Fleet Safety & University-Approved Drivers

LAST UPDATED: August 28, 2018

What You Should Know

Princeton University’s fleet includes more than 350 vehicles – owned and leased cars, vans, trucks, golf carts, and even some construction vehicles – to transport people and things on and around campus. These vehicles, the University’s “fleet”, are operated by employees and students under stringent guidelines for safety. University vehicles may only be operated by approved drivers and only for University business.

Departmental Responsibilities

Each department with responsibility for University vehicles appoints a Departmental Fleet Representative to be the primary contact and liaison with risk management and the Fleet Safety Committee.

If you are a Departmental Fleet Representative, it is your responsibility to:

  • Maintain a list of all departmental drivers and copies of their driver’s licenses.
  • Ensure departmental drivers, including student drivers, complete a Driver History Questionnaire.
  • Notify risk management if you become aware that a departmental driver’s license has been revoked or suspended for any reason.
  • Ensure that each vehicle owned, or leased by the department is properly licensed and registered.
  • Maintain a list of all departmental vehicles and a record of the maintenance, repairs, and inspections on each.
  • Ensure that all departmental vehicles have current inspection, registration, crossing permits, and insurance documents.
  • Ensure that purchasing is notified when a new vehicle, including carts, is purchased or leased.
  • Notify risk management of accidents or vehicle damage the day of the incident or the next business day.
  • Obtain crossing permits for all golf carts.

If you are a driver, you must:

  • Complete the driver authorization process.
  • Report any accidents, damage, or moving violations while driving a Princeton University owned or leased vehicle — including carts — to your supervisor and/or your Departmental Fleet Representative within 24 hours.
  • Report to risk management any accidents or damage while driving a personal or rental vehicle on Princeton University business within 24 hours.
  • Notify your supervisor and/or your Departmental Fleet Representative immediately if your driver’s license is revoked or suspended.
  • Comply with the Fleet Safety Policy.
  • Seat anyone under the age of 18 (minors) in the back seat of the vehicle if you are a student driver.

Cart Operation, Crossing Permits & Crossing Points

Carts include golf carts and any other motorized, unlicensed vehicle used to transport individuals or equipment around campus.

Under New Jersey Law, carts are permitted to cross public roads only at designated crossing points. Click here for a map of crossing points on and around campus. Apply for a crossing permit through the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission.

Safety First Driving Decals

All licensed University vehicles and certain carts are affixed with a “Safety is my Goal” decal. Each decal in imprinted with a toll-free telephone number and individual vehicle identification.

Callers reporting compliments or unsafe driving practices reach the Safety First hotline and then are reported to risk management. These reports are shared with Department Fleet Safety representatives or supervisors and reviewed by the Fleet Safety Committee.

Becoming an Authorized University Driver

In order to become an authorized driver, you must be a member of Princeton University’s faculty or staff, a student, or a volunteer and have a permanent driver’s license issued by a U.S. state or territory. International driver’s licenses are not acceptable nor are provisional or probationary licenses.

You must complete a driving history questionnaire and provide it and a copy of your valid driver’s license to your departmental fleet safety representative, your supervisor, or to risk management. Part of the authorization process is a motor vehicle record check. If you have a history of moving violations or driving under the influence, it is possible that you will not receive authorization to operate a University vehicle, even if your driver’s license is in good standing in the state of issue.

Student Drivers

If you are a student, in order to become an authorized driver, you must successfully complete the activities above. You also must take a 20-question online test and pass with a score of 80% or higher. You may take the test up to three times.

Your motor vehicle record must show that you have not had:

  • Six or more traffic violation points;
  • A chargeable accident within the past 24 months;
  • A conviction for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or other major violations, such as reckless driving, hit and run, driving with a suspended license, or fleeing from a police officer.

Van Certified Drivers – Student Requirements

In order to drive a van, sport utility vehicle, or truck on University business, if you are an undergraduate student you must take a behind-the-wheel test and be van certified through the University’s Department of Public Safety. If you are a graduate student, your department may exempt you from van certification.

Commercial Driver’s License

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required to drive any vehicle with a gross combined weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 pounds or more. A CDL is also required in order to drive any bus designed to carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver), even if the gross combined weight rating is less than 26,001 pounds.

Drivers with a CDL must comply with all state requirements and will be subject to alcohol and/or drug testing.

Fifteen-Passenger Van Restrictions for Undergraduate Students

The National Transportation Safety Board has issued several reports and warnings about the rollover propensity of 15-passenger vans. Consequently, the operation of 15-passenger vans is restricted to University employees and staff only. Undergraduate students are not permitted to drive, or be driven in, 15-passenger vans. This does not include modified 15-passenger vans (seats removed) used for equipment or cargo transportation on or around campus.

Revocation of Driving Privileges

Drivers may have their on-campus privileges revoked and may undergo disciplinary action for using a University-owned, leased, or rented vehicle without authorization, driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs, negligent homicide, operating a vehicle with a suspended driver’s license, using a vehicle for commission of a felony, aggravated assault with a motor vehicle, reckless driving, hit and run, or other moving violation.

If you are a student, you may be subject to disciplinary review by the appropriate University dean and/or notification of the police department.



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