Background Information & Purpose
It is the intent of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners that any person who drives a vehicle while performing official County business be qualified to drive under Oregon Motor Vehicle laws and also have the ability to operate the vehicle in a safe manner.
The County driver policy and procedures designed in January 1989 were done to augment the goals of the county's self-insured workers' compensation program and property damage/liability program as approved by the Risk Management Committee.
The policy includes operation both personal vehicles or County vehicles while on County business, applies to volunteers while engaged in official County business, and defines unacceptable driving record.
The goal of the driver safety policy is to assure operators of County vehicles have sufficient knowledge, skill and ability, measured in part through a safe driving history, to protect themselves, volunteers, the County, clients and the public from an unsafe driver.
Douglas County Driver Policy
It is the policy of Douglas County to ensure all operators of a motor vehicle, while used on official County business, are qualified to drive and drive safely. This policy includes both County-owned and privately owned motor vehicles. The purpose is to determine operators have sufficient knowledge about vehicle handling, portrayed through a safe driving record, so as to protect employees, volunteers, the County, clients, and the public from an unsafe driver.
When driving is a condition of employment, the employment offer will be made contingent upon satisfactory proof of an acceptable driving history.
No vehicle, while on County business, shall be operated by an improperly licensed driver or by a driver with an unacceptable driving record as defined within this policy.
The Human resources Director shall have responsibility to manage and direct the drive qualification policy.
County jobs will be evaluated and a determination made if driving is a condition of employment. Recruitment announcements for these positions will include a statement informing applicants that the employment offer will be contingent upon a valid Oregon Print of driving history report. Supervisors and Department Heads will review these documents. The Human Resources Director will provide the final review. Applicants who do not provide required documents will not be considered for employment or promotion for positions that involve driving.
Current employees tentatively selected for promotion or transfer from a non-driving to a driving required job, will also be required to produce the Department of Motor Vehicle report (Court Print of driving history).
The cost of the Department of Motor Vehicle report shall be the responsibility of the applicant or promoted/transferred employee.
When a recruitment is placed with the Human Resources Department, driving as a condition of employment will be discussed. If required, a statement to this effect will be on the recruitment announcement. The finalists chosen for interview will be required to bring to the interview, at their own expense, the above-mentioned Department of Motor Vehicles report. This document, along with their driver's license, will be viewed and discussed at the interview. Applicants from out-of-state must possess a valid drivers license and be able to obtain a valid Oregon driver's license within 30 days of employment with Douglas County. The driving history will be used to assess the risk the prospective employee presents as a person whose work duties require a motor vehicle for Douglas County. The driving history will be reviewed by both the Department Head and the Human Resources Director.
Any applicant found to have an unacceptable driving record (see Standards Number 5) will not be considered for employment in a position which requires driving.
Douglas County Employees
Any employee who operates a County vehicle or any vehicle on County business shall possess a valid Oregon driver's license must be obtained within 30 days of date of hire. It is the Department Head's responsibility to assure the employee receives an Oregon license within 30 days of hire. The class of license will be appropriate to the vehicle operated during County employment.
The Human Resources Director will verify driving records on all new hires for whom driving while on County business is a job requirement, and will maintain a master list of all County approved drivers.
At the annual performance evaluation, or more frequently if determined to be necessary by the Department Head or the Human Resources Director, driving records will be discussed with employees whose work duties require operating a motor vehicle. The Validity of the employee's Oregon driver's license will be reviewed as well.
Any County driver found to have an unacceptable driving record (see Standards Number 5) may be subject to appropriate disciplinary action up to and including discharge.
County driver authority will be given to operators who are required to regularly operate a vehicle on County business. Operators shall immediately report to their supervisor any suspensions, restrictions, limitations, revocation or restriction of driver's license or any other change in their driving status which violates the standards. Failure to do so by the next work day following knowledge of any change may result in disciplinary action including termination.
This policy shall also apply to people serving Douglas County in a volunteer capacity. Since these people are volunteers, the cost of obtaining the driving record will be paid for by the appropriate department.
