Reserving a College Fleet Vehicle

Photograph of Dickinson's fleet vehicles

Reservation Procedures

Student Organizations - Contact the Student Activities office and file a request for authorization to use a College vehicle; this form must be completed and approved prior to contacting the Department of Public Safety (DPS). Once authorization and a billing account number has been provided by Student Activities come to the DPS office during normal business hours with the authorization form, the name(s) of the certified driver(s) that will be operating the vehicle, desired vehicle type, the destination being traveled to and the date(s) that the vehicle will be needed to make the reservation.

Staff and Faculty - Departmental users should contact the Department of Public Safety (DPS) directly via the Department’s e-mail address,, or the online reservation form to reserve the use of a College vehicle. Departments should be ready to provide DPS with their account number, authorized driver to be using the vehicle, desired vehicle type, destination being traveled to and the date(s) that the vehicle will be needed.

Please note: Please make vehicle reservations as early as possible, for vehicles will be assigned on a first-come basis with one exception, academic departments will be given priority over student organizations.
In the event that a reserved vehicle is found not to be needed, users are to contact the Department of Public Safety as soon as possible so that this vehicle can be rescheduled for others to use. Due to the demand for College fleet vehicles the policy of canceling reservations of unneeded vehicles is mandatory and failure to do so may result in a fine / penalty being assessed.

Driver Hours Effective February 2013:
The following changes related to "on duty time" and "driving time" for drivers of college fleet vehicles are effective immediately as the result of a review of the College Fleet Policy and guidelines by our insurance carrier and College General Counsel.

A driver who leaves Dickinson on a day trip (to NYC for example), can be "on duty" no longer than 10 hours total.  This "on duty" time does not include time spent "resting" in a parked vehicle. The total length of the trip cannot exceed 15 hours including both "on duty" and "off-duty resting time."  The "resting time" must occur in periods not less than 2 hours each.

Trips exceeding 15 hours total or more than 10 hours driving time will require more than one driver per vehicle."

Other examples of trips and authorized hours are listed below:

  • Example 1 (10 hours or less): Unrestricted, no rest period required.
  • Example 2 (11 hour trip): Nine hours on-duty with a single 2-hour rest period during trip.
  • Example 3 (12 hour trip): Ten hours on-duty with a single 2-hour rest period during trip.
  • Example 4 (13 hour trip): Ten hours on-duty with a single 3-hour rest period.
  • Example 5 (14 hour trip): Ten hours on-duty with two 2-hour rest periods during trip.  
  • Example 6 (15 hour trip): Ten hours on-duty with a single 2-hour rest period and a single 3-hour rest period during trip.
  • Example 7 (>15 hour trips): Not permitted

Seating Capacity - The seats available in each vehicle are as follows and includes the driver;

  • Full size van -12 seats
  • Full size van - 10 seats
  • Minivan - 7 seats
  • Sedan - 4 seats
  • Mini bus - 14 seats

Fuel Efficiency - The average fuel efficiency for the mini bus is 11 mpg, for a full size van is 13 mpg, for a minivan 18 mpg and for the sedans is 36 mpg. Taking into account the number of passengers and assuming a full vehicle the the vehicles in order of decreasing efficiency are car (181  people mpg), minibus (164 pmpg), full size van (160 pmpg) and minivan (129 pmpg).

In the event that a College fleet vehicle is not available for the date(s) requested; all rules and regulations governing the use of College fleet vehicles still apply.

