University Accident Review Committee
Committee Charge: The University Accident Review Committee evaluates each accident in which an agency-owned vehicle is involved. After thoroughly reviewing all of the material concerning each accident, the review committee determines whether the accident was Preventable, Not-Preventable, or an Incident, based upon the definitions of the criteria provided by the Department of State Police. After an accident is evaluated and classified by the committee, it is forwarded to the appropriate Vice President of the employee involved..
Members: Rick Schupp (Chair), Lisa Dennis, Rudy Beverly, Kato Carter, Maryann Gritmon, and Debbie Hinton
Ex-Officio: Kristin Dinwiddie
This document describes the general responsibilities of the University Accident Review Committee and the responsibilities of the University community in complying with the Provisions of Section 52-4, of the Code of Virginia, of 1950 as Amended, Memo-2001-No. 10 which requires each state agency to form an Accident Review Committee to review accidents that involve agency-owned vehicles. Penalties may be prescribed for the drivers involved, if the accidents were "Preventable".
Additionally, all state agencies are required to submit an annual report to the Department of State Police, indicating the number of accidents falling within the categories of "Preventable", "Not-Preventable", or "Incident", defined in accordance with State Police guidelines.
This program is established to emphasize the importance of safe driving, to develop a sense of responsibility among all employees in the operation of agency-owned vehicles, to reduce the number of vehicle accidents, to assign accountability, and to create an awareness of the need to drive defensively at all times.
The University Accident Review Committee, appointed by the EVP/COO, shall be comprised of at least three members of the University community, one of which will serve as Chairperson, and the Committee shall meet monthly, or as needed, to evaluate each accident in which an agency-owned vehicle is involved.
The committee will meet at the Chairperson's call, whenever the review of an accident involving an agency-owned vehicle requires the committee's review.
The Chairperson will coordinate the convening of the University Accident Review Committee, including the attendance of the driver and witnesses, if necessary. Drivers will be notified of the time and place that the committee will meet to review their accident. And they will be permitted to attend the discussion on their particular accident if they choose to do so, or to submit a written statement, which they would like the committee to consider during their review.
The Office of Property & Liability Risk Management will provide the committee with the available information and documentation on all accidents involving agency-owned vehicles reported to Property & Liability Risk Management in the period prior to the committee meeting.
After thoroughly reviewing all of the material concerning each accident, the review committee shall evaluate each accident as Preventable, Not-Preventable, or Incident based upon the following criteria:
- It shall be considered a Preventable accident when the operator of the agency-owned vehicle is found to have been guilty of contributory negligence.
- The accident shall be considered Not-Preventable when it has been determined that the operator of the state-owned vehicle did not contribute to the accident.
- Those cases resulting from natural forces, from acts by other than human sources, from a deliberate act (e.g., vandalism), from a non-perceivable object, or while the vehicle is properly parked shall be classified as an incident and not considered an accident in the safety program.
The committee hereby delegates to the Chair the authority to determine, in conjunction with advice from the Property & Liability Risk Management claims staff, whether a particular accident clearly falls into the category of being "Incident, Not-Preventable, or Preventable." Those accidents deemed to possibly fall into the "Preventable" category will be referred to the committee, which, after thoroughly reviewing each accident, will provide a report and any recommendations to the appropriate VP when the committee thinks some action is warranted. The expectation is that serious consideration will be given to the committee's findings and recommendations, and the appropriate VP will initiate whatever action he/she deems appropriate.
Based on conditions reported by the Department of State Police or police department of any state college, university or community college subsequent to the investigation of an accident, upon reviewing the records of the Department of Motor Vehicles or upon recommendations made by the Uniform Accident Preventions Review Committee if the state vehicle involved was owned by the Office of Fleet Management Services, the right of an employee to operate a state-owned motor vehicle may be suspended, upon the decision of the Agency Head or his designated representative (VP). After conducting an accident review, if the University's Accident Review Committee plans to make a recommendation to suspend an employee's privileges to drive a state vehicle, HR Employee Relations and the Office of the General Counsel will review the committee's recommendation prior to its submission to the appropriate VP. The Office of Property & Liability Risk Management will maintain a list of individuals with suspended driving privileges.
The University Accident Review Committee will review compliance with reporting to the State Police (University Police on Grounds) immediately and with completing and submitting the Automobile Loss Notice within 24 hours of an accident to the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management. Failure to make reports as required or failure to cooperate with the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management's investigation, shall be reported to the appropriate VP with its recommendations accordingly, and handled in accordance with the HR Employee Standards of Conduct.
Accident Reporting to Police and Investigation Requirements
The effectiveness of an Accident Prevention and Safety Program is dependent on a complete and impartial investigation of each accident so that a thorough evaluation can be made as to the causative factors. The prompt reporting of an accident to the Department of State Police or the University Police Department, if the accident occurs on grounds, while the vehicle is at the scene of the accident is imperative to the success of this program.
Whenever a traffic accident occurs involving an agency-owned motor vehicle, the operator or a representative of the agency owning or using the vehicle shall immediately report the accident to the Department of State Police or the University Police Department, if the accident occurs on grounds, while the vehicle is at the scene of the accident. The Department of State Police or the University Police Department shall investigate all traffic accidents involving licensed agency-owned vehicles or accidents involving non-licensed agency-owned vehicles where a licensed vehicle is also involved, except:
Accidents in which the vehicle has been removed from the scene, unless the accident is the result of a hit and run or personal injury is involved. (This does not include when a vehicle is moved from the highway as a safety precaution.)
