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General Policies

Swarthmore College has implemented the following policies to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and staff using College owned or rented vehicles and/or golf carts. The Fleet Management program is intended to promote driver responsibility, ensure easy access to vehicles, and decrease motor vehicle accidents, personal injuries, and property damage. The College recognizes that transportation emissions account for 26% of the institution's total emissions. In order to meet our carbon neutrality goals, transportation related emissions need to be significantly reduced. Thus, this policy is intended to promote sustainable transportation practices for faculty, students, and staff and encourage the use of public transportation whenever possible. This policy is applicable to all drivers using vehicles provided by the College, whether purchased, leased, loaned, or rented. The policy is also applicable to personal vehicles, where indicated. 

The Fleet Management office manages all aspects of the campus fleet, including vehicle reservations and sharing, driver certification, motor vehicle record checks, and the fuel card program. In addition, it coordinates vehicle repairs and maintenance, vehicle acquisition and disposal, and procurement of loaner vehicles, in conjunction with our partner Interstate Fleet Services.  

The goal of the Fleet Management office is to maximize the use of campus vehicles (minimizing the number of vehicles the College must own/lease), support the College’s commitment to sustainability by reducing our community’s transportation-related carbon footprint, ensure the safety of those operating a College vehicle, and allow easy access to  vehicles for students, faculty, and staff when needed for College purposes.

All those reserving campus fleet vehicles are expected to familiarize themselves with these policies as part of the driver certification process.

1. Driver Certification
  • All those requesting to reserve a College vehicle or who are required to drive a College vehicle as part of their employment must take the following steps to become a certified driver:
    • Complete an MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) check (see Motor Vehicle Grading Criteria). This process must be initiated by emailing vancert@swarthmore.edu.
      • Driver’s MVR will be reviewed prior to their first fleet vehicle reservation, and annually thereafter.
      • Please allow adequate time as this process can take up to 2 weeks.  
    • Have a valid driver's license for at least 2 years.
    • Complete a driver safety webinar, provided by Public Safety.  This is required for use of all vehicles, including but not limited to sedans, minivans, utility vehicles, pick-up trucks, passenger vans, shuttle buses, golf carts, and smaller transit vehicles (electric and gas powered).
  • Road Tests for use of vehicles provided by the College:
    • A road test will be required for anyone wishing to use a large passenger vehicle (i.e. 10 passenger van, shuttle bus, utility vehicle, etc.)
      • Road tests may also be required for golf cart usage
    • A road test will be required for anyone who holds a valid foreign driver’s license to operate any type of College vehicle. Please see section 2 below for more information.
    • Road tests will be coordinated through Public Safety
  • Due to the increased level of risk associated with transporting numerous people in a vehicle, operating a van for College business requires that drivers undergo the College's van driving training and pre-authorization. These steps are mandatory whether the van being operated is College-owned or a rented vehicle.
    • Successful completion of the van training program includes a driver license check and a brief road test demonstrating general driving skills.
2. Individuals With A Valid Foreign Driver's License
  • Individuals with a valid foreign driver's license must have had that valid license for at least 2 years
    • An international driving permit is strongly recommended, but not required.
  • After 1 year from the date of entry into the United States, or upon expiration of their foreign license, whichever comes first, the individual must obtain a valid US state issued driver’s license in order to continue operating College vehicles.
  • A road test will be required for anyone who holds a valid foreign driver’s license to operate any type of College vehicle.
  • If available, a MVR (Motor Vehicle Record) check will be administered. 
3. Motor Vehicle Grading Criteria

The number of at-fault accidents are considered over the past three years. 

Minor Moving Violations 0 Accidents 1 Accident 2 accident

3+ accidents

0 Clear Acceptable Borderline Deny
1 Acceptable Acceptable Borderline Deny
2 Acceptable Borderline Deny Deny
3 Borderline Deny Deny Deny
4+ Deny Deny Deny Deny
Any Major Violations Deny Deny Deny Deny

Minor violations generally include:

  • Failure to meet motor vehicle equipment, load, or size requirement
  • Failure to display/improper display of license plates
  • Failure to sign or display registration
  • Failure to have a valid driver’s license in possession (if a valid license exists)
  • Failure to maintain an insurance verification card with vehicle
  • Any moving violation other than the major violations listed below.

