PLU Driver's Certification

In order to operate a PLU owned vehicle (including golf carts or electric vehicles) or vehicles rented via PLU, drivers are required to have completed the online driver’s training modules provided by the university’s insurance provider.

PLU requires a minimum of two years driving experience in the United States in addition to taking the online training.

For employees, the two driving modules have been added to your library of training modules. Be sure to take both modules (Van Safety and Defensive Driving). Employees can go to to log into the system. Your username is your PLU ID number.

Students who operate a PLU owned vehicle or a vehicle rented for a club, class or team must complete online driver’s training modules. Click here to view the login directions for the online system. After completing the two online modules you should print out or show a digital copy of the completion certificates to your supervisor, adviser, faculty member or coach.

Test Info

The test consists of short videos followed by 10 multiple choice questions. A score of 90% is required for passing. Once all tests are successfully completed you are certified to drive a PLU fleet van, rented vehicle or golf cart.

You will not be issued a driver’s certification card. Once you complete a test the system will automatically generate a certificate of completion. Please keep an electronic or hard copy of this certificate for your records. You will not be required to show this certificate when picking up a vehicle at Campus Safety. The PLU employee who rents the vehicle is responsible to ensure that all drivers have a valid PLU driver’s certification.

The certification is valid for four years. Re-testing is required to be re-certified and it is the responsibility of the driver to maintain a valid certification.

Driving Safety Manual

1: Introduction
Operation of university owned vehicles or PLU rented vehicles is available to students, staff and faculty upon completion of the PLU drivers certification process. All members of the university who are authorized to drive university vehicles or otherwise operate a vehicle to conduct university business must operate vehicles in strict accordance with all Washington State and Pierce County laws. No work or errand is of sufficient importance to violate safe driving practices. Safe vehicle operation is the responsibility of all members of the PLU community while participating in all PLU business or activities.

1.1 Hazards
Traffic-related motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of work-related injury death. According to the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, three workers die every day in vehicle crashes.

Vehicle accidents can happen at any time. In general, however, the PLU community experiences the most accidents after events that are physically tiring, during long trips, during bad weather, or in the late afternoon and evening hours. Parking accidents are also common.

1.2 Regulation
The Revised Code of Washington (RCW) Title 46 – Motor Vehicles, governs safe vehicle use in Washington State. WAC 296-24-233 in the Washington State General Safety & Health Standards covers operation of motor vehicle trucks and trailers. Title 10, Vehicles and Traffic, of the Pierce County Code further refine and regulate vehicle use and traffic within the county.

2: Vehicle & Golf Cart Safe Operator Program
The purpose of this program is to ensure that our drivers have the skills and information that they need to be effective and safe vehicle operators; to communicate driver responsibilities; reduce vehicle accidents; and to implement corrective actions for poor driving or repetitive unsafe incidents.

2.1 Policy
PLU will strive to protect the safety of all community members by authorizing qualified drivers to operate university vehicles. Drivers shall be trained according to this program. PLU may conduct checks of a driver’s driving record. Employees who demonstrate irresponsible or unskilled driving behavior will be evaluated for corrective action.

2.2 Driver Eligibility
Persons who drive university vehicles must have a valid state (United States) drivers license in their possession and have completed PLU Driver Certification to drive or operate a PLU owned or rented vehicle or golf cart.

Drivers of PLU owned vehicles must have had a valid United States drivers license for a minimum of two years. Persons who are restricted from driving by order of a doctor must never drive or operate a university vehicle.

Those who wish to drive a vehicle rented in the name of PLU (it must be used for university purposes) shall have a valid state drivers license in their possession, be certified by PLU through Campus Safety, and adhere to the safe driving practices and training requirements contained in this document. See section 2.7 for insurance requirements. This applies to vehicle rentals made abroad and independent of Campus Safety.

At the discretion of the university, and provided persons meet the certification prerequisites and pass the certification test, certification can be provided to PLU students and PLU employees to drive for PLU programs. Examples are athletic programs, ASPLU activities, class field trips, or forensic events. Volunteers who are appointed to drive by a PLU program must obtain certification through PLU Campus Safety and provide written documentation by a program representative before driving a PLU owned or rented vehicle.

2.3 Responsibilities
Faculty, Administrator, Staff, Student and Volunteer Drivers

  • Observe and practice safe vehicle operation.
  • Attend training.
  • Report vehicle damage or defects.
  • Report all vehicle incidents, regardless of size or damage, to one’s supervisor and to Campus Safety.

Advisors, Coaches, Instructors, Trip Leaders

  • Attend the same training required of PLU drivers (this applies to a PLU representative that sponsors activities that require a driver or supervises employees who drive for PLU).
  • Ensure that employees and students receive training and driver certification before operating a university vehicle.
  • Report accidents to Campus Safety and the Risk Manager.

