Principia College Elsah, Illinois
Fleet Vehicle Use Policy
Revised: December 2013
PURPOSE (back to top)
The purpose of maintaining a vehicle fleet is to provide transportation for various approved educational, athletic, and social activities.
The Principia Fleet includes the following types of vehicles:
POLICY (back to top)
The Facilities Department approves vehicle requests and assigns vehicles according to the number of people in an activity. Vehicles are generally assigned on a first come first serve basis, and must have a Principia authorized fleet driver. Requests must be made on the Facilities web page, or by phone if less than 24 hours in advance.
AUTHORIZATION OF FLEET DRIVERS (back to top)
Forms requesting authorization to drive Principia-owned vehicles are available in the Fleet Driver Policy (IV-B1) under Vehicle/Driver Information.
REQUIREMENTS TO DRIVE 7 PASSENGER OR SMALLER VEHICLES:
REQUIREMENTS TO DRIVE 11-15 PASSENGER VEHICLES:
The Road Tests is administered by the Campus Security Department, and must be scheduled through that office.
Faculty/Staff approval must be renewed when driver licenses expires.
DRIVER RESPONSIBILITIES (back to top)
Drivers are required to sign out and in at the Facilities using the form left in the vehicle.
Cell Phones: Drivers cannot use an electronic communication device (a hand-held cell phone) make or receive calls while driving a motor vehicle.
Texting: A person may not operate a motor vehicle on a roadway while using an electronic communication device to compose, send, or read an electronic message. An electronic message refers to electronic mail, a text message, an instant message, or a command to request access to an internet site.
Exceptions: There are exceptions for drivers texting or using a cell phone: (1) for the sole purpose of reporting an emergency situation and continued communication with emergency personnel during the emergency situation; (2) using a device in hands-free or voice-activated mode; (3) if the driver is parked on the shoulder of a roadway; or (4) when the vehicle is stopped due to normal traffic being obstructed and the driver has the motor vehicle transmission in neutral or park.
These laws will be enforced on Principia College property on all cars, trucks, and Principia-owned vehicles without hands-free equipment and vehicles over 15,000 GVW where no use is allowed at any time. Texting and/or calling without using hands-free technology are both classified as moving violations and carry a fine.
Use of walkman headphones while driving is illegal under state law.
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BILLING (back to top)
Departments will be billed monthly by the Facilities Department.
Any amount of time between 0 and 24 hours constitutes one day. Between 24 and 48 hours constitutes two days and so on. For example, a group using a vehicle for 1 hour will be charged for one day's use. Use of the vehicle for 25 hours will be billed as 2 days' use. There is no charge for mileage.
SAFETY (back to top)
a) The maximum speed limit in Illinois is 65 mph (miles per hour) on most interstate highways where posted. The maximum speed limit on most other highways is 55 mph. No matter what the posted speed limit, you should not drive faster or slower than reasonable, given traffic and weather conditions.
b) The driver must take care to slow down when approaching and crossing an intersection. Care must also be taken when going around a curve, approaching the tops of a hill or traveling on a narrow and winding roadway. Drivers must be aware that there may always be dangers present due to pedestrians, traffic, weather, mechanical problems, and road conditions.
a) A driver should use caution when passing another vehicle. On a two-lane highway, the left lane should be clearly seen and free from oncoming traffic for a distance great enough to permit passing. Do not turn back into the right-hand lane until you can see the entire front bumper of the car you are passing your rearview mirror. You must return to your lane before you get within 200 ft. of an oncoming vehicle.
b) YOU MAY PASS ON THE RIGHT BUT NOT ON THE SHOULDER:
i.) when you have enough room on a two-lane roadway, and when the vehicle you are passing is making or about to make a left turn.
ii.) when on a one-way street or a roadway with two or more clear lanes in each direction
iii.) when at an intersection widened for this purpose.
c) YOU MAY NOT PASS ON A TWO-LANE, TWO-WAY ROADWAY:
i.) when in an areas marked for no passing by a solid yellow line or a DO NOT PASS or NO PASSING sign.
ii.) when on a hill or a curve where it is not possible to see oncoming traffic.
iii.) when within 100 ft. of an intersection of railroad crossing
iv.) when that view is blocked within 100 ft. of any bridge, viaduct, or tunnel.
