Chapter 20: Vehicle Safety



Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and injury in the United States. Observance of state vehicle codes (traffic laws), properly maintained and inspected vehicles, and knowledge and use of defensive driving skills are crucial to avoidance of vehicle accidents. The Vehicle Safety Program applies to all UMW drivers using Commonwealth-Owned, rental, and leased vehicles.


All employees and students operating vehicles covered by this program must possess a valid state driver’s license for the vehicle’s class. In some cases, a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) is required. Any employee or student who operates a UMW vehicle knowing that his or her driver’s license has been suspended or revoked will be subject to appropriate disciplinary action, up to and including dismissal.


The Transportation Officer is located in the Physical Plant Building. The Transportation Officer’s phone number is 654-2102, He/she is responsible for overseeing the operation of all university vehicles, and reporting any violations of the Vehicle Safety Program to the University Public Safety Department located in Brent Hall. The Transportation Officer is further responsible for communicating all fleet transportation and vehicle safety policies and procedures to drivers and mechanics, and recommending remedial action when drivers are involved in accidents or are found guilty of moving violations while using University vehicles.


The privilege to drive a UMW vehicle is conditioned on safe and lawful operation of the vehicle. Driving privileges may be revoked or suspended pursuant to the State Vehicle Use Policy. Conduct typically associated with suspension or revocation of these privileges include driving without a valid state driver’s license, involvement in an avoidable accident, moving violations, and failure to follow other associated driving policies or procedures. Student drivers must complete familiarization training before being authorized to drive a state vehicle.


If an employee or student of UMW is involved in a traffic accident while driving a state vehicle, the vehicle should not be moved until the Virginia State Police have been called and have advised the driver that it is safe to do so. Immediately after calling the State Police, the driver should call UMW Police and report the accident. If the vehicle needs towed, the State Police or the Transportation Officer can make arrangements to have that done.


  1. Check for injuries to yourself, your passengers, and others involved if you can do so without exposing yourself to additional danger such as oncoming traffic.
  2. If your car is in a dangerous position in relation to oncoming traffic, do not sit in it. Turn on your lights and flashers and move to a safe area, unless doing so will exacerbate injuries.
  3. Exchange driver’s license numbers, VIN and license plate numbers, names, addresses and phone numbers, and insurance information.


The Transportation Committee is comprised of the University Safety Officer, the Director for Campus Police and the Transportation Officer. The committee is charged with investigating each vehicle accident and recommending corrective action to be taken as a result.


  1. Wear a seat belt.
  2. Observe posted speed limits, signs, and other traffic signals.
  3. Yield to pedestrians on campus and on public streets.
  4. Park lawfully. Do not park on campus sidewalks, in front of doors or entranceways, or fire lanes and other no parking areas.
  5. If the vehicle appears to be unsafe to drive, do not drive it. Report the condition to the Transportation Officer and request a substitute vehicle.
  6. Do not overcrowd vehicles. If you need seating for 8, reserve a van rather than a subcompact.
  7. Never pick up hitchhikers or transport other non-authorized persons in UMW vehicles.
  8. Never let persons ride in a bed of a pick-up or other truck or trailer.
  9. Never leave keys in an unattended vehicle.
  10. If you are unfamiliar with a particular vehicle, ask the Transportation Officer for assistance in locating lights and other instruments before leaving the lot.