Standard for Operation of Vehicles
1. All persons operating a motor vehicle on behalf of Douglas County must have a valid driver's license.
2. No authorized operator shall relinquish to another individual the operation of a County vehicle unless an emergency exists.
3. Operators will receive proper instructions from their supervisor or department safety officer regarding County vehicles and/or equipment before being authorized to operate them. This will include review of this policy, discussion of responsibility of the operator, and a test drive.
4. When private vehicles are used for County business, owners of the private vehicles will assure to the supervisor that:
a) the vehicle is in operable mechanical condition, and,
b) the vehicle is insured as required under Oregon law. Evidence of insurance must be provided annually to the department head.
5. Unacceptable driving record within the 12-month period preceding review of record, is defined as either of the following;
a) being convicted of a major traffic offense including driving while under the influence of intoxicants, hit-and-run, reckless driving, fleeing or trying to elude a police officer, driving while suspended or revoked, or after having been found to be a habitual offender as defined in ORS 809.600,
b) three moving violations.
1. All operators of County vehicles, equipment, or any other vehicle on County business will exercise every reasonable caution and care while operation the vehicle. Operators will obey all traffic laws, equipment, registration and licensing requirements applicable to the vehicle being operated.
All heavy equipment operators shall comply with the applicable portions of regulations governing these activities.
2. All operators and passengers of vehicles equipped with safety belts are required to wear safety belts. It will be the responsibility of the operator to see that all occupants comply.
3. Possession, use or being under the influence of any narcotic, hallucinogen, stimulant, sedative or other controlled substance while operating a County vehicle, or a private vehicle while on County business, is prohibited, except possession of a controlled substance for law enforcement purposes. If use of controlled substances or withdrawal symptoms adversely affect a driver's physical or mental faculties to any perceptible degree, or the driver tests A positive for any such substances by screening and confirmation tests, the driver will be deemed 'under the influence' for purpose of this policy. For purposes of this policy, 'controlled substances' shall have the definition stated in ORS 475.005. Violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination for the first offense.
4. Operation of a county vehicle, or a private vehicle while on County business, within four hours of having consumed alcoholic beverage, while in possession of an open container of alcoholic beverage or an alcohol hangover adversely affects a driver's physical or mental faculties to any perceptible degree or the driver's blood alcohol content exceeds.02%, the driver will be deemed 'under the influence' for purposes of this policy. County vehicles are not to be used to transport alcoholic beverages under any circumstances except for law enforcement purposes. Violation of this policy is subject to disciplinary action up to and including termination for the first offense.
5. Those persons using prescription medication which limits of affects their ability to operate a motor vehicle while on County business must report the use of medication to their supervisor or department head prior to operation of a vehicle. The supervisor or department head will determine whether the operator can safely operate the vehicle based upon the written recommendation of the operator's doctor. Questions concerning the safe operation of a vehicle must be referred to the Human Resources Director for review.
6. Eating while operating county vehicles or equipment is prohibited. Non-alcoholic beverages may be consumed while driving, but drivers are warned to exercise caution if beverages are being consumed while driving.
Traffic Violations or Accidents
1. Notify immediate supervisor and Human Resources Director as soon as possible.
2. File County Accident/Incident Report.
3. *Oregon law requires you to file an accident report with DMV if:
-Damage to the vehicle you were driving is over $1,500;
-Damage to property other than a vehicle is over $1,500;
-There is damage to any vehicle that is towed from the scene due to damages from the crash;
-There is injury or death resulting from the crash; or,
-You are the owner of a vehicle involved in a reportable crash and the driver fails to report the crash.
You must make the report within 72 hours. If you do not report a crash when required to do so, your driving privileges will be suspended. *(Excerpt from the Oregon Driver Manual 2005 - 2006)
4. Accidents will be determined to be either chargeable or non-chargeable.
Chargeable is defined by National Safety Council Criteria as:
a) an accident which results from the driver's negligence in which the driver failed to do everything he reasonably could have done to prevent it,
b) an accident cited as the driver's fault by a State, County or City law enforcement officer.