v.) when a vehicle has stopped at a crosswalk or intersection to allow a pedestrian to cross.
vi.) When in any school zone. Under Illinois Law, all school zones are no passing zones.
a) YOU MUST DRIVE ON THE RIGHT HALF OF THE ROADWAY EXCEPT:
i.) when passing another vehicle moving in the same direction on a two-lane highway.
ii.) when a blockage makes it necessary to drive to the left of the center line. You may drive to the left after yielding to oncoming traffic.
iii.) when on a roadway divided into three marked lanes for traffic.
iv.) when directed to drive in the left lane by traffic control signs and signals on a multi-lane, two-lane highway.
v.) when crossing the center line to make a left turn into or from an alley, private road or driveway.
b) ADDITIONAL RULES APPLY TO SOME VEHICLES IN CERTAIN SITUATIONS:
i.) Slow vehicles must use the right-hand lane except when passing or making a left turn.
ii.) Weaving from lane to lane in order to move faster than the traffic flow is unlawful.
iii.) Traffic must travel in the direction of posted one-way streets of roadways. This rule does not apply to police and emergency vehicles using sirens or flashing lights.
iv.) It is unlawful to drive across median strips such as unpaved strips or median barriers. A driver may not turn left across a paved dividing-space unless permitted by a traffic control or signal.
In a business or residential area you must give a continuous turn signal for at least 100 ft. before turning. In other areas the signal must be given for at least 200 ft. before turning.
U-Turns: Care must be taken when making a U-turn. You must not turn around on curves and hills unless you can see at least 500 ft. in all directions. U-turns are prohibited in most cities, towns and residential areas. U-turns in our 15 passenger vans require far more space than an automobile to complete. Please be sure that you are familiar with the turning radius of the vehicle you are driving. The turning radius is the amount of room a vehicle requires to make a complete 360 turn when its wheels are turned completely to the left or right.
You must stop if the crossing gate is lowered, when lights are flashing, or when an approaching train gives a warning signal. When the train has passed, check all tracks for additional trains. Remain stopped until it is safe to proceed.
When you park, you must stop the engine, lock the steering wheel, set the brake and remove the key from the ignition. Here are conditions that require special attention:
i.) HILL PARKING: If you park on a street that has curbing and your vehicle is headed downhill, you must turn the wheels toward the curb. If you park your vehicle headed uphill, you must turn the front wheels away from the curb. If you park on a street without curbing and your vehicle is heading uphill or downhill, you must turn the wheels toward the side of the road on which you are parked.
ii.) PARALLEL PARKING: When parking on streets with two-way traffic, you must park so that the right-hand wheels are parallel to and within 12 inches of the curb. On a one-way street, park within 12 inches of the right or left curb. Vehicles must be parked in the direction in which traffic is moving.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING: Plan ahead for the unexpected. Always be prepared to react to the other driver. Do not expect the other driver to do what you think he should do. If you cannot avoid an accident, remain calm and try to choose the least dangerous situation. For example, running into a ditch is less dangerous than a head-on collision.
VEHICLE FOLLOWING DISTANCES
TWO-SECOND RULE: Following a vehicle too closely is called "tailgating." Use the two-second rule to determine a safe following distance. Select a fixed object on the road ahead such as a sign, tree, or overpass. When the vehicle ahead of you passes the object, count "one thousand one, one thousand two." You should not reach the object before you count "one thousand two." If you do, you are following too closely. Most rear-end collisions are caused by a vehicle following too closely.
The Two-second rule also applies to your speed when you are on a good road and during good weather conditions. If the road and/or weather conditions are not good, increase your distance to a four or five second count. If you are being tailgated, move to another lane or slowly pull off the road and allow the vehicle to pass.
a) MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM SPEEDS: A driver should use common sense when driving. Driving too fast or too slowly may create a dangerous situation. In spite of the posted speed limit, weather and traffic conditions may make it necessary to drive more slowly.
b) STOPPING: The ability to stop your car should be considered when deciding your speed. You should consider:
i.) how quickly you can react mentally and physically.
ii.) the type and conditions of the roadway. It will be more difficult and take longer to stop on wet asphalt.
iii.) the kind of tires you are using and the condition of their tread. Large, wide tires with good tread will stop a vehicle faster than small, narrow tires with little tread.
iv.) the type, condition and adjustment of your brakes.
v.) the direction and speed of the wind. A strong tailwind can make it difficult to stop.
vi.) vehicle design, weight distribution, suspension and shock absorbers.