Directors, Managers and Supervisors

  • Responsible for instilling appropriate driving behaviors.

Campus Safety Director/Risk Manager/Environmental Health & Safety Manager

  • Monitor the application of this program and make adjustments accordingly.
  • Provide training opportunities for PLU drivers.
  • Enforce the directives of this program.
  • Assist campus advisors, coaches, instructors, trip leaders and other drivers in meeting the objectives of this program.

2.4 Motor Vehicle Records
PLU will check motor vehicle records of candidates considered for jobs that require a valid drivers license. Campus Safety may conduct spot checks of driving records for existing employees and student drivers as they attend training.

If a past record is discovered or driving behavior that indicates that a driver is a risk, that driver is not permitted to drive a university vehicle or any other vehicle used for approved PLU purposes.

2.5 Certification Training
PLU drivers shall complete a training program before being permitted to drive a university vehicle (or PLU rented vehicle). Employees who complete driver training will be issued a PLU drivers certification but must renew certification by the expiration dates.

The training program will be produced and managed by the Campus Safety department. For information on the drivers certification process see the Campus Safety website.
PLU certified drivers should renew their certification prior to expiration. It is the driver’s responsibility to seek refresher training and certification. Supervisors, advisors, coaches, and instructors should orient drivers to the vehicles that the driver is most likely to use.

2.6 Driver Improvement Training
Employees may be required to attend driver improvement class after any vehicle incident. The university Risk Manager will evaluate the vehicle incident details and the drivers history to determine when a driver improvement class will be required.

2.7 Insurance
PLU insures each PLU-owned vehicle separately. Insurance coverage follows the vehicle, not the driver. If you are driving your own vehicle, your insurance is primary. If you are driving a PLU vehicle, the university’s insurance is primary. If you rent a vehicle for PLU business independent of the university, make sure you follow the insurance coverage instructions provided in Appendix A. Sponsoring departments are responsible for paying deductibles after an accident.

Drivers who operate an assigned vehicle should make sure that the insurance packet is in the glove box of their vehicle. The PLU mechanic will check all PLU vehicles when they are fueled and serviced to verify that the accident reporting/insurance information is located within the vehicles. Please see Appendix A: Traveling on PLU Business and What to do in the Event of a Vehicle Accident (or Crisis) While on PLU Business.

2.8 Enforcement
Campus Safety shall have authority to stop all drivers on the PLU campus when observed driving unsafely or otherwise in violation of this program. Members of the PLU community are encouraged to report erratic, irresponsible, or unsafe incidents or accidents to Campus Safety.

3: Vehicle Condition
Any person assigned to drive a university vehicle or golf cart is responsible for all matters pertaining to the safe operation of the vehicle. Motor vehicles, including golf carts, shall not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the vehicle.

3.1 Inspection
The driver is encouraged to conduct an inspection of the vehicle before operation. The PLU maintenance mechanic may be called upon to teach drivers how to inspect their vehicles.

Use the inspection form in Appendix B to guide the inspection and log any deficiencies or defects found. Defects or needed repairs must be reported promptly to your supervisor and to Facilities Management. The vehicle shall be removed from service for any problem that renders the vehicle unsafe until repairs are made.

3.2 Cleanliness
It is the driver’s responsibility to keep the vehicle interior clean and free of loose tools and other debris. The windshield must be kept clean for good visibility.

3.3 Maintenance
PLU drivers who have been assigned a specific vehicle and are the primary user of that vehicle are responsible for minor maintenance activities. Any vehicle maintenance beyond that stated here is the responsibility of Facilities Management. It is the driver’s responsibility to submit a work request to Facilities Management when service is required.

Drivers are responsible for fueling the vehicle in a safe manner.

  • Do not smoke or conduct fueling operations near a source of ignition.
  • Do not spill fuel.
  • Do not inhale fuel fumes.

4: Vehicle Loads and Loading
Loads must be properly distributed and not piled too high. Loading must be such that the driver has clear vision to the front, sides and rear. When necessary, loads must be blocked, tied, flagged or padded to prevent shifting or damage.

All loads transported on trucks and/or trailers must be properly secured and distributed, and limited to a safe operating load for driving conditions.

When it is necessary to unload from the street side of the vehicle, extra care and precautions should be used. Whenever possible, work should be done from the curbside.

5: Vehicle Operation
University vehicles represent Pacific Lutheran University and should be driven in a manner so as to create a favorable impression to the public. Show more than ordinary courtesy and consideration for other drivers and pedestrians.

