Operational Requirements and Safety Practices

Operational Requirements & Safety Practices

The following guidelines have been established to reduce the risk of incident and injury when it comes to the operation and use of motor vehicles by College employees and students. These guidelines conform to various laws, rules and regulations set by the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles.

The goal of these Guidelines is to protect the employees and students of the College who may be operating or riding as a passenger in a vehicle owned by the College. The following guidelines shall be adhered to:

All Vehicles

a.       The driver must carry their driver’s license at all times when operating a College Vehicle.

b.       Seat belts are to be worn at all times when operating a College Vehicle or personal vehicle so equipped. These requirements apply to operations both on and off campus. The only exception is for drivers of the College’s Post Office truck while in the course of delivering mail on campus.

c.       The maximum speed for operation of “college vehicles” shall not exceed the posted speed limits or driving characteristics of said vehicle.

d.       Before leaving the parking area or garage, particularly with a rental vehicle or a vehicle that driver does not ordinarily drive, be reasonably satisfied that the following parts and components are in good working order. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Service Brakes
  • Parking Brake
  • Steering Mechanism
  • Lights/Reflector Devices
  • Tires/Wheels
  • Horn
  • Windshield Wipers/Washers
  • Rear-Vision Mirrors
  • Coupling Devices (if applicable)

Report any defects immediately to the vehicle coordinator to determine if the vehicle is safe to operate.

e.       All doors (cargo, tail and lift gates) shall be closed at all times when the vehicle is moving. Exception: If the cargo of the vehicle is adequately secured or the material being placed in the vehicle cannot (because of size) be transported with the door or gate closed, then the material or equipment shall be secured in place and the proper warning flat, sign or tag must be affixed to the end of the equipment or material being transported.

f.        No employee or student shall be permitted to ride unsecured (without a seat belt) in a College vehicle so equipped at any time while the vehicle is in motion. Sitting or standing in the back of a van, delivery vehicle, pick-up, dump truck or similar is prohibited.

g.       When backing a motor vehicle such as a truck, delivery van or heavy equipment vehicle into a parking space, loading dock or similar, the passenger should, when necessary, exit the vehicle and provide assistance for the operator as a “spotter.” The “spotter” shall be used to warn the driver, pedestrians or other vehicles about the operator’s intent to back up into an area, in an effort to avoid personal injury or property damage. If the driver of the vehicle does not have a passenger who can perform this service, the driver must perform one of the following:

i.   Exit the vehicle and check the space before backing;

ii. Drive by the space, checking for any hazards, before backing up;


h.       Operators of College vehicles shall not drive if:

i.    they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

 ii.  they are taking medications that contain antihistamines or alcohol which may cause drowsiness or impaired judgment.

 iii.  they are wearing ear phones or other items that would prevent the operators from being able to hear horns, pedestrians, sirens or other vehicles that may be approaching (except for hearing protection aids).

 iv.  the vehicle they are operating contains a number of occupants that exceed the recommended safe operating capacity; their license has been suspended, revoked or expired; and/or

v.   their license has any restrictions. These limitations must be reported to the supervisor for authorization.

i.         Operators of College vehicles shall remove their keys from the ignition when the vehicle is not occupied by a College employee or other authorized person.

j.         Motor vehicle operators (excepting golf carts or turf maintenance equipment) shall not drive on grass, landscaping, sidewalks or other unapproved vehicle access lanes, streets, driveways or roads, and rights of way, unless it is specifically required to perform their jobs and there are no other means available to access the building, facility or work site or is otherwise approved by his/her supervisor.

k.       NO CELL PHONE USE WHILE DRIVING. If drivers must use a cell phone for any reason (including talk or texting) while driving on College business, or while driving a College Vehicle, the driver must stop safely, secure the vehicle and then make or take the call. There are no exceptions, including hands-free use.

l.         College Vehicles should be kept clutter free while the operator is in possession of the vehicle. Objects such as water bottles rolling loose on the car floor have been known to lodge themselves under the driver’s foot pedals possibly leading to malfunctioning brakes. Keep vehicles tidy and free of loose objects to avoid distractions and hazardous driving conditions.

m.     College owned vehicles should be returned to the College in clean condition. The Operator should remove any personal items and dispose of any trash accumulated during his/her time in the College vehicle prior to returning the vehicle as both a courtesy and safe practice.

n.       All drivers must abide by all the rules and regulations of the road while driving on College business, in accordance with the Massachusetts Department of Motor Vehicles, as well as local laws while driving in other jurisdictions. Drivers must report any moving violations that they incur while driving a College Vehicle, and be responsible for any fines, penalties, legal expenses or any other costs associated with the incident. Failure to report an accident or moving violation may result in termination of driving privileges.


Transporting Children in College Vehicles

See the College policy on transporting children in College vehicles.

Passenger Vans/Buses

In addition to the above requirements, drivers and passengers of vans or buses are required to follow these additional requirements:

a.       Only Authorized Van/Bus Drivers are permitted to drive a passenger van/bus at any time.

b.       The van/bus driver and all passengers must wear seatbelts at all times when the vehicle is in motion. The van/bus driver must refuse to move the vehicle until all passengers are wearing their seat belts.

c.       Vans/buses driven for trips longer than 400 miles (one-way) are required to have at least two authorized drivers on board. The drivers are required to share driving duties to minimize the effects of driver fatigue. Drivers should rotate driving duties not less than once every three hours.

d.       Front seat passengers are required to act in an assistant capacity to help with navigation and other non-driving duties, such as responding to other passengers’ needs for assistance or taking or making calls for the driver if the vehicle cannot be safely stopped.

e.       Only Wellesley College faculty, staff, students or authorized volunteers may ride in Wellesley-owned or rented passenger vans/buses.