687  Motor Pool Services

Approved by President
Effective Date: June 5, 2017
Responsible Division: Business and Finance
Responsible Office:  Facilities Services
Responsible Officer:  Assistant Vice President, Facilities Services

I. Purpose

This policy applies to all vehicles used in official Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU or University) business, whether they are state vehicles provided by the University or non-state vehicles secured from an off-campus party/agency or belonging to an employee. This includes the type of vehicle used, all driver qualifications, and all operational requirements and restrictions.

II. General

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

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

C.  All MTSU vehicles shall be marked with a University decal.

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

2.  The identifying emblem 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 security, maintenance, etc.

3.  Vehicles assigned to the President will carry regular series license plates and no decal identification.

D.  It is the responsibility of all employees who use University vehicles to ensure their efficient and economical utilization.

E.  In the glove compartment of each Motor Pool vehicle is a book giving instructions in case repairs are needed while on the road, including locations of State garages. 

F.  Employees choosing to use personal vehicles for official University business will be compensated as provided in Policy 658 Travel.

III. Types of Motor Pool Vehicles

A.  Sedans

B.  Mini vans

C.  Mini buses

D.  Twelve (12)-passenger vans. Motor Pool has withdrawn all fifteen (15)-passenger vans from service because of roll-over accident potential.

E.  Raider Xpress shuttle buses (handled by Parking and Transportation Services)

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

IV. Assignment and Cost of Vehicles

A.  Types of vehicles are assigned according to the number of people to be transported and the availability of vehicles as noted below. 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.  Mini buses are assigned to transport as many as fifteen (15) people. Passenger vans are not considered mini buses.

B.  Special assignment of motor pool vehicles may be made to a division, department, or individual when necessary for use on a regular basis.

C.  The standard rates for use of motor pool vehicles are listed in the Standard Rate Schedule.

V. Vehicle Request and Operation

For information and instructions regarding vehicle request/reservation, check-out/check-in, and refueling, reference 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.

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 motor pool vehicle shall be paid by the user of the vehicle. Receipts must be forwarded, along with a Travel Expense Claim Form, signed by all approving authorities, to Accounting Services for reimbursement.

X. Authorized Operators and Passengers

A.  Only current MTSU employees with proper departmental authorization are authorized to operate a University vehicle for official business. Authorization to use a University 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 vehicle. Students on academic service (scholarship) programs are not part of the official payroll and therefore should not drive University vehicles.

B.  All employees must have an appropriate valid driver’s license prior to being authorized to operate the assigned vehicle.

C.  Passengers in University vehicles shall be limited to the following:

1.  Employees of MTSU, when within the scope of employment,

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.

XIRestrictions on Commuting

A.  Motor pool vehicles for trip assignment may not be used for commuting to and from home. Under no circumstances should a motor pool vehicle be at an employee’s home. This provision does not apply to the University President.

B.  Special assignment vehicles may not be used for commuting, unless approved by the President.

XII. Required Driver Reports

Should any of the following occur, the assigned driver of the motor pool vehicle should report same, 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 driver of the vehicle to either pay or settle in a legal manner.

C.  Where personal injury or property damage occurs in an accident involving a University vehicle, return a copy of the accident report that is completed by the local police or authority to Motor Pool Services.

XIII. Maintenance and Repair of Vehicles

A.  All University 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.

XIV. 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.

XV. Misuse of Vehicles

A.  Employees who misuse University 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 of a vehicle for personal business or unauthorized commuting purposes;

4.  Use of radar detection devices; or,

5.  Use of a vehicle contrary to the provisions of this policy.

B.  Penalties for misuse of vehicles shall be recommended and approved through the appropriate chain of command to the President of the University. Additionally, the employee may be required to pay for damages to the vehicle caused by misuse.

XVI. Notice of Liability and Penalties for Misuse

MTSU is a self-insured state-funded institution. Therefore, any claims against MTSU for personal injury and/or property damage, resulting from an employee using a motor pool vehicle to perform their work duties, must be made through the State of Tennessee, Division of Claims Administration.  For more information, see Notice of Liability and Penalties for Misuse of Motor Vehicles. This information shall be posted at the site where vehicles are checked out and shall be contained in each vehicle for the benefit of the drivers.

XVII. Exceptions

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

Forms: 

Travel Expenses Claim

Vehicle Request and Operation Procedures 

Revisions: none.

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