Secure all doors, end gate enclosures, and equipment before driving. Drivers and passengers must not throw objects from the vehicle. All materials being transported must also be secured to prevent material from being blown off of the vehicle.

5.1 Speed
Drivers must operate equipment at a safe speed for roadway conditions.

The on-campus speed limit is 5 miles per hour. A good “rule of thumb” is to drive at a fast walking pace. On campus drivers of vehicles and golf carts shall stop at blind intersections and then proceed slowly while looking for pedestrians or other vehicles.

Off campus drivers of vehicles must also comply with the following Vehicle Code requirements governing speed regulations:

  • Basic Speed Law requires a speed that is safe for all conditions including traffic, surface and width of roadway, weather conditions, and visibility.
  • Observe Speed Limits established by Code for certain situations such as blind crossings, business and residential districts, and other special zones established by the posting of speed limit signs, as well as Special Speed Restrictions as established to cover various types of vehicles, trailers or combinations.

5.2 Pedestrians
The campus is a pedestrian – not a vehicle – zone. Campus pedestrians do not expect vehicles to be on site. They are, therefore, less aware of the presence and danger of vehicles. Always give the pedestrian the right-of-way. Do not sound the horn to warn a pedestrian unless it is necessary to prevent an accident or injury. While the campus vehicle speed limit is 5-mph, drivers are expected to slow to a walking speed when among crowded pedestrian areas.

Vehicles must remain on paved paths and absolutely avoid taking short cuts through grass, gravel, and other inappropriate driving areas.

5.3 Right of Way
Drivers must drive courteously at all times and should yield the right-of-way to other vehicles or pedestrians whenever there is a question as to who has the right-of-way.

5.4 Backing the Vehicle

Accidents are more likely to occur when backing a vehicle. Whenever possible, drivers shall drive and park the vehicle so as not to require backing up.

5.5 Parking
Drivers must comply with State and County parking regulations and PLU parking designations except when exemption is granted for work involving construction, operations, entrance or egress.

At any time a university vehicle is parked, it is the driver’s responsibility to make certain that the:

  • Wheels are turned into the curb when parked on an incline.
  • Vehicle is taken out of gear and put in park position in those vehicles having automatic transmission. Whenever possible, vehicles with standard transmission will be left in gear.
  • Parking brake is set.

Drivers shall not park vehicles:

  • In fire lanes.
  • On soft surfaces.
  • In front of building entrances, stairways, ramps, or main thoroughfares or other no parking zones.

5.6 State and Local Laws
Drivers must adhere to all State and Local laws regarding traffic movement and vehicle operations. This includes the prohibited use of cell phones/texting while driving. The use of seatbelts are also required and each passenger must be seated with a properly fastened seatbelt.

6: Golf Cart Operation
Golf cart operators must follow the general vehicle driver requirements of this program. In addition,

  • Golf carts should be operated on campus only. They should not be driven on public roads.
  • Golf carts that will be used between dusk and dawn shall be equipped with headlights.
  • Golf cart drivers shall be responsible for the security of the ignition keys for the period that the cart is assigned to them.
  • Golf carts shall not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operations, speed, or safety of the vehicle.
  • Golf cart bench seats are limited to two persons.
  • Golf carts shall be parked on hard surfaces.
  • PLU driving certification is required to qualify as a golf cart driver.

7: Vehicle Safety Equipment

7.1 Seats and Seat Belts
When driving or riding in a university vehicle or other vehicle used to conduct PLU business, one must sit in a seat designed for this purpose and seat belts must be worn in accordance with state regulations.

Persons may not ride in the back of trucks, golf carts, vans, trailers or in other parts of a vehicle that do no have seats. If there are not enough passenger seats and seat belts for all passengers, then some people must walk or the driver can make more trips to transport all of the passengers.

The seat belt must be adjusted so that it is snug enough to afford the maximum protection without being uncomfortable. Fasten the seat belt before moving the vehicle. Do not attempt to fasten the seat belt while the vehicle is moving.

Seatbelts are not standard equipment on golf carts and are, therefore, not required.

7.2 Headlights
Please use headlights on vehicles that are equipped with lights whenever driving on campus.

8: Driving Conditions & Times
Advisors, coaches, instructors, and/or trip leaders are responsible for assessing the conditions for safe driving. It shall be the responsibility of the driver and the advisor, coach, instructor, or trip leader to cancel the trip, if the conditions indicate that it is unsafe to proceed. The following are some of the factors that should be evaluated prior to travel:

Physical fitness of the driver. Is your driver sick, tired, or injured?
Weather conditions. Is it icy, snowy, or foggy with poor visibility?
Driver skill. Is this a young or new driver or a driver that has seldom driven a large vehicle?
It is the driver’s responsibility to be fully rested and alert before driving. The passenger who is riding in the front seat position is responsible for watching the driver for signs of decreased driver ability, such as nodding off during the trip. The passenger must also be fully rested and alert.

