Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Student Travel Procedures

**UPDATED FALL 2014**

General Application of Travel Guidelines

In compliance with state law and System Policy, the following provisions apply to any student who travels more than 25 miles from campus to an activity or event that is organized or sponsored by the University (including all class travel and field trips), funded by the University, using a vehicle owned or leased by the University; or travel required by a student organization registered at the University. These provisions apply to faculty, staff and students who engage in transporting students off campus on any University business or related travel activities. The following regulations are considered to be a minimum standard; departments may mandate additional procedures. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in the suspension of student travel for the department responsible for arranging the trip.

Travel Planning and Documentation Requirements

It is recommended that a designated staff member(s) and/or faculty accompany each student travel group. In the event that an advisor cannot attend the function with the student group, the group should become familiar with expectations for behavior and all procedures pertaining to student travel. The group should plan its itinerary in a manner that divides up the trip into reasonable segments, avoids driver fatigue, and incorporates the necessary safety precautions. 

All travel paperwork must be turned in to the Dean of Students Office no less than three business days before the trip is to begin. All paperwork will be reviewed for compliance with the travel rules.  Departments/Organizations will be notified of any areas of non-compliance with the paperwork.  All areas of non-compliance must be rectified prior to the travel being approved.  Violations of the travel rules will result in a trip not being approved.  Unapproved trips are ineligible for funding from the University, and/or ineligible to be covered by liability insurance.  Should travel commence without approval, the University will not be responsible for any issues/accidents/injuries that result during the travel. 

The Dean of Students Office will share completed and approved trip paperwork with the University Police Department.

The Texas A&M University-Kingsville University Police Department will maintain a list of qualified drivers. As travel is being organized and planned, trip organizers are encouraged to verify with the University Police Department that the faculty, staff or student employees who serve as drivers are on the authorized driving list. 

Groups traveling must submit the following paperwork as a complete packet:

  1. Trip Itinerary (one for entire group) (Form 1)
  2. Travel Passenger List (one for entire group) (Form 2)
  3. Emergency Notification Form (one for each traveler) (Form 3)
  4. Assumption of Risk Indemnification Agreement (one for each traveler) (Form 4)
  5. At least one copy of the Incident/Accident Report should be taken with the group. (Form 5)
  6. Application for Copy of Driver Record (one for each driver) (Form 6)

The organization should keep a copy of the Emergency Notification & the Assumption of Risk Indemnification Agreement forms for each member of the group while traveling. The information will be needed in the case of an accident or other incident.

Access to Forms

Student travel forms are provided online. Forms can be accessed at this link: http://www.tamuk.edu/studentorganizations/forms.html

International Travel

For international/study abroad related travel, refer to the International Studies and Program travel guidelines and international travel warnings from the State Department during the planning process to ensure all safety and additional travel approval steps are met. 

Information related to international travel is located at this link:  http://www.tamuk.edu/intpro/travelguide/index.html

Modes of Travel

  • Vehicles Owned or Leased by the University:  Only university employees (including student employees) may be authorized to drive university owned or leased vehicles. Student organizations may only use university owned or leased vehicles when the trip is required for university business and is paid using university funds. Student travel by commercial bus should adhere to all safety requirements, where applicable.
  • Privately Owned Vehicles:  Students who use a privately owned vehicle or any vehicle other than those owned or leased by the university for travel to and from activities and events organized and sponsored by the university are expected to follow the safety requirements related to student travel set out in this policy. Students must have a valid state driver's license, motor vehicle insurance and a current state inspection when using a privately owned vehicle.
  • Air Travel: Students traveling by air transportation must comply with all federal laws regulating air travel and the rules of the specific airline. This includes laws and rules regarding carry-on baggage and baggage weight restrictions.
  • Rental vehicles or chartered buses: Check with each private carrier about their specific policies. Rental car companies have minimum age requirements for drivers. Many rental companies offer insurance on their vehicles. If the driver elects to not purchase this, then the driver assumes all liability for damage (property or personal), depending on the individual’s own vehicle insurance policy.
  • Boats, Ferries and Rail:  Comply with all international (where applicable), federal, state and local laws, as well as carrier policies. 