NOTE: Illinois State law requires motorists to turn on headlights whenever windshield wipers are in use.
a)FOG: it is best not to drive in fog. If you must drive in fog, however, take the following precautions:
i.) Slow down. If you see headlights or taillights, slow down even more. A driver may be driving in the middle of the roadway or, he may be stopped or barely moving.
ii.) Drive with your headlights set on low beams.
iii.) Do not overdrive your headlights. Stay within the limits of our vision. You may have to stop suddenly. If the fog is too dense, pull off the roadway and stop. Do not drive at 5 or 10 mph.
iv.) Use your turn signal long before you turn.
v.)Brake early when you approach a stop to warn other drivers.
b) RAIN: When rain begins to fall lightly, water, oil, dust, and leaves cause the roadway to become extremely slippery. When this happens, increase your following distance. Take special care on curves and turns. When rain begins to fall heavily, your tires may "hydroplane." This means the tires are riding on a layer of water and not on the roadway. Avoid hydroplaning by slowing down. If you skid while hydroplaning, try to regain control of the vehicle. Otherwise release the accelerator and ride out the skid.
c) HIGH WINDS: Wind can be a problem for all drivers. Wind is especially difficult for drivers of trucks, recreational vehicles, campers, and trailers-in-tow. In high winds, you should reduce your speed and make steering corrections when you go from a protected area to an open area and when meeting large vehicles such as trucks and buses. Heavy rain or sleet often accompanies high winds. You should be alert to wet or slippery areas and plan for those conditions.
d) WINTER DRIVING: Winter is the most difficult driving season due to lower temperatures and fewer daylight hours. When driving in winter conditions:
i.) Drive slower and increase your following distance. Roadway conditions may vary depending on the sun, shade, or roadway surface.
ii.) Remove all snow and ice from your vehicle. Clear all windows, and do not start driving until your windshield is defrosted and clear. Be sure you have non-freezing windshield washer liquid and that your headlights and taillights are visible.
iii.) Be sure that your vehicle is maintained properly. Lights, brakes, windshield wipers, defrosters, radiators, and other parts should be in good working order.
iv.) Start slowly. Gentle braking, in slow steady strokes, helps you find out how much traction you have. Begin braking early when you come to an intersection or stop.
v.) Approach bridges, shaded spots, overpasses, and turns slowly. They may remain icy after the rest of the roadway is clear and dry.
vi.) Plan your winter driving. Carry a blanket, food, and other survival equipment, such as a shovel, in your vehicle in case you become stranded. If you become stranded, remain in your vehicle. Run your motor only for brief times, and open your window to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
vii.) You should be aware of "black ice." This is snow that has been packed on highways that becomes so dense that it is almost invisible. But it is ice and should be taken notice of and driven on accordingly.
Accidents often occur when equipment has failed. Your most important aid is remaining calm.
EQUIPMENT FAILURES ENCOUNTERED MAY INCLUDE:
a) BLOWOUTS: A thumping sound may be a warning of a blowout. If this happens ease off the gas pedal and keep a firm grasp on the steering wheel.
b) LOSS OF A WHEEL: React as you would to a blowout. Ease off the gas pedal and pull off the road.
c) STEERING FAILURE: If you suddenly have no control of the steering wheel, ease your foot off the gas pedal. Turn on your emergency flashers and allow your vehicle to come to a slow stop. Brake very gently to prevent your vehicle from spinning.
d) BRAKE FAILURE: If your brake pedal suddenly sinks to the floor, pump it to build pressure. If that does not work, use your emergency or parking brake. To slow down shift your car into a lower gear.
e) HEADLIGHT FAILURE: If your headlights fail suddenly, try your emergency flashers, parking lights, and/or turn signals. Pull off the road. If your lights begin to dim, drive to a service station or pull off the road and seek help.
f) STUCK GAS PEDAL: If the gas pedal becomes stuck, hook your toe under it to free it. If it does not come free, shift your vehicle into neutral and brake gently to slow down. If you have power steering or a locking steering wheel, do not turn off the ignition. You will lose your power steering and your ability to steer.
g) BLOCKED VISION: If for any reason your vision becomes blocked, roll down the side window to see. Turn on your emergency flashers and then pull your vehicle to the side of the road.
