Health and Safety

Work Related Driving Procedure

Policy code: CG2024
Policy owner: Manager, Health, Safety and Wellbeing
Approval authority: University Health and Safety Policy Committee
Approval date: 23 November 2018
Next review date: 01 June 2025


This procedure addresses risks associated with University-related driving (as defined) to prevent as far as practicable injury, ill health and property damage arising from traffic accidents. 


This procedure applies to all members of the University community who take part in University-related driving and to University employees who supervise them. 

Legislative Context

  • Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (Vic)
  • Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (Qld)
  • Road Safety Act 1986 (Vic)
  • Road Safety Road Rules 2009 (Vic)
  • Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995 (Qld)


A complete list of definitions relevant to this procedure is contained within the Health and Safety Policy.

A further list of definitions specifically relevant to this procedure is included below:

Term Definition
University-related driving The act of driving any vehicle on public roads in the context of University activities.  It does not include commuting between a private residence and work, but includes travelling between campuses. 


1. Driving Safely

A.         Ensuring you hold the correct licence and certificate Driver
  1. Before you book a University vehicle, ensure you hold the correct licence for it. A Car Licence is required for fleet cars, 4WD and any other vehicle with a Gross Vehicle Mass (GVM) that does not exceed 4.5 tonnes and that can seat up to 12 adults including the driver (e.g. mini-bus).

     To drive a truck or bus with a GVM greater than 4.5 tonnes or a bus which seats more than 12 adults, a heavy vehicle licence is required.

  2. Comply with all conditions and restrictions on your licence. 
  3. Carry your licence with you when driving. 
  4. In each state, special conditions apply to driving buses, including the licensing requirements outlined above.  Further requirements may apply in specific circumstances, such as driving a bus in proclaimed hazardous areas of Victoria during the snow season.  Ensure you are aware of all applicable requirements and comply with them. 
B.           Ensuring you have the necessary experience and competencies Driver
  1. University-related driving may involve situations and vehicle types with which you are not familiar, such as driving off-road, operating a vehicle with manual transmission, towing a trailer, etc.  Ensure you have the necessary experience and competencies.  If at all unsure, discuss it in advance with your supervisor/manager. 
C.         Performing pre-operation checks and adjustments Driver
  1. Before conducting any University-related driving, perform the checks specified in the vehicle’s Driver Handbook. 
  2. Note the side of the vehicle on which the fuel tank inlet is located if not familiar with the vehicle.  On many cars, an arrow on the fuel gauge shows the relevant side. 
  3. Note the level of fuel in the tank and the odometer reading. 
  4. Adjust the seat, mirrors and controls. 
  5. Note where the parking brake is located (e.g. hand lever, foot pedal, dashboard button,etc.)
D.        Obeying all road rules Driver
  1. Comply with all applicable laws and rules. 
  2. Insist that your passengers also comply with all applicable laws, such as those relating to the use of safety belts. 
E.           Travelling at moderate speed Driver
  1. Comply with all speed limits and reduce your speed whenever conditions are adverse, such as poor weather, limited visibility, potential for animals on the road, etc. 
F.            Adopting a low-risk driving style Driver
  1. Anticipate potential risks and make appropriate decisions to reduce risks. 
  2. Focus on driving-related tasks.  Avoid distractions from electronic devices, passengers, etc. 
  3. Maintain a 5-second clear view ahead of you (this may mean slowing down around blind corners or when approaching crests). 
  4. Maintain an appropriate crash avoidance space around your vehicle at all times in accordance with the table below
  5. Do not engage in aggressive driving, such as tailgating, fast cornering, sudden lane changes, hard accelerations, and late braking.
  6. Keep well away from drivers displaying aggressive or erratic behaviours.
  7. Avoid overtaking unless all conditions make it safe.  Make use of divided sections of the carriageway or overtaking lanes to reduce risks. 
  8. Turning right across oncoming traffic is a common cause of accident. Make sure the road is clear well ahead before proceeding. 