Major violations generally include:

  • Driving under the influence of alcohol / drugs
  • Failure to stop / report an accident
  • Reckless driving / speeding contest
  • Driving while impaired
  • Making a false accident report
  • Homicide, manslaughter, or assault arising out of the use of a vehicle
  • Driving while license is suspended or revoked
  • Careless driving
  • Attempting to elude a police officer
  • Verbal or physical assault on another vehicle operator 
4. Notification Responsibility
  • If you are a certified driver operating a College vehicle for work, you must notify Fleet Management within 24 hours of the following:
    • Any change in the status of your license (suspension, revocation, expiration, etc).
    • Any at-fault accident or major moving violation resulting in points being added to your driving record. This includes accidents involving either a Swarthmore College vehicle or a personal vehicle.
  • Certified drivers who wish to reserve a College vehicle are also required to notify Fleet Management of the above before making their reservation.
5. Vehicle Usage

Intended Use: Swarthmore College vehicles are intended for staff, faculty, and student use as approved by a College department. These vehicles are not intended for personal use outside of College department or organization approval.

College vehicles may not be driven to a destination that is more than 200 miles one way from Swarthmore College. For trips greater than 200 miles one way, an alternate mode of transportation must be used, such as train, airplane, or bus. If an alternative method of travel is not available, please notify Fleet Management to determine your trip requirements. 

Driver rules and expectations for vehicle usage:

  • All drivers must be certified by the College before operating a vehicle. Please see section 1 for details.
    • Only the assigned driver(s) or other company personnel engaged in the course of their employment are permitted to drive College owned or rented vehicles.
  • All drivers must check the vehicle for any damage or other issues prior to and after use of the vehicle and report any damage or concerns both before and after use, following established protocols.
  • All damage, and all minor or major accidents, must be reported. 
  • All drivers must carry their valid driver’s license whenever they are operating a College fleet vehicle.
  • It is strictly prohibited to operate vehicles under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Violators will not be covered under the College’s insurance. This is a violation of the College’s handbooks and of the laws of Pennsylvania and could result in the loss of employment.
  • Cell phone use or texting while driving is strictly prohibited with, the exception of a hands free device used for navigation purposes when traveling alone.
    • When traveling with other passengers, the driver should assign one of them to monitor any navigation devices.   
  • Do not overcrowd the vehicle. There can be no more passengers than available seatbelts in any vehicle.
    • Seat belts must be worn by the driver and all passengers while the vehicle is in use. 
  • Keys should never be left unattended in a vehicle. 
  • Materials and inventory must not be left in plain view where they may be susceptible to theft or damage. Drivers are responsible for the security of vehicles and cargo.
  • Unattended vehicles must be kept locked at all times.
  • Posted speed limits and rules of the road must be observed at all times.
  • Smoking/vaping is prohibited in all vehicles.
  • Drivers may operate a vehicle for up to five hours at a time, and for no more than 10 hours in any 24-hour period. Drivers are not to operate vehicles if they are tired or fatigued.
  • Rental of passenger vans that seat greater than 12 passengers is strictly prohibited.  
  • All local and federal laws must be followed at all times.
6. Reserving Vehicles
  • Vehicles must be reserved using the Swat Central reservation system.
    • Driver certification is required before being able to use this system. Please see section 1 for details.
    • Requests for the use of a vehicle in Swat Central must be made at least 48 hours in advance but can be made up to six months in advance. The reservation request is not a guarantee that your reservation has been secured. Fleet Management will need to confirm all reservation requests.
    • The person who will be driving the vehicle is required to make the reservation. 
  • All long-term or recurring needs must be coordinated with Fleet Management in advance.
  • Fleet Management will work to ensure that all vehicle needs are met with proper advanced notice. There is no guarantee that the request can be approved, given vehicle inventory.  In order to meet certain requests, Fleet Management may need to acquire a vehicle through a short term lease or rental company.  Fleet Management will cover the cost of acquiring these vehicles under most circumstances.
  • In the event of inclement weather or other situations as determined by the College, vehicle reservations may need to be adjusted or canceled with limited or no notice.
7. Departmental/Individual Vehicle Rentals
  • If a department or individual rents a vehicle on their own, Fleet Management will not cover the cost of the vehicle, and the department or individual will be responsible for all costs associated with the rental.  
  • For any non-local rental needs (i.e. not originating from campus), please refer to the Swarthmore College Travel Policy.
8. Vehicle Acquisition and Disposal

All new vehicle acquisitions (purchase or lease) and existing vehicle disposals must be initiated by Fleet Management.