It is recommended that the driver stop every 90 minutes of travel for a rest period and exchange with a different certified driver for the next 90 minutes.

Driving is prohibited between 12:00 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. for all drivers less than 25 years of age. A PLU certified driver who is 25 years of age or older, and is well-rested and alert may drive during these restricted hours provided the driver complies with the other conditions of this program. Early departures are authorized within the prohibited period providing they are departing from the PLU campus. The team or group is required to stay overnight when they cannot comply with these conditions.

8.1 Communication
All student groups who use a PLU vehicle must have among them at least one cell phone or other two-way communication device for emergency purposes. It is up to the individuals in the group or department to provide this communication.

9: Vendors and Contractors
The PLU purchasing office should provide a map to each contracted vendor that illustrates appropriate campus routes for vendors to use. Campus Safety may pre-authorize certain departments, such as Purchasing, Dining Services, and Plant Services, to issue vendor or contractor passes. Vendors and contractors shall observe approved vehicle routes and avoid heavy pedestrian zones. The vendor may request permission from Campus Safety to deviate from the approved vehicle routes.

10: Moving Violations and Parking Tickets
The driver is responsible, including payment of fines, for all moving violations and parking tickets. Unpaid parking tickets (including Sno-pass and other permit violations) and photo enforcement tickets (red light, toll booth and/or speed zone) that are issued to the university will be traced back to the department and charged to the department. The department is encouraged to seek reimbursement from the driver.

11: Accidents
Immediately call local authorities to report an accident that occurs off-campus. Follow that by notifying Campus Safety. Follow the instructions in the insurance packet located in the vehicle glove box.

On-campus accidents, regardless of severity, must also be immediately reported to Campus Safety and to your supervisor or advisor.

11.1 Medical Care
It is the trip leader’s responsibility to determine whether individuals involved in a vehicle crash must be evaluated at a medical facility. This shall be determined based on the severity of the accident, consultation with emergency response personnel, and potential for injury.

11.2 Driving Privileges
Drivers who are involved in an accident shall discontinue driving a PLU vehicle, or their own vehicle when conducting PLU activities, until an investigation of the accident is complete. The Risk Manager will notify the driver and driver’s supervisor or advisor when driving privileges are restored. Driver improvement training may be required for drivers involved in a vehicle accident.

Drivers who are off-campus at the time of an accident must follow accident reporting procedures in Appendix A. Upon return to campus, the driver must provide information on the police report (case number, agency information, etc.) and statements to Campus Safety and the Risk Manager (Finance and Operations Office).

Traveling on PLU Business

Renting a Car

  • Rent a car in the name of PLU.
  • Use a PLU credit card if possible.
  • In foreign countries purchase insurance through the rental company. Do NOT purchase when renting a car in the US or Canada.
  • Carry this card with you while driving rental vehicles in case of an accident.
  • ALWAYS check for pre-existing damage to the rental vehicle before leaving the lot.
  • In the event of an accident, follow the accident reporting instructions provided below.
  • Full name
  • Drivers license number
  • Driver’s phone number and address
  • Insurance company name and phone number
  • Insurance policy and name of insured

Traveling in Your Personal Vehicle

Make sure your auto insurance is current. Unfortunately, the insurance industry requires that the insurance follows the car – in other words – your own insurance is primary. In some instances, PLU’s insurance provides secondary coverage for approved business travel.

In the event of an accident, notify your own insurance company and then follow the accident reporting instructions below.

Traveling in a PLU Vehicle

While driving a PLU owned vehicle or rental vehicle, PLU’s insurance company provides coverage for vehicle accidents.

In the event of an accident, follow the accident reporting instruction below.

What To Do In The Event Of A Vehicle Accident (Or Crisis) While On PLU Business

1: Always call the police to the scene of the accident.
Request they record a report for PLU.

Obtain the following information from the other driver:

2: Give the other driver and police this information:

NEVER give the other driver YOUR home address and phone; substitute the PLU Campus Safety Phone:
(253) 535-7441 and PLU address: PLU, Finance and Operations Office, Tacoma, WA 98447
PLU insurance company and phone number: Travelers Insurance 1-800-832-7839
PLU insurance policy number: TC2J-CAP-230T5861

3: Always call Campus Safety immediately to report the accident.

Be prepared to provide details and a description of the accident. Campus Safety will assist with any campus related notifications to include notifying the Risk Manager.