Minimum Crash Avoidance Space (CAS)

  Favourable driving conditions Adverse driving conditions
Speed CAS (distance) CAS (time) CAS (distance) CAS (time)
40 km/h 17 m 1.5 s 28 m 2.5 s
60 km/h 33 m 2.0 s 50 m 3.0 s
80 km/h 55 m 2.5 s 78 m 3.5 s
100 km/h 83 m 3.0 s 111 m 4.0 s
G.           Preventing, recognizing and controlling fatigue Driver
  1. Plan your trip so you can comply with the restrictions detailed in the Maximum University-related Driving Times table below.
  2. Stop and rest if fatigue develops (frequent yawning, blinking or difficulty in keeping eyes open, tendency to stare, etc.), even if you are within the maximum times listed above.  

Maximum University-related Driving Times*

Maximum continuous driving time 2 hours and 30 minutes (minimum 15-minute break required)
Maximum total drive-and-work time during a 24-hour period (when less than 2 hours of driving are conducted at night time) 12 hours (minimum 10-hour break required before driving again)
Maximum total drive-and-work time during a 24-hour period (when 2 hours or more of driving are conducted at night time) 10 hours (minimum 10-hour break required before driving again)

*Note 1:  these maximum times apply to car drivers.  They do not replace the regulatory requirements applicable to bus and truck drivers. 

*Note 2: University-related travel (e.g. by plane) is included in the computation of maximum drive-and-work times.  Therefore, when returning from an overseas work trip, you may exceed these times if you drive back from the airport without an appropriate rest period beforehand.  In such cases, consider organising in advance to be picked up from the airport, or taking a combination of public transport and taxi to get home. 

H.           Managing the effects of alcohol Driver
  1. Comply strictly with all legal requirements applicable to drinking alcohol and driving. 
  2. In addition to these legal requirements, you must have a blood alcohol concentration of 0.00 if engaging in University-related driving with any passenger on board. 
I.             Managing medication side effects Driver
  1. Some medicines have side effects that may affect your driving.  If you are on medication when planning to drive, ensure that you discuss the issue with your treating doctor beforehand. 
J.            Restricting the use of phones Driver
  1. Using a phone whilst driving is prohibited unless you adhere to strict conditions.  You must hold a full car licence.  You can only make or receive a phone call or use audio/music functions provided the phone:
    • is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle, or
    • can be operated by the driver without touching any part of the phone, and the phone is not resting on any part of the driver's body.
  2. Using a phone as a navigational device/GPS while driving is prohibited unless it is secured in a commercially designed holder fixed to the vehicle.  All other functions (including video calls, texting and emailing) are prohibited. 
  3. Even under those conditions, phone use still increases the risk of accident.  Restrict it to situations where the level of risk is low, such as daytime driving on a straight open road with light traffic levels and good weather.  Otherwise, park the vehicle in a safe location and turn off the engine before using the phone. 
K.           Transporting materials or equipment Driver
  1. Separate heavy or hard items from occupants of the vehicle.  Place these items in the boot of a sedan or behind a protective barrier in a station wagon. 
  2. Comply with all applicable requirements for the transport of dangerous goods.  Contact the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Department for further information. 
  3. Do not exceed the maximum load and towing capacity specified in the Driver Handbook of your vehicle. 
L.            Being careful around heavy vehicles Driver
  1. Leave greater distances than usual between your vehicle and heavy vehicles. 
  2. Give long and heavy vehicles plenty of turning space. 
  3. Truck and bus drivers generally do not have the unrestricted rear view that car drivers have.  If you cannot see the driver's face in their side mirror, assume that the driver is unaware of your presence.  Avoid placing your vehicle in a driver's blind spots (e.g. beside a truck underneath the line of sight of the side mirrors). 
M.           Caring for vulnerable road users Driver
  1. Slow down near pedestrians or areas where pedestrians are likely, such as schools, shopping centres and near public transport.  In shared areas, drive at walking speed. 
  2. Give plenty of clearance to cyclists: one metre minimum between your vehicle and them in slow traffic and one-and-a-half metre minimum otherwise. 
  3. Remain aware of motorcyclists.  Motorbikes are agile and quick, and they can be hard to notice if not looking out for them. 
N.           Driving overseas Driver
  1. Avoid University-related driving in foreign countries.  Use safer alternative forms of transport. 
  2. To seek authorisation from your Supervisor/Manager to drive overseas, comprehensively address the risks and risk control measures in the HIRAC Review required under the Travel Policy