SPECIAL DRIVING SITUATIONS
Just as weather and equipment affect your safety, other driving situations also require extra caution.
a) EXPRESSWAY DRIVING: You should be especially alert when driving on expressways. Speed and traffic-volume are major concerns. Remember to:
i.) Check your rearview mirror before changing lanes
ii.) Use your turn signals when making lane changes
iii.) Go to the next exit if you missed yours. Backing up on expressways is against the law.
iv.) Do not follow too closely. Allow plenty of distance between you and the car ahead.
v.) The right lane is for slower traffic. The left lane is used for faster traffic and for passing slower traffic.
vi.) Do not stop on the expressway. Pull off the road if you have a problem. Lift your car's hood and turn on your hazard flashers. Do not walk along the expressway
b) NIGHT DRIVING: Night driving is difficult because things may appear differently than in daylight. Also, glare from lights may interfere with vision. Courtesy and common sense should be used when driving at night. Remember:
i.) Never overdrive your headlights. Always keep them clean and aimed properly. Use them at dusk and dawn. Bright headlights should be dimmed 500 ft. before meeting an oncoming vehicle and when 300 ft. behind another vehicle.
ii.) If street lights cause a lot of glare, dim your dashboard lights and use your sun visor. Avoid any other light inside your vehicle.
iii.) Roadway signs are more difficult to see at night.
c) HEAD-ON APPROACHES: When a vehicle is approaching in your lane, slow down immediately. Pull over to the right and sound your horn.
d) SKIDDING: Skidding occurs when tires lose traction. If you skid, ease off the gas pedal or brakes. Steer into the direction of the skid until you feel you have regained traction and then straighten your vehicle.
e) DRIVING OFF THE PAVEMENT: If your wheels drift off the pavement onto the shoulder, ease your foot off the gas and brake gently. After checking for traffic behind you, gently steer back onto the pavement. Do not jerk your wheel to correct your steering. This may cause you to drive into oncoming traffic.
f) FIRE: If smoke appears, pull off the road. Turn off the engine, move away from the vehicle and call the fire department. Vehicle fires can be very dangerous. Do not fight the fire yourself.
g) If your vehicle runs off the roadway into water but does not sink right away, try to escape through a window. Because of differences in water pressure, you may not be able to open your car door. If your vehicle does sink, move to the back seat where an air pocket usually forms. Take a deep breath and exit from a rear window.
a) CHANGING A TIRE
i.) When changing a tire always pull as far off the road as possible to avoid obstructing traffic. If you are unable to pull into a driveway or parking lot, be sure to set up the three reflective emergency triangles found in the red "Roadside Emergency Kit" located in the back of the van near the spare tire. The triangles should be used day or night. Place at least one in front and one behind the vehicle. (See illustration, p. 14)
ii.) It is extremely important that the vehicle be brought to a stop on solid concrete or pavement and not soil, sand, or grass. The base of the jack must have a solid foundation or it will settle, causing the vehicle to shift and fall. If you need to drive a short distance on the flat tire to get to a safe work area, do so very slowly, and as far out of the way of traffic as possible.
iii.) Make sure the vehicle is in "park" and the emergency brake is on. The jack, tire iron, and spare are found under the back seat of the van. Pry off the hubcap with wedged-end of the tire iron. Loosen each of the lug nuts one full turn in a star pattern. Put the jack in place and lift the vehicle until the flat tire is three inches off the ground. Loosen and remove all the lug nuts and carefully remove the flat tire replacing it with the spare. Hand-tighten the lug nuts. Partially tighten them in the star pattern with the tire iron. Carefully lower the vehicle and finish tightening the lug nuts. Replace the hubcap.
b) FIRE EXTINGUISHERS
i.) Each vehicle is equipped with a fire extinguisher on or around the driver seat. In the event of a small fire that you feel confident in fighting, release the unit from its bracket, pull the pin, stand 5-10 feet away from the source of the flame and press down on the handle. Execute a side-to-side sweeping motion aimed at the base of the flames.