Procedures for Picking Up A College Vehicle

(Both Owned And Rented)
On the day the vehicle has been reserved for, the authorized driver is to come to the Department of Public Safety to collect keys and related paperwork. DPS will issue the driver what is commonly referred to as a “trip ticket”, which is a form indicating which vehicle is to be used, keys and credit card(s) being issued, and relevant billing information. This envelope will contain the vehicle keys, credit card(s) and any other related paperwork. On the back of this form there is a reminder to the user of driver responsibilities. After collecting the trip ticket from DPS, the driver will go to the designated parking lot to pick up the vehicle. After locating the vehicle, the driver is to complete a general inspection of the vehicle, checking for general condition (dirt both inside and outside, trash, personal items, . . . ), fuel level, mechanical problems and damage. Drivers are to conduct a basic safety check of the tires, lighting and turn-signals, and mechanical/system warning lights. Any comments on the condition of the vehicle should be noted on the blank space of the trip ticket. Any and all mechanical problems or damage must be reported to DPS immediately so that repairs can be made or a replacement vehicle can be assigned. After checking the condition of the vehicle, the driver is to check to insure that the vehicle registration and insurance documents are present (and current). These documents will be located in the “glove box” or center console of the vehicle.

At this time, prior to starting the vehicle, the driver is to enter the beginning mileage (odometer reading), date, and his/her name on the trip ticket. This information must be recorded and legible. Failure to complete this information may result in additional fees and sanctions being assessed.

Fueling The Vehicle - Credit card(s) issued to the driver by the College/Department of Public Safety are to be used for fueling the vehicle. These credit card(s) may only be used for the purchasing of fuel (regular, unleaded gasolin ). In the event that other items for the vehicle are needed, the driver is to contact DPS to receive authorization to make these purchases (such as windshield wiper fluid and wiper blades). This process of receiving prior approval for non-fuel purchases has been instituted due to numerous fraudulent purchases made in the past. Credit card(s) issued may only be used at the corresponding vendor locations; cards currently being issued are: Texaco, Gulf, Exxon and Sunoco. The card(s) issued will be determined by the length of trip and destination. Drivers are to record on the back of the gas receipt the vehicle # and odometer reading.

Maintenance And Mechanical - Fleet vehicles are maintained and serviced by the College on a regular basis, but problems may arise while in use. All mechanical problems must be reported to DPS immediately to arrange for repairs or to provide a replacement vehicle. The driver should not make any repairs or contract for services. If a driver would make a repair, and an injury or accident would occur due to that repair, all financial and/or legal liability would fall solely on the driver.

Accidents - In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania there are legally two types of motor vehicle accidents: Reportable and Non-Reportable. A Reportable accident involves physical injury to a person, and/or damage to property (in the case of damage to a vehicle – the vehicle must be damaged to such a degree that it can not be driven safely from the scene). Motor laws of the Commonwealth require that all parties remain at the scene and that the local police be notified immediately; failure to do so will result in criminal charges being filed against the driver. A Non-Reportable accident is just the opposite, involving no injuries or serious damage to property (a vehicle can be driven from the scene safely). Here, legally the local police need only be notified if the damage to property has occurred without the owner’s knowledge (owner/operator not present).

In the event of an accident, no matter how limited, College policy requires that the driver must contact the local police (or other law enforcement agency covering the area) and the Department of Public Safety immediately. This policy has been put in place so that there is no confusion about reporting requirements for the driver, and to insure that the College, and its insurer, will be provided with all necessary information. In the event of a non-reportable accident, where the local police can not come to the scene do to workload or other constraints, the driver is to notify DPS and then complete an Accident Report form (located in the vehicle with the registration and insurance paperwork). This form must then be submitted to DPS upon return to campus or as otherwise specified.

Traffic/Moving Violations - All traffic and/or moving violations (ie. tickets) must be reported to the Department of Public Safety upon return to campus. This information, including circumstances, location, violations and citation information should be as specific as possible and be directed to the Fleet Vehicle Program Coordinator for review. Failure to report traffic/moving violations will result in the immediate loss of driving privileges and other sanctions.

Parking Violations - In the event that the driver of a College vehicle commit a parking violation (receive a parking ticket), it is the responsibility of the driver to pay any and all parking fines and fees. The driver must also notify the Department of Public Safety of this violation upon return to campus; failure to promptly report such a violation will result in sanctions being assessed.