2. Ensuring your security whilst driving

A.         Maintaining communication with the University when off campus Driver
  1. Ensure your supervisor/manager is aware of the details of your trip and has your contact details. 
  2. Carry a list of important phone numbers, both work- and family-related. 
  3. Take your licence, some cash and a mobile phone. 
  4. If planning University-related driving in regions where digital network coverage is poor or non-existent, conduct a Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) review of the activity with your supervisor/manager to determine whether special means of communication are necessary and, if so, which ones (e.g. satellite phone, personal locator beacon, etc.). 
B.         Preventing violence against you Driver
  1. If the risk of violence is a foreseeable part of your University-related driving, contact the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Department for the preparation of a Violence Prevention Plan. 
  2. Do not take hitchhikers or other unauthorised passengers on board.  Conversely, if your vehicle breaks down, do not hitch a ride with an unknown driver. 
  3. If talking to a stranger by the roadside, do so from within your car if possible.  Do not open the window more than necessary and be prepared to drive off. 
  4. Assaults and threats of violence must be treated as emergencies.  See section 3.C. below. 
C.         Protect personal and University property Driver
  1. Do not leave valuable items exposed inside the vehicle.  When leaving the vehicle unattended, take them with you, lock them in the boot, or keep them concealed. 
  2. Turn off the engine and lock up your vehicle whenever it is unattended, even for very short durations. 

3. Dealing with vehicle problems, accidents and emergencies

A.           Dealing with vehicle problems Driver
  1. If your vehicle breaks down or becomes unsafe due to a malfunction, stop in a safe location (safe for you, but also for other traffic).  Turn engine off.  Switch hazard lights on. 
  2. Assess situation for hazards and take appropriate action to protect yourself and others. 
  3. Refer to the Smart Fleet Driver Information Kit, which is in every pool vehicle and provides information about what to do in case of an accident or vehicle fault. 
  4. Do not attempt any repairs or troubleshooting that are beyond your capabilities. 
  5. Report as soon as practicable any vehicle trouble to Property and Infrastructure. 
B.           Managing the scene of a traffic accident Driver
  1. Stop your vehicle in a safe location (safe for you, but also for other traffic).  Turn engine off.  Switch hazard lights on. 
  2. Assess situation for hazards and take appropriate action to protect yourself and others. 
  3. If emergency services are required, refer to section 3.C. below. 
  4. Assist any person in need. 
  5. If you were involved in the accident, provide your name and the address of the University to the driver of any other vehicle involved in the accident.  Do not make any admission of fault to other parties. 
  6. As far as possible, obtain the following details for any other vehicle involved in the accident:
  7. Name and address of the driver
  8. Name and address of the owner
  9. Description and registration of other vehicle involved
  10. Name of company insuring the vehicle (if any)
  11. Description of the damage incurred by the vehicle
  12. Precise words of any admission of guilt by any other party
  13. If the situation becomes tense, defuse it by encouraging all parties to let insurance companies manage it. 
  14. Report as soon as practicable any property damage to fleet vehicles to Property and Infrastructure. 
  15. Report as soon as practicable any injury or ill health you have incurred to the Health, Safety and Wellbeing department. 
C.         Dealing with emergencies Driver
  1. Prior to your trip, check the Vic Emergency website for any warnings.  The phone number of the Victorian Bushfire information Line is 1800 240 667.  Consider rescheduling or cancelling your travel if conditions are unsafe. 
  2. Monitor conditions on the local ABC radio station
  3. If you are driving and see signs of an emergency ahead (such as smoke from a possible bushfire, flooded roadway, etc.), make a U-turn to safety if you have the option. 
  4. Do not attempt to cross a flooded road or bridge. 
  5. For all emergencies, stay calm and pull over to a safe area.  In Australia, call Triple Zero (000).  If any mobile network covers your location, an operator will answer you and ask if you need Police, Fire or Ambulance.  State what service that you require.  Give the operator the details of where you are, including street number, name of road/street, nearest cross street, and locality.  Do not hang up until instructed to do so. 
  6. You can also call Triple Zero using the Emergency+ app with a smartphone.  The Emergency+ app enables you to provide emergency call-takers with details of your location as determined by the GPS in your smartphone.  
  7. If you are not using the Emergency+ app, it can be challenging to provide your exact location in unfamiliar areas.  Throughout your drive, pay attention to road intersections, distances from towns and landmarks in case you need to specify your location in an emergency. 
  8. If you have a hearing or speech impairment, you can contact police, fire or ambulance on 106 directly through a TTY (also known as a teletypewriter or textphone).  The 106 Text Emergency Relay Service is part of the National Relay Service (NRS).  It is always available and calls made using the 106 service are given priority over other NRS calls. 
  9. Note: it is not possible to contact emergency services using the Short Message Service (SMS) in Australia. 
  10. If you are travelling overseas, dial the local emergency number or you can dial the international standard emergency number 112 from a digital mobile phone. 

