ACC has a vital interest in ensuring the safety of its students. Because of this interest, and to comply with Section 51.949 of the Texas Education Code, the College must regulate vehicle travel to College-Sponsored events. For purposes of this document, the group advisor, faculty, staff-person, coordinator, director of other persons overseeing the off-campus travel shall be identified as the Responsible College Official. The Responsible College Official must monitor compliance with this policy.
- The Office of Risk Management must be notified 24 (twenty-four) hours prior to trip(s) located more than 25 (twenty-five) miles from Austin City limits. The Responsible College Official(s) must provide destination, names, and number of students traveling, date(s) traveling, and event being attended. The Responsible College Official must indicate if the trip is associated with a class. In addition, the Responsible College Official(s) must notify Risk Management of all students traveling in private vehicles. Private vehicle information must include the name of the vehicle owner, operator, driver license number, proof of insurance, and an emergency number. The Responsible College Official must leave this information with the Risk Manager prior to the trip.
B. Vehicle Restrictions
- Vehicle(s) rented or owned by Austin Community College must be used to transport one or more currently enrolled students to a College sponsored activity or event located more than 25 (twenty-five) miles from Austin City limits.
- If a vehicle owned or rented by ACC is not available, the College may authorize the use of an alternate vehicle not owned by the College. When this occurs, the ACC Risk Manger will define in writing how, when and where the vehicle is to be used as well as the limits of liability for the College and for the student, faculty or staff member using the alternate vehicle.
- Vehicle(s) may be rented for official business and driven only by full-time staffing table. College employees who have met vehicle operator criteria. Department of Public Safety regulations, traffic laws, rental company rules, and college rules must be observed.
- Only full-time staffing table College employees are permitted to rent or drive rented vehicles for College business. Vehicle(s) must be rented through the Purchasing Department in the name of ACC. If for some reason Purchasing is not able to rent the vehicle, Purchasing Department personnel will provide rental instructions.
C. Mode of Travel
- The mode of transportation used for student travel shall include, but not be limited to cars, vans, and buses.
- Travel arrangements for student groups must be made in accordance with this administrative rule. A copy of the student travel procedure must be in the possession of the Responsible College Official(s) during each trip.
- The type of vehicle(s) used by student groups will vary according to vehicle availability, number of students and the Responsible College Official(s) attending the event, and distance to travel.
- The Responsible College Official(s) must ensure that the passenger and load capacity of the vehicle is not exceeded.
- Convoy Travel:
- When multiple vehicles are traveling in convoy, all vehicle(s) shall have printed directions to the intended destination.
- All driver(s) should have an understanding of a plan in the event of separation (i.e. meeting spots).
- When traveling in a convoy using private vehicles, the name of the vehicle owner, operator, driver license number and proof of insurance along with emergency numbers must be left with the Risk Manager prior to the trip.
- Mexico Travel:
- Risk Management must be contacted prior to driving a College vehicle across the U.S. border.
- Insurance coverage only extends 25 (twenty-five) miles into Mexico. Additional documentation is required to operate a vehicle in Mexico. When travel will extend more than 25 (twenty-five) miles into Mexico, a Mexican vehicle must be rented and Mexican insurance purchased at the time of rental.
D. Approved Driver(s)
- All Responsible College Official(s) scheduled to drive an ACC owned vehicle(s), rented vehicle(s) or approved private vehicle(s) on behalf of ACC must meet the following requirements:
- Current, part-time and full-time ACC staff and faculty over the age of 19 that have a current valid driver’s license, and
- Must be a Driver of Record prior to the trip; have taken an online defensive driving course offered by the professional development department in the past 3 years or be enrolled in the next scheduled ACC sponsored Defensive Driving Course prior to the trip.
E. Safety Requirements
- Seat Belts: Each passenger on an ACC-owned vehicle(s) or rented vehicle, or approved private vehicle(s) for ACC business must wear a seat belt whenever the vehicle(s) is in operation.
- Fatigue: All Responsible College Official(s) shall not drive for more than three (3) consecutive hours without taking a fifteen (15) minute break or relief from driving.
- If a passenger observes the Responsible College Official(s) of an ACC owned vehicle(s), vehicle(s) rented for ACC business, or private vehicle(s) displaying any signs of fatigue or sleepiness, he/she must immediately notify the other passengers and request that the driver take a rest break.
- Any resistance to this request by the driver must be reported to the Risk Manager.
F. Vehicle Accidents
- All accidents involving a private vehicle, College owned vehicle or rented vehicle(s) on a College trip must be reported to local law enforcement immediately.
- All accidents involving private vehicle(s), College owned vehicle(s) or rented vehicle(s) must be reported immediately to the rental company and to the Risk Manager.
- If medical treatment is administered to any person involved in a vehicle incident, the ACC Risk Management Department must be notified immediately.
G. Travel Waiver Form
- Any student(s) participating in an ACC sponsored trip must complete a Travel Waiver form at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled trip. This information must be left with the Risk Manager prior to the trip.
- Waiver forms must include potential medical problems and the name of emergency contact(s) for each person.
- The Travel Waiver form must indicate the name of student(s) traveling in private student vehicle(s). The completed waiver form must include the following private vehicle information: name of the vehicle owner, operator, proof of insurance, driver license number, and potential medical problems of those riding in the vehicle, along with emergency numbers. This information must be left with the Risk Manager prior to the trip.
H. Private Student Vehicles
- ACC adult student driver(s) (18 years or older) are not covered by ACC vehicle insurance and cannot be ACC approved drivers. If adult students (18 years or older) chose/decide to drive their own private vehicle or if adult students (18 years or older) chose/decide to ride with another adult student participant (18 years or older), those are personal choices/decisions.
- Responsible College Official(s) must not “arrange” for students to drive other students.
- All adult student driver(s) (18 years or older) must sign a waiver explaining that when they drive their own private vehicle(s), they are responsible and that ACC has no liability if damages occur.
- Private student vehicle accident(s) will be covered by the student’s liability/comprehension insurance policy.
- ACC provides Student Accident Travel insurance for medical coverage in the event a student is injured during an ACC sponsored trip more than twenty five (25) miles from Austin city limits. Risk Management must be notified, prior to the trip, of the students traveling in private vehicles.
- Circumstances such as terrain, road conditions, length of trip, etc. may make it prudent that students go with available group transportation rather than travel in personal vehicles.
- In some situations, travel with the group should be required. The Responsible College Official must consider this issue as he or she would any safety matter.
- In all cases where an adult student driver (18 years or older) is permitted to choose/decide to drive/ride in private transportation, that circumstance must be described in the Travel Waiver Form.
- When traveling in private student vehicles, the name of the vehicle owner, operator, proof of insurance, driver license number and emergency numbers must be left with the Risk Manager prior to the trip.
- All private adult student drivers (18 years or older) must be provided with directions to the intended destination.