Use of Cellular Telephones - The use of cellular (or similar) telephones by the driver of a College vehicle, while the vehicle is in motion, is strictly prohibited due to numerous local, county and state ordinances and laws, as well as several studies that have shown that such use significantly increase the risk of accidents. While the College/DPS encourages drivers to maintain/possess a “cell phone” as a means of convenience and added safety, drivers are required to pull off of the roadway and park to use these devices. Note: Univ. Utah study (2003 release) shows use of “hands free” cellular telephones do not reduce risks. Study showed that reaction times for drivers using cell phones were approximately 20% slower, and showed a marked decline in the driver’s ability to comprehend visual information. This reduction in the driver’s capacity to process visual information has been termed “inattentional blindness.” (Univ. Utah, Psychologist David Strayer – Story by ABC NEWS Michael Barr 6/22/03)

Special Notice: Full Size Van (11 Passenger)

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has issued an advisory stating that these vans have a high “rollover” risk when fully loaded. Studies have shown that full size vans are three (3) times more likely to rollover when carrying ten (10) or more passengers, or with baggage being stored above seat level; both of which cause the vehicle’s center of gravity to be raised, thereby increasing the risk of rollover. It has been advised that only experienced drivers be allowed to operate these full sized vans, especially in other than ideal circumstances.

Returning Vehicles To Campus

Upon the completion of use of a College vehicle (both owned and/or rented), the vehicle is to be returned directly to the specified parking lot, and prepared for its next use. The driver is responsible for completing all required paperwork, and for the condition of the vehicle upon its return and must insure the following:

  1. The driver must record the ending mileage (odometer reading).
  2. The vehicle is to have not less that one half (1/2) of a tank of gasoline. Returning with less than one half of a tank of gasoline will result in a $25.00 refueling fee.
  3. All trash, debris and personal items have been removed from the vehicle. Failure to remove trash and debris will result in a $50.00 cleaning charge.
  4. Any mechanical/system warnings be noted on the trip ticket.
  5. Any minor damages or maintenance needs are to be noted on the trip ticket.
  6. The driver must place all completed paperwork, gas receipts, credit card(s), keys and associated information in the trip ticket envelope, and return to DPS immediately upon return to campus. This procedure has been established to insure that the driver limits his/her liability for the vehicle, and to insure that the vehicle will be available and ready for its next use.  Vehicles must be returned to the correct parking  lot so that they can be readily found for use or service.  Failure to return vehicles to the Kaufman lot at the end of your trip may result in a $25.00 fine.

Policies Governing The Use Of College Fleet Vehicles (Overview):

  1. Only authorized/certified drivers may operate College vehicles (vehicles owned and/or rented by the College).
  2. All drivers of College vehicles must be familiar with, and abide by, the motor laws of the Commonwealth of   Pennsylvania, other states being driven in and Dickinson College policies governing the use of College vehicles.
  3. All persons traveling in a College vehicle must wear/use seatbelts at all times.
  4. Vehicles are to be secured/locked when left unattended.
  5. Smoking, the use and/or possession of alcohol, and the use and/or possession of illicit drugs is not permitted in College vehicles.
  6. The use of “RADAR” detectors, or other form of speed enforcement detection equipment is prohibited in College vehicles.
  7. The use of “Cellular” mobile telephones (of any form or type) by the driver while operating (driving) a College vehicle is prohibited.
  8. Any trip longer that five (5) hours traveling time (one way) requires two or more drivers per vehicle.
  9. Drivers are required to correctly complete all paperwork as specified in the general provisions for use of a College vehicle.
  10. Vehicles are to be retuned to campus upon completion of authorized/official use, parked in the specified parking lot and readied for use as specified in the general provisions.
  11. Drivers are required to immediately contact the Department of Public Safety in the event of any accident or mechanical difficulty involving a College vehicle. Accidents must be reported to the local police and Dickinson Publice Safety.
  12. Drivers are required to notify the Department of Public Safety upon return to campus of any parking violations,  traffic/moving violations or “minor” damage to/or involving College vehicles. Drivers are responsible for payment of fines or tickets incurred during a trip.
  13. To ensure the safety of minor passengers and to meet insurance requirements, minor passengers are permitted in college vehicles, provided:
    • an adult college employee is driving the vehicle
    • passengers wear their seat belts
    • there is at least one other “adult” in the vehicle