4. Supervising University-related driving

A.           Fulfilling responsibilities under OHS law Supervisor/manager of any person conducting University-related driving
  1. Road rules as well as Occupational Health and Safety legislation apply to University-related driving.  Therefore, you bear significant responsibility for the occupational health and safety aspects of the driving performed by people under your supervision.  You must:
    • eliminate as far as practicable University-related driving, for instance through the use of tele-conferencing or video-conferencing facilities; minimise the amount of driving performed under adverse conditions, such as driving in the dark, in poor weather, when fatigued, etc.;
    • identify the types of driving required as part of every position you supervise and outlining them in the relevant Positions Descriptions (e.g.: "as part of the School excursions program, the appointee will be required to drive groups of students in a 12-seater mini-bus");
    • specify the level of competency required for the University-related driving tasks associated with relevant positions in the Selection Criteria (e.g. "applicants must hold a Light Rigid (LR) licence and must have demonstrated experience in off-road and trailer-towing situations");
    • select drivers who meet the competency requirements of the relevant University-related driving tasks;
    • inform existing and new drivers of University vehicles of this Procedure;
    • instruct and supervise them appropriately;
    • ensure staff attend relevant training; and
    • take appropriate disciplinary action for unsafe driving behaviour. 
  2. Put in place within your area the work systems necessary for compliance with this Procedure.  In particular, ensure that travel and accommodation arrangements, timetables, work and meeting schedules allow full compliance with road rules and the Procedure (e.g. Maximum Driving Times and speed limits). 
  3. If a person under your supervision plans to perform University-related driving but does not have access to a mobile phone, ensure one is made available to him/her.
  4. Where special risks may apply (e.g. driving in remote locations or overseas, group transport, etc.), conduct a Hazard Identification, Risk Assessment and Control (HIRAC) review of the activity with the staff or students concerned to eliminate or reduce these risks as far as practicable. 
B.         Handle grievances associated with University-related driving Supervisor/manager


HIRAC Report


The University Health and Safety Policy Committee, as the Approval Authority, is responsible for monitoring the implementation, outcomes and scheduled review of this procedure. 

The Manager – Health, Safety and Wellbeing, as the Policy Sponsor, is responsible for maintaining the content of this procedure as delegated by the University Health and Safety Policy Committee. 


The Driving Procedure will be communicated throughout the University community in the form of an Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure. 


The Driving Procedure will be implemented throughout the University via:

  1. An Announcement Notice via FedNews website and on the ‘Recently Approved Documents’ page on the ‘Policies, Procedures and Forms @ the University’ website to alert the University-wide community of the approved Procedure; and
  2. Inclusion in the annual OHS planning process. 

Records Management

Document Title Description Responsible Officer Minimum Retention Period
Accidents Records relating to accidents in which vehicles used or maintained by the agency are involved Property and Infrastructure Destroy 7 years after vehicle is disposed of
Infringements Records relating to traffic infringements involving vehicles used or maintained by the agency Property and Infrastructure Destroy 7 years after action completed
Leasing Records documenting the acquisition, administration and management of leased vehicles.  Includes fuel billing reports and vehicle exception reports Property and Infrastructure Destroy 7 years after lease expires or is terminated
Leasing Records documenting the administration of short term rental vehicles Property and Infrastructure Destroy 7 years after action completed
Log Book Vehicle log books and booking records Property and Infrastructure Destroy 2 years after administrative use has concluded