High publicity crashes and subsequent research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have raised awareness of the increase risk of fatalities resulting from crashes of 15-passenger vans. In a three-month period starting in December 1999, six fatal accidents involving university athletic teams using 15-passenger vans occurred. The vehicle design as well as how they are loaded and driven are considered risk factors by the U.S. Department of Transportation. In order to mitigate these risks, it is University policy that these vehicles be used only when absolutely necessary for the mission of a department and with trained drivers. It is recommended that departments replace High Occupancy Vans (HOVs) when practicable with smaller vehicles or purchase pick-up trucks to reduce the loading of HOVs.


Department Coordinator: University departments that must use HOVs must designate a person to oversee the department’s safety responsibilities related to HOVs and drivers.

High Occupancy Vans (HOVs): Vans originally designed to carry eight or more persons, except vehicles requiring a Commercial Drivers License.

3.Seatbelt Use

The driver and passengers are required to properly wear seatbelts while the vehicle is being operated.

4.Load Restrictions

Manufacturer vehicle weight limits must be adhered to. To lower the center of gravity of a loaded vehicle, no loads are allowed on the roof. No loads in the cargo space can exceed the horizontal seat surface height. Because of the added risks of towing a trailer with an HOV, special driver training is required.

5.HOV Pre-Trip Safety Checklist

This is to be completed prior to each trip and turned in to the Department Coordinator for approval. See Appendix A. (PDF: requires a reader such as Adobe Reader)

6.Driver Training

Drivers of HOVs must receive training such as the National Safety Council’s Coaching the Van Driver course before being permitted to operate an HOV. Department Coordinators must ensure that the training has been completed. The Office of Safety will offer training at least twice per semester. The training must include information about hazards and warning signs of driver fatigue.

7.Driver License Checks

Department Coordinators must complete a Motor Vehicle Record check on each HOV driver prior to initial assignment and each year thereafter. In addition, the Department Coordinator must perform a visual inspection of the Driver License of HOV drivers every month.


Comments or questions? Email the Policy Administrator.

Supporting Documents


Revision Date Revision Summary
07/15/2022 Conversion from Old Policy Manual to New Policy Manual, No Substantive Revisions

- High Occupancy Vans Policy (Motor Vehicle Policy). Retrieved 06/24/2024. Official version at https://policy.uncg.edu/university_policies/high-occupancy-vans-policy/. Copyright © 2024 The University of North Carolina at Greensboro.