Safety Rules and Guidance for Driving on University Business and Campus

Driving on Campus: General Guidance and Site Rules (PDF 192KB)

Interpretation and Application


The following terms will be used throughout this guidance:

Driver: University employee driving on University business

University Vehicle: Any vehicle owned, lease or hired by the University

Private Vehicle: Any vehicle used by a person driving on University business which is not owned, leased or hired by the University

Definition of Driving on University Business

University employees will be deemed to be driving on University business if they are:

  • Driving to and from premises within Aberdeen other than a site owned or operated by the University for the purposes of work during the working day
  • Driving between University sites for the purpose of undertaking work at the destination site (including making deliveries) during the working day
  • Travelling to and from a place of work out with Aberdeen where mileage is payable by the University
  • Driving a University vehicle

Please note that anyone driving to start work within Aberdeen or after finishing work in Aberdeen regardless of the location will not be deemed to be driving on University business unless driving a University vehicle.

Driving on University Business

Driving on University Business

While driving on University business, Drivers should:

  • Adhere to the Road Traffic Act 1961 (amended 1994) and the Highway Code published by HMSO.
  • Drive with due care and consideration for themselves and other road users
  • Be aware of insurance and breakdown service contact details if driving a University vehicle
  • Ensure the vehicle is roadworthy if driving a privately owned vehicle

In addition, Drivers are should not:

  • Using mobile phones while driving on University business (including hands free kits)
  • Smoke in University vehicles

When a Driver and passengers are travelling on University business in a private vehicle, all parties are requested to refrain from smoking in the vehicle unless all parties give their consent.

The University does not advocate or condone illegal parking or driving in excess of speed limits. Payment of any fines or court costs resulting from these activities is the Driver’s responsibility and will not be met by the University.

University Responsibilities

  • To ensure that vehicles owned or leased by the University are in good working order
  • To ensure that appropriate insurance arrangements are in place for University vehicles

Route Planning

Before undertaking a journey the Driver should plan the route to the exact destination, especially if the destination is unfamiliar. When route planning for long journeys the Driver should estimate the journey time taking into consideration: rush hours; possible road works; weather conditions; etc. This will allow the Driver to depart at a suitable time to reach the destination at the intended time without speeding or taking unnecessary risks.

AA Route Planner

RAC Route Planning

Adverse Weather

Poor weather conditions can greatly increase braking distances and reduce visibility. It can also cause other hazards such as black ice and drifting snow. Drivers should adjust their speed and driving style according to the conditions. During periods of extremely adverse weather and heavy snow, Drivers should seek information on the condition of their intended route and be prepared to postpone or cancel their journey if necessary. Please remember that although there may be little or no snow in your current location other areas may be subject to heavy snow fall or drifting.

Sufficient extra journey time should be allowed during periods of adverse weather.

During frosty conditions, Drivers should ensure that they have a suitable de-icing product or ice scraper in order to remove ice or snow from the windscreen and windows of the vehicle and that there is a suitable amount of winter screen wash in the reservoir.

Traffic Scotland

Live Traffic Cameras (Scotland)

Driving Abroad

It should not be assumed the University's insurance cover extends to those driving abroad. Further clarification should be sought from the Income Section, Financial Services Department on a case by case basis.

Drivers are advised to find out about the rules of the road in any country they are visiting as speed limits may differ from the UK and certain items such as warning triangles and reflective vests must be immediately available to the driver in some countries. The University will not accept liability should the driver break any local motoring laws.

Driving standards and road conditions in some countries are much lower than those in the UK and give rise to greater risk. If a member of staff intends to hire a vehicle to travel on University business while abroad then this should be considered as part of an Overseas Travel Risk Assessment.

Foreign and Commonwealth Office Widget

Driving on University Premises

University grounds have a speed limit of 10 miles per hour which, along with all road signs and markings, including pedestrian walkways, should be observed. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action.

