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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

June 28, 2007

Common sense behind the wheel

by Erin Rosacker

As fuel costs have risen, so has the popularity of using Transportation Services for travel on university business. With more employees getting behind the wheel of ISU vehicles, a good dose of common sense can help drivers save money and present a good image for the university.

Transportation Services' calculations show an additional cost of 1.25 cents for every mile driven in excess of five miles over the speed limit. Those pennies add up when the fleet mileage registers in the millions every year.

A university vehicle is essentially a moving billboard with "Iowa State University" emblazoned on the side of the car, truck or van. This gives other drivers an easy avenue for complaints - much like a "How's my driving?" bumper sticker with a feedback phone number.

"We do get reports from citizens about driving, speeding, changing lanes -- and we act on those," said Arlo Meyer, associate vice president for business services. "Employees driving university vehicles have an opportunity to portray a positive image of Iowa State through their actions. Unsafe driving does just the opposite."

It's no secret that driving the speed limit can help cut costs at the fuel pump, but drivers of university vehicles also can save themselves a headache by easing off the gas pedal. If you are ticketed for speeding in an ISU vehicle, it's your fine to pay. The same goes for parking fines. Too many tickets or complaints could cause drivers to lose the privilege of using university vehicles.

Drivers can find policies and procedures online. Additional information, including fuel-saving tips and rates can be found at

In addition to obeying the speed limit, drivers also should remember:

  • vehicles are for university business only (no personal errands or use by family members)
  • transporting family members, including children, is not authorized
  • smoking is not permitted in vehicles
  • alcohol is not allowed
  • everyone in the vehicle is required to wear a seatbelt


  • Fuel university vehicles at Transportation Services, not a local station -- it's more economical and easily accessible
  • Carrying unnecessary weight reduces fuel economy
  • Avoid extended engine idling when a vehicle is parked
  • Check for other tips