9. Vehicle Registration and State inspections
  • All vehicle registrations will be managed and maintained through Fleet Management. 
  • All required state inspections will be managed and maintained by Fleet Management.
10. Vehicle Maintenance
  • Vehicles must be in a condition suitable for driving prior to use.
  • Vehicles will be maintained within the requirements of the Pennsylvania State Vehicle Inspection requirements and within the requirements set forth by Fleet Management.
  • During the rental period, the driver is expected to inspect their reserved vehicle on a daily basis for both pre-trip and post-trip situations. Drivers must complete the vehicle Pre-Trip Inspection Checklist and Post Trip Inspection Checklist at the start and end of the rental period.
  • Drivers are required to immediately report vehicle maintenance issues to Fleet Management, or if after hours, to Public Safety.
  • Fleet Management will ensure that all maintenance issues are attended to in a timely manner.
  • Vehicles will be removed from the road when required maintenance either affects the safety of the driver and/or passengers, or when the maintenance issue violates laws for vehicle operation.
11. Fuel Card Program
  • Each vehicle will have a fuel card in the glove box and certified drivers will be given a PIN to use this card. In addition to the PIN, vehicle mileage will need to be entered at the pump. Instructions will be provided with the card.
  • The card can be used at any fueling station, but whenever possible, Sunoco is preferred due to the rebates offered for this program.
  • Fuel card costs are currently paid by Fleet Management. Periodic analysis of the fuel card program may eventually warrant costs being billed back to the departments responsible for the costs.  
  • Fleet Management will only cover fuel costs associated with the College fuel card program and will not cover fuel purchases made with personal funds or the College purchasing card (P-Card).  
  • Unauthorized use of a fuel card could result in disciplinary actions, including revoking driving privileges.
12. E-ZPass Program
  • Each vehicle will have an EZ Pass beacon assigned to it . This is the means by which tolls should be paid wherever EZ Pass is accepted.
  • EZ Pass tolls will be paid by Fleet Management. Periodic analysis of the EZ Pass program may eventually warrant costs being billed back to the departments responsible for the costs. 
  • Unauthorized use of the EZ Pass program could result in disciplinary action, including revoking driving privileges.
13. Roadside Assistance Program
14. Accident Reporting and Investigation
  • Drivers of College vehicles must report all accidents to the local police department where the accident occurred, as well as to Public Safety, Fleet Management, and their supervisor upon returning to campus. This requirement also includes accidents involving parked cars or property.
  • In the event a vehicle is involved in any type of accident, the driver shall immediately contact the police/911. They must remain at the scene in a safe position, and also immediately notify the Public Safety via phone (610-328-8281). 
    • If on campus, the driver shall remain at the scene until a Public Safety officer arrives to conduct an investigation. If the accident takes place off campus, the driver will remain until local law enforcement have completed their investigation.
  • Drivers must fill out the Fleet Management Vehicle Crash / Incident Report [PDF] located in the glove box and submit the report to Public Safety upon return to campus. Further information may be required.
  • The accident will be investigated and reviewed internally by Contracts and Insurance, Public Safety, Fleet Management, and Human Resources or the Dean's Office when necessary. 
    • The outcome of the review could result in  driving privileges being revoked for up to 12 months for one at-fault accident, or permanently for more than one at-fault accident.
  • Departments may be charged a portion of the applicable insurance deductible, up to $500.
15. Fines for Violations 
  • In the event that a driver receives a citation for a parking or moving violation while using a College vehicle, they must report this to Fleet Management immediately.
    • Any associated fines or penalties for the violation are the responsibility of the driver.
16. Other Vehicle Issues

Any other non-accident vehicle issues must be reported to Fleet Management.

17. Transportation of Minors

Anyone operating a College owned or managed vehicle transporting minors who are not currently enrolled Swarthmore College students, must comply with the College’s Guidelines for Programs Involving Minors

18. Failure to Adhere to Fleet Management Policies and Procedures
  • Failure to adhere to the aforementioned policies and procedures will be documented accordingly by Fleet Management.
    • Recurring issues will be reviewed with department heads / supervisors, Human Resources (staff/faculty) or the Dean’s Office (students) and may result in disciplinary action, including revoking driving privileges.