State Vehicle Usage

Acceptable Use

  • The use of state vehicles is restricted to official state business activities involving the direct duties of the state employee.
  • Drivers must be designated faculty and staff and holders of a valid driver's license; drivers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Drivers From Other Nations: New York State recognizes foreign driver licenses if drivers remain residents of the nations that issued the license. (Note: An International Driving Permit is not a driver license and only verifies that you hold a valid driver license in your home nation. Your foreign driver license, not the International Driving Permit, allows you to drive in NYS.)
  • Drivers must adhere to all traffic laws and operate the vehicle in a safe manner.
  • Driver assumes all responsibility for any and all fines or traffic violations associated with his/her use of the state vehicle.
  • Do not drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Smoking in State vehicles is prohibited.
  • Use of cellular phones without a hands-free celular adaptor is prohibited.
  • Vehicles may not carry more passengers than the vehicle is designated to carry.
  • Always use seat belts and require all occupants to do likewise in accordance to state laws.
  • Do not permit unauthorized individuals to drive vehicles.
  • Do not transport passengers who are not on official University business (e.g. hitchhikers, family members, or friends).
  • Vehicles are inspected by University Automotive Services before release for use. It is the operator's responsibility to monitor fluid levels, safety systems, and make note of mechanical items in need of repair. Items needing attention must be reported on the vehicle request form upon return.
  • Vehicles must be returned clean and free of debris. Failure to comply may result in cleaning charges being levied to the unit assigned the vehicle.
  • If a vehicle is damaged, and if the driver was negligent, the operating unit sponsoring the use of vehicle may be responsible for repair costs.
  • All accidents, regardless of the amount of damage, shall be reported to University Police and driver must complete the required accident report within 24 hours of return.
  • Personal belongings left in University vehicles will be turned over to University Police. The University will not be responsible for loss or damage to personal property left in unattended vehicles.
  • Remove key from unattended vehicle, and lock all vehicle doors.
  • The University bears no liability for use of personal vehicles.
  • Vehicles rented from a state contract or in the name of the University are considered state vehicles subject to this policy.
  • Vehicle shall be returned on the date and time as indicated on vehicle request form due to back to back assignments.
  • Noncompliance with this policy will result in the loss of University driving privileges.
  • Members of the University community should remember that their behavior reflects upon the University. Travelers in state vehicles are expected to exercise responsible, adult judgment regarding their conduct.

Vehicle Liability

NYS no longer carries automobile liability insurance on Sate-owned vehicles. Instead, the State self-insures for risks associated with the driving of state-owned (also referred to as "fleet" vehicles). It is important to be aware that part of the self-insurance program is administered through the NYS office of General Services. OGS must be notified in the event of an accident involving a state-owned vehicle (Claims Administrator, Bureau of Risk and Insurance Management – 518-474-4729). Payment is made by OGS for property damage to third party vehicles under this program.

The campus will be responsible for repairs or damage to the fleet vehicle itself where the driver was at fault; otherwise litigation may be initiated by the Attorney General to recover for damages. Personal injuries to third parties caused by the state driver are handled as follows: OGS, Motor Vehicles Claims Administrator must be notified as described above. OGS has authority to settle damage claims up to $25,000. Beyond that amount, the injured party must file a lawsuit to recover damages, either in the Court of Claims if SUNY is being sued or in the State Supreme Court if the driver is being sued individually.

The Attorney General will defend the employee or student sued upon a determination that the accident occurred in the scope of their SUNY employment or SUNY volunteer status. Given this protocol, it is essential that the student drivers of fleet vehicles have advance written authorization to use the vehicle; that it is for an authorized purpose and that due diligence is taken to ensure the safety of passengers and others (i.e. check driving record). Accidents should cause the review of the driers' authorization.

Roadside Assistance