Policy on Use of Vehicles for University Purposes

Policy Number: 614

Safety and Security

The permanent link for this policy is: https://policies.northeastern.edu/policy614/

I. Purpose and Scope


The university recognizes that the use of motor vehicles is necessary to the functioning of business, athletic, and other programs. , This policy is intended to promote safe operation of vehicles in connection with university activities and operations, and appropriate care of university property.

The policy applies to operation of any motor vehicle to conduct authorized university business or activities.

II. Definitions


For purposes of this policy,

A university vehicle is any motorized device for land transportation that is owned, leased, borrowed or rented by the university, including without limitation automobiles, vans, trucks, and golf carts.

An Authorized Driver is an employee, Northeastern University student or Northeastern University authorized vendor, who meets the driver qualifications set forth below, and who has been authorized to drive a university vehicle. Guests, volunteers or interns who are not Northeastern students are not authorized drivers.

III. Policy


General Requirements

University vehicles are to be used only for university business or university approved activities. Only Authorized Drivers may operate university vehicles, and all passengers must be on university business or participating in a university activity at the time they are traveling in a university vehicle. Any use of university vehicles for personal or commercial purposes is prohibited. Persons under the age of 18 are not authorized to drive university vehicles.

Any vehicle, whether a university vehicle or not, when used in conducting university business or for any university activity must be operated in a safe and courteous manner and in compliance with all applicable laws and university policies.

Smoking, use or possession of alcohol, use or possession of illegal drugs or controlled substances or other substances or medication that may impair driving ability are prohibited in and/or while operating university vehicles. While in university vehicles, passengers may not smoke, use or possess alcohol or use or possess illegal drugs or controlled substances.

University vehicles may not be kept overnight at someone’s home without authorization by the area or unit manager that is responsible for the oversight of the vehicle.

Individuals who are authorized to operate personal vehicles for university business must meet the same minimum driver qualifications set forth in this policy for drivers of university vehicles.

Motorcycles, scooters, mopeds, and similar vehicles may not be used to conduct university business or for any other university purposes.

Fifteen (15) passenger vans may not be used to conduct university business or for any other university purpose. This includes rentals in any country. The restriction is specific to the type of van, and not the number of passengers carried (i.e. a 15 passenger van is not permitted even if it is only carrying 10 passengers).

Golf carts must be operated with the same care, and drivers must follow all applicable rules, as required for any larger motor vehicle.

Use of a radar detector is not permitted in any vehicle while being driven on university business.

This policy sets out the minimum for Authorized Drivers who are vendors. Such drivers are also required to abide by any and all requirements outlined in the contract between the vendor and the university.


All drivers must have a valid U.S. driver’s license applicable to the class of vehicle they are driving, and must have the license with them when driving on university business. Drivers are required to notify their supervisor immediately upon suspension or revocation of a driver’s license. If a Commercial Driver’s License is required as part of an employee’s job duties, the driver must follow and keep current with both state and U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines, rules and regulations.



Persons who drive university vans must be at least 21 years old and have a minimum of three years of driving experience. They must provide a copy of their driving license annually and attest annually in writing that their license is active without restrictions. Northeastern students are also required to produce their driving record showing evidence of responsible and safe driving history, complete an on-line training course and exam, take a road test and complete the Van Driver Acknowledgement Form. Northeastern students must also attest that they are not under disciplinary sanctions through OSCCR. Information on the on-line training course and exam can be obtained from Athletics for Campus Recreation and Athletics van use and Facilities Transportation and Fleet Management for all other student groups and organizations van use. The Van Driver Rules, Procedures and Acknowledgement for Athletics can be accessed at https://www.northeastern.edu/campusrec/form/responsibility.shtml and the van driving requirements for all other student groups and organizations can be obtain by contacting Facilities Transportation and Fleet Management.


Driving while under the influence of drugs, alcohol or medications; driving with a suspended license; leaving the scene of an accident; failing to immediately report an accident; failing to inform the appropriate supervisor of a license suspension or revocation; and, for drivers with a Commercial Driver’s License, violation of state or federal regulations, are prohibited and may result in immediate disciplinary action including loss of driving privileges up to and including suspension or separation from the university.

Drivers and passengers must wear seatbelts at all times when using a university vehicle. The Driver may not operate the vehicle if any passenger is not wearing a seatbelt.

Texting, use of a hand held device (including GPS) or engaging in any other distraction that takes the driver’s eyes off the road or hands off the wheel while on university business is prohibited. Hands-free cell phone use is permitted in an emergency situation. Restrictions on texting, and use of hand held devices are applicable even if it is not prohibited by state law in which the vehicle is being operated.


Traffic violations must be reported to Risk Services and the appropriate supervisor. Drivers are responsible for all fines or traffic violations associated with use of university vehicles. Drivers must immediately report any accident or damage that occurs while operating a university vehicle to NUPD, Risk Services, and the appropriate supervisor, and fill out the accident form available on the Risk Services website: http://www.northeastern.edu/risk_services/insurance_claims/auto_claims/documents/MotorVehicleAccidentRpt.pdf


Under no circumstances shall a driver exceed the number of passengers identified for the vehicle upon sign-out.


Drivers driving on university business may not tow any items without express prior permission and appropriate training from Transportation & Fleet Management and Risk Services.


Driving outside of the continental United States must be approved by the Office of Risk Services. Drivers who operate vehicles outside of the United States without approval are personally responsible for any damages or injuries incurred while operating a vehicle outside of the U.S.

IV. Additional Information


Driving a university vehicle is a privilege and the university reserves the right to deny or revoke the driving privileges of any driver in the event that the driver does not meet the requirements of this policy, or otherwise drives unsafely or does not safeguard a university vehicle. Drivers who fail to adhere to this policy and its related procedures may be deemed not to qualify for defense and/or indemnification from the university in the event of an accident, may lose the privilege of operating university vehicles, and/or may be subject to disciplinary action.

Each campus is responsible for keeping current on any changes to university policy, as well as state and local laws and regulations, on the use of vehicles.

    V. Contact Information


    Northeastern Public Safety: Emergency Number: 617-373-3333 | Main Non-Emergency: 617-373-2121

    Campus Recreation: 617-373-8590

    Athletics: 617-373-4532

    Transportation and Fleet Management: 617-373-2343

    Risk Services: 617-373-7167

    Environmental Health and Safety: 617-373-2769 

    Responsible Office/Department(s)

    Office of Risk Services

    Related Procedures






    Motor Vehicles; Cars; Driving; Student Drivers; Vans

    Version History

    Last Revision Date: December 15, 2017

    Issued: October 24, 2014