Risk Management Safety Guidelines for Auto Travel

  1. All occupants must use seat belts and remain seated when the vehicle is in motion.
  2. The number of occupants in a vehicle shall not exceed the number of working seat belts in the vehicle. Loading of the vehicle shall be done in accordance with vehicle manufacturers’ recommendations. Vehicles may not be loaded with more passengers than manufacturers’ recommended passenger load.
  3. Occupants and driver of the vehicle must comply with all university travel guidelines.
    1. Drivers will comply with all applicable traffic laws, speed limits and regulations at all times.
    2. The driver shall confront rowdy or disorderly behavior by the passengers that may cause driver distractions.
    3. Smoking or driving while under the influence of impairing drugs or alcohol is prohibited.
    4. Use of radar/laser detection devices is prohibited in the vehicle.
    5. Use of headphones or earphones by the driver is prohibited.
    6. Use of a cellular/mobile phone must be limited by the driver.
    7. No alcohol is to be in the vehicle at any time.
    8. Driver must be 18 years of age or older (or meet the rental company’s age requirement).
    9. Driver must possess valid U.S. Class C Operator's License and have adequate insurance coverage for the vehicle they are operating.
    10. Verified good driver record in the past 12 months (verification will be based upon a Motor Vehicle Records check by the University Police Department).
    11. Have the completed travel forms on file with the Dean of Students Office Three days before the trip.
    12. It is recommended that drivers of all vehicles, including privately owned vehicles used on official business, travel with the an Emergency Road Kit (first aid kit, flashlight, fire extinguisher, and traffic control devices such as roadside reflectors and flares).   It is further recommended that group traveling have someone who is certified in CPR/First Aid, have emergency supplies of food and water, have access to maps for the area in which they are traveling, and have a cellular phone.

Driver Fatigue

The length of the trip should be considered when selecting drivers.

Drivers should recognize that driving a vehicle for long hours is challenging, and therefore should practice certain safety precautions to stay alert and safe. To help reduce fatigue drivers should:

  1. If there are two or more drivers per vehicle, drivers should rotate every two hours, and divide the trip into segments to allow stops for rest.  If a driver is traveling alone or is a sole driver, the driver should consider limiting the distance traveled to 8 hours per day.
  2. Schedule trips during normal waking hours. Establish a reasonable arrival time to the activity or event.
  3. Avoid driving when weather conditions are hazardous, and be prepared to pause the trip should travel conditions warrant.
  4. Avoid medication before driving, especially if the label warns against operating vehicles while taking the medication.
  5. Keep the vehicle cool by keeping the window open, a vent cracked, or by using the air conditioner.
  6. Divide the trip into reasonable segments. Take frequent short breaks.
  7. When drowsy, stop for the night or pull off at a safe place and rest.
  8. Avoid any type of drug to stay awake.

Risk Management Safety Guidelines for Other Modes of Travel

Travelers must obey all international, federal, state and local laws governing travel, as well as posted policies from private carriers.  Efforts should be made, in advance, to identify risks associated with the chosen mode of travel, and steps should be taken to minimize risks. 

In the Event of an Accident:

The following procedures should be used whenever members of a University group are involved in an accident, regardless of the extent of the injury and/or damage:

  1. Stop immediately; take necessary steps to prevent another accident; and notify the proper law enforcement agency and/or emergency medical services (9-1-1) so that an official report to document the accident is made.
  2. Render aid to the injured until help arrives.
  3. Call the University Police Department at 361-593-2611.  Do not call the family members of the injured University students or employees. The UPD will do this in accordance with University policies.
  4. Record the names, addresses and phone numbers of all witnesses.
  5. Provide all required information to the law enforcement officer.
  6. When returning to campus, the driver must immediately contact the University Police Department and Dean of Students Office to follow up on the completion of the accident report forms.
  7. In the event of an automobile accident,
    1. also gather the following information:

                                               i.     year of vehicle

                                             ii.     make and model of vehicle

                                            iii.     color of vehicle

                                            iv.     license plate number

                                             v.     driver’s license number of the other driver

                                            vi.     insurance information of the other driver

  1. If in a University vehicle and it is inoperable, the driver should contact the University Police Department at 361-593-2611 for towing instructions. When towing a vehicle, remove the logbook, keys, fuel cards and all property, which might be lost or stolen.
  2. If in a rental vehicle, contact the rental agency for instructions.
  3. DO NOT make any statement, oral or written, as to who was at fault. Any admission of fault may impair the insurer's ability to defend a case of questionable legal liability. Appropriate legal authority will decide fault or liability.

                                                                                                                                                           

(Student Travel Procedures are tied to Texas A&M University- Kingsville Student Travel Rule 13.04.99.K1, Texas A&M University System Student Travel Rule 13.04, and Texas Educational Code 51.950)

This page was last updated on: October 15, 2014