen.

Motor Vehicle Accidents

(43)  If a motor vehicle accident occurs as a result of a breach of the road rules or legislation, including where an employee is impaired due to alcohol or drug use, the University may:

  1. require a contribution towards third party damages or any other resultant expenses from an employee involved in a motor vehicle accident; and
  2. consider the actions misconduct or serious misconduct and initiate discipline proceedings.

Emergency Roadside Service

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

Insurance - Conditions

(45) All University vehicles are comprehensively insured. In the event of an accident where the cost of repair is less than the insurance deductible, the Work Unit will be responsible for the repair costs. The cost of the insurance deductible is also the responsibility of the driver's Work Unit.

(46) 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;
or where the vehicle being used is in an unsafe or un-roadworthy condition.

(47)  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.

Breach of Policy

(48) Breaches of this policy are to be reported to the relevant Head of Work Unit.

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Section 3 - Procedures

Pool Vehicle Booking Procedures

(49) Pool vehicles are booked using the Pool Vehicle Request Form. When requesting a booking for a pool vehicle, the reason for the journey (including the destination and a description of the purpose of the journey) is required.

(50) Pool vehicles are to be returned fully fuelled and in a clean condition. It is the responsibility of the driver when returning the vehicle that it is inspected and signed off by a Security Officer otherwise that Work Unit will be held responsible for any damage.

(51) For pool vehicles fitted with a log book, drivers are required to complete a log book entry.

Log Book Procedures

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

(53) 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.

(54) 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.

(55) 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.

(56) As a general rule, an entry should be sufficiently descriptive of the purpose of the journey to characterise it as a business journey and to correlate broadly with the distance travelled (stating 'business' is insufficient).

(57) 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 on a particular day, a vehicle is used only for business purposes on multiple journeys, only one log book entry is required for that day.

(58) Cost Centres are responsible for ensuring log books are kept up to date. 

(59) Log books must be retained by the Work Unit for a minimum of seven years after the end of the calendar year from the last entry. Log books must be forwarded to Finance when requested for review and compliance purposes. 

Driving - Workplace Health and Safety

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

(61) Drivers should familiarise themselves with the vehicle assigned to them before commencing a journey. These responsibilities include but are not limited to checking of:

  1. fuel source (petrol or diesel);
  2. tyres for inflation and tread damage;
  3. oil level;
  4. radiator for correct water level;
  5. spare wheel;
  6. tool kit for essential items;
  7. body for accident damage and missing fittings;
  8. service sticker to ensure that servicing is not overdue.

(62) Every University pool 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.

Motor Vehicle Accident Procedures

(63) The procedures to be followed in the event of an accident are contained inside each University pool vehicle, including contact details for the University's fleet care provider.

(64) 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.
  8. Report the incident to University Security Services.
  9. Report the incident to Fleetcare on 134333. Fleetcare provides 24/7 support crash management, glass replacement and roadside assistance.
  10. Report all accidents, regardless of whether an injury by the driver or any passenger has been sustained, to Work Health Safety within 48 hours via Riskware.
  11. Report the accident to your supervisor.

(65) After an accident, any correspondence from a third party or their insurer should be referred to the University Insurance Office.