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Policy on Usage of Fifteen-Passenger Vans

 

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Office of the Senior Vice President and Treasurer
Old Queen’s Building   -   Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey
83 Somerset Street  -  New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-1281
732/932-7864   -  FAX:  732/932-7281

February 1, 2002

 MEMORANDUM

 

From:    JoAnne G. Jackson
            Senior Vice President and Treasurer

Re:              Policy on Usage of Fifteen-Passenger Vans 

During the past two years, higher education institutions experienced six serious single vehicle crashes involving fifteen-passenger vans. The accidents resulted in seven fatalities and forty-one serious injuries. 

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recently released a report, The Rollover Propensity of Fifteen-Passenger Vans, based on a study of accidents with fifteen-passenger vans. The report also included a consumer advisory that warned about certain conditions that can increase the risk of rollover accidents in fifteen-passenger vans. The advisory cites the study that found fifteen-passenger vans with ten or more occupants have a rollover rate in single vehicle crashes nearly three times the rate of vans that were lightly loaded. The advisory further warned that loading the fifteen-passenger van causes the center of gravity to shift rearward and upward increasing the likelihood of rollover. According to NHTSA’s analysis, the shift in the center of gravity also will increase the potential for loss of control in panic maneuvers.

After careful review of the existence and use of fifteen-passenger vans at Rutgers, the following procedures are to be followed:

           There will be no new purchases of fifteen- passenger vans

         Departments using fifteen-passenger vans to transport people (as opposed to cargo) will be required to remove the back seat in the van

         No more than nine people, including the driver, will be allowed to ride in a fifteen-passenger van

         Roof racks may not be used for any type of cargo

         The number of drivers of fifteen-passenger vans should be limited.   Individuals who are authorized to drive these vehicles should attend a special van-safety driving course offered by the Division of Public Safety.  (Drivers completing the van safety course will meet the university’s requirement for participation in the Defensive Driving course)

 The safety of our community members is of the utmost importance. Therefore, compliance with this policy and these changes is mandatory. The regulations on occupancy limits extend to all twelve-passenger and fifteen-passenger vans owned, leased, and rented in Rutgers’ name for any university sponsored program or event.

Please provide wide distribution of this notice to your staff. For more information on the van-safety course, contact Deputy Chief John Kovacs at 732/445-3033 or at jkovacs@rci.rutgers.edu.

 

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Last Updated 3/23/02