Motoring Accidents and Breakdowns

Accident while driving a University vehicle

In the event of an accident while driving a University vehicle the Driver should:

  • Attempt to swap insurance details with any third party involved. If the Driver is unsure of the University vehicle’s insurance details they may refer the third party to the University’s Financial Services Department
  • Contact the Income Section, Financial Services Department immediately
  • Complete a Motor Accident Report Form (available from the Income Section, Financial Services Department)
  • Pass any correspondence regarding a claim to the Income Section immediately and unanswered.
  • Report the accident to the Occupational Health and Safety Office via the RGU Accident/Incident Report Form at the first available opportunity

The driver should not:

  • Admit any liability for the accident

Accident while driving a private vehicle

Should a Driver have an accident while driving a private vehicle not owned, leased or hired by the University they will not be covered by any University motor insurance policy. Therefore, Drivers should ensure that they are covered by their own or the private vehicle’s insurance to drive for business purposes. This does not affect any other insurance cover provided to staff travelling on University business.

In the event of an accident the Driver should inform the Occupational Health and Safety Office at the first available opportunity via the RGU Accident/Incident Report Form.


Should the vehicle break down, the Driver should attempt to pull into a safe spot, come to a halt then turn on the vehicles hazard lights. Drivers should not attempt to affect repairs on a University vehicle as these will be covered by a breakdown and recovery service. It is the Driver’s responsibility to ensure they are aware of the nature of that cover and contact details before starting the journey.

If the breakdown occurs on a motorway, the Driver should not wait inside the car for the breakdown service as there is a greater risk of collision than personal attack on the hard shoulder. Instead, the Driver should stand or sit on the grass verge. The Driver may wait in the car only if they are unable to wait outside due to a disability or illness.

On other roads the Driver should wait inside the vehicle unless there is a perceived high risk of collision by another vehicle. If waiting in the car on a hard shoulder or other road the Driver should keep the doors locked until the breakdown service arrives.

Personal Security

In the interests of personal security Drivers should not offer lifts to strangers. In addition, Drivers should try to avoid parking in secluded locations except in the case of an emergency or breakdown.

Rest Breaks

Drivers should stop for a rest break after every 2.5 – 3.5 hours of continuous driving. This rest break should allow sufficient time for the Driver to have some refreshment and stretch their legs. In addition, a rest break should be taken if the Driver begins to feel overly tired or fatigued. Ideally, rest break locations will be considered by the Driver when planning the route to be taken.

No person should drive for more than 9 hours in any 24 hour period including rest breaks and driving should be avoided at times when the Driver would normally be asleep if at all possible. Should an overnight stay be expected, accommodation should be booked in advance of the journey.

Working and Driving Hours

Where a Driver is expected to undertake long journeys or a series of journeys and other work related tasks will be performed in between, consideration should be given to the total working time, including travelling time, over the period. A risk assessment should be undertaken where the total working and driving time will exceed:

  • 12 hours in a 24 hour period 
  • 22 hours in a 48 hour period 
  • 32 hours in a 72 hour period 
  • 42 hours in a 96 hour period 
  • 50 hours in a 118 hour period

Please note that this does not preclude or prohibit completion of a risk assessment for total working times lower than those stated above. The risk assessment should consider factors including:

  • The number of hours expected to be driven within the period
  • The number of journeys to be made in the period and the time between these journeys
  • The times when these journeys are expected to take place (for example, early mornings or late evenings)
  • Any expected adverse weather conditions
  • The nature and duration of the work to be undertaken during the period
  • Possible effects on the driver (for example, fatigue and stress)

Controls measures that should be considered include:

  • Using alternative forms of transport
  • Two members of staff sharing the driving
  • Reduction in the number of hours to be worked while not driving
  • An overnight stay

No person should drive on University business for more than 9 hours in any 24 hour period and Drivers should try to avoid driving at times when they would normally be asleep.

For further guidance on risk assessment please consult the Occupational Health and Safety Office