Damage to a vehicle is discovered after the fact, other than damage resulting from a hit and run accident.
Whenever a traffic accident involving an agency-owned vehicle occurs in another State or the District of Columbia, the operator shall report the accident to the State Police, Highway Patrol, or local police department having jurisdiction. The operator of the agency-owned vehicle shall obtain information from the investigating officer as to how to obtain a copy of the accident report and the name, address and policy number of insurers of other involved vehicles.
Such information shall be provided to the operator's immediate supervisor upon return to the state. The operator shall obtain copies of the accident report and forward such report through his/her immediate supervisor to the Department of State Police.
All traffic accidents involving agency-owned vehicles not required to be reported to the Department of State Police or police department of any state college, university or community college shall be reported to the involved operator's supervisor immediately.
In those cases where it has been determined that the cause of a accident involving an agency-owned motor vehicle was due to either negligence or gross negligence on the part of the state operator, or other safety related concerns are found to be present, at the discretion of the appropriate Vice President specific actions may be taken against the employee under the Standards of Conduct.
Where the operator of a University-owned vehicle is determined by the State, local, or University Police or the Committee to have been grossly negligent in the vehicle's operation (i.e., operating a vehicle with reckless disregard of the consequences as affecting the life or property of another.), the committee may recommend that the appropriate Vice President require the operator to pay the first $100 of the cost to repair the damage of the agency-owned vehicle. (Per Department of State Police Memo-2001-No.10)
Where the operator of a University-owned vehicle is determined by the State, local, or University Police or the committee to have used the vehicle for an unauthorized purpose, the committee may recommend that the appropriate vice president require the operator to pay the entire cost of repairing any damage the vehicle has sustained. (Per Department of State Police Memo-2001-No. 10)Where the operator of a agency-owned vehicle is determined by the State, local, or University Police or the committee to have failed to immediately report the accident to the appropriate State, local, or University Police, and /or failed to complete and submit an Auto Loss Notice to the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management within 24 hours of the accident, and/or failed to cooperate with the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management's investigation of the accident, the appropriate vice president will be notified.
Where the committee identifies other remedial action that might be taken (training, vehicle modifications, etc.), it may make such recommendations to the appropriate vice president.
The Property & Liability Risk Management Office will retain records of the activities of the University Accident Review Committee. The driver may appeal the decision of the committee by providing written statement to the Chairperson of the committee with the reasons why he or she thinks the committee's recommendation should be changed. If the driver is not satisfied with the Chairperson's decision in response to the appeal, then he or she may appeal the decision to his/her, who may elect to have the Virginia State Police review the accident and provide their recommendations (per VSP Memo-2001-No.10 Revised-section VI) before making a final decision regarding the appeal.
- Immediately report the accident to the Department of State Police, or the University Police Department if on grounds, while the vehicle is at the scene of the accident and remain at the scene until released by the police. The vehicle should only be moved from the scene of the accident prior to police arriving when safety requires it.
- Complete an Automobile Loss Notice and submit within 24 hours to the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management.
- Cooperate fully in the investigation of the accident by the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management and the University Accident Review Committee by providing all requested information and documentation, and, if requested to do so, appearing before the committee.
- Comply with recommendations of the University Accident Review Committee and those of his/her VP..
Office of Property & Liability Risk Management
- Serve as the coordinator for the University Accident Review Committee.
- Arrange for the EVP/COO to appoint the Chairperson and members of the committee.
- Provide the committee with the available information and documentation on all accidents involving agency-owned vehicles reported to the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management in the period prior to the committee meeting.
- Maintain the records of committee decisions regarding evaluation of Preventable, Not-Preventable, and Incident occurrences as part of the record of each individual accident as required, and which is to be reported to the Department of State Police per Memo-2001-No. 10 referencing Section 52-4 of the Code of Virginia of 1950 as amended. The Interdepartmental Safety Program.
- Maintain committee reports on drivers involved in accidents, including revocation of driving privileges.
Accident Review Committee
- Be comprised of at least 3 members of the University community, with one member appointed as Chairperson.
- Meet periodically to review agency-owned vehicle accidents reported to the Office of Property & Liability Risk Management. The committee will review all available information and, if desired, will interview the operator and witnesses. All drivers will be sent an invitation to attend the University Accident Review Committee or, if desired, to submit a written statement not less than one week prior to the committee meeting.
- After thoroughly reviewing an accident, will make such recommendations as the committee thinks is appropriate to the appropriate VP.
Human Resources Department
- Provide employee relations advice to the committee upon request regarding recommendations the committee desires to make to his or her respective Vice President.
Parking and Transportation Department (UTS Division)
- The P&T Safety Committee will review all accidents involving Parking & Transportation's buses and associated vehicles, and a copy of their report will be sent to the University Accident Review Committee for their use when reviewing the accidents.
Vice President/Vice Provost/Dean
- Review the University's Accident Review Committee Report and communicate the committee's recommendations to the employee with the VP's direction on compliance and any additional instructions from the VP. If there is some question or concern, contact the Chair of the University Accident Review Committee to discuss the issue.
- Document what action was taken as a result of the Committee's report and maintain the documents in accordance with the University's Records Management & Retention policy.