5. If the accident is non-chargeable and it is the first involvement while on County business, a record will be made in the employee's personnel file and the employee will receive a copy. The procedure is the same for volunteers.
6. If the accident is non-chargeable but the employee or volunteer had been involved in another County vehicle accident within the past 12 months, the department head will review the circumstances of the accidents and take appropriate corrective action.
7. If the accident is chargeable, the department head will determine appropriate corrective action. A letter of such action taken will be sent to the employee or volunteer and also be placed in the personnel file.
8. The Human Resources Director will be consulted prior to any disciplinary or corrective action.
Corrective actions for violations of this policy should be carried out by the operator's immediate supervisor and department head. All corrective actions should be progressive and consistent on a County-wide basis. The Humans Resources Director will be consulted prior to any disciplinary or corrective action. The following are recommendations for corrective action. Nothing in this policy precludes termination on the first offense where the circumstances warrant it.
1. Minor violations should be dealt with through training or verbal reprimand for first occurrence. Subsequent violations should be resolved through application of progressively severe actions including suspension. Major or repeated violations may result in termination consistent with applicable personnel rules.
2. Citations. Any operator action on County business who is cited and forfeits bail or is convicted of a moving violation may be disciplined in accordance with the policy for the first offense, with progressively severe discipline in accordance with the policy for the first offense, with progressively severe discipline for any subsequent bail forfeitures or convictions. Any operator who receives three moving violations in any one-year period will be reviewed by the Human Resources Director who may recommend appropriate action including a suspension of driving for County business. In cases where driving is a job requirement, this may result in an inability to do assigned work and, therefore, termination.
3. Accidents. Any operator involved in a chargeable accident while on County business should be appropriately disciplined. All incidents reported may be reviewed by the Human Resources Director with the involved Department Head.
4. Driving Records. The Human Resources Director may obtain a driving history from the Department of Motor Vehicles on each operator involved in a chargeable accident. This information will be reviewed and considered in making recommendations regarding the continuation of driving privileges while on County business.
5. Any operator convicted of driving under the influence of any intoxicating substance while on County business or in a County Vehicle may be subject to termination. Any operator convicted of driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance shall not operate a vehicle on the County's behalf until the individual is in possession of a valid license of the appropriate class and the case has been reviewed and continued driving approved by the Human Resources Director.
Reference: Personnel Rule 12 - Disciplinary Actions (PDF).
Attachment to Driver Policy
Oregon issues several classes of licenses and endorsements. Each class defines what vehicles may be driven.
Class A Commercial- Any vehicle or any combination of vehicles of any size or weight (except those requiring special endorsements and except a motorcycle)
-trailer with loaded weight more than 10,000 pounds
-combined vehicle weight rating is more than 26,000 pounds
Class B Commercial - Any single vehicle (without endorsement) with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds, or any such vehicle towing a trailer, if the trailer's loaded weight rating is not more than 10,000 pounds
Class B Restricted- A school bus or school activity vehicle.
Class C Commercial- Any single vehicle (without endorsements) with a loaded weight not more than 26,000 pounds, or any such vehicle towing a trailer, if the trailer's loaded weight rating is not more than 10,000 pounds OR combined weight is not more than 26,000 pounds.
Class C- A car or any single vehicle, except a motorcycle, designed to carry fewer than 16 passengers, including driver, and which does not weigh more than 26,000 pounds.
Class C Restricted - A moped.
Double and triple trailer- Required to pull double and triple trailers.
Tank vehicle- Required to drive a tank vehicle with a 1,000 gallon tank capacity or more, while carrying liquid or gas.
Hazardous materials- Required to drive any vehicle carrying hazardous materials that require placards.
Air brake- Required when operation vehicle equipped with air brakes.
Passenger- Required to drive any vehicle designed to seat more than 15 passengers.