[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of County Commissioners (now County Council) of Cecil County 12-28-1982; amended in its entirety 12-10-1991. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The policy enumerated hereafter applies to anyone who operates any vehicle owned, leased and/or insured by Cecil County, Maryland. Failure to comply with any of these regulations could result in loss of driving privileges, disciplinary action and/or termination.
Anyone who operates a vehicle that is in service to the Cecil County government must have his/her motor vehicle record approved by the Human Resources Department. Driving records are a condition of employment for those operating motor vehicles.
Department heads (including elected officials) may request approval for additional existing employees to be added by sending the following information, in writing, to the Human Resources Department:
After receiving the above information, the Human Resources Office will conduct a review of the prospective driver's record.
The following guidelines, developed using the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration's status and point system, are used:
Current license status. Only those persons possessing a valid license will be considered for positions within County government and be permitted to drive a County vehicle. Eligible, suspended or revoked license status is not acceptable for driving a County vehicle.
In addition to the criterion of license status, current point total will be considered.
Should a prospective or existing employee hold other than a Maryland driver's license, the guidelines above will be applied, but modified as necessary for the employee's respective state.
The Sheriff's Department and the Department of Emergency Services will conduct their own check of motor vehicle records and will certify the driving records of their employees by sending a copy of the report supplied by the Motor Vehicle Administration to the Human Resources Department.
[Amended 11-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-12]
County employees who operate motor vehicles are responsible for adhering to regulations issued by their department, in conjunction with the Human Resources Department.
All driving records of employees who operate County-owned or -leased motor vehicles will be reviewed by the Human Resources Department every two years or as requested.
The Human Resources Department will administer a driver's safety course for all employees who operate County motor vehicles. The course must be completed every two years or as required.
Once an employee is determined eligible to operate a County motor vehicle, he/she will remain eligible as long as the following conditions are met:
The person remains employed by Cecil County.
The employee holds a valid driver's license for the state in which he or she resides and provides documentation that his or her driving privileges in Maryland have not been revoked.
No more than five points accumulate on the employee's driving record.
The employee follows the Cecil County Motor Vehicle Operators Regulations.
In addition to the possible grounds for revocation of driving privileges enumerated above, any person may be determined ineligible to drive for cause, as determined by the Department of Human Resources in conjunction with the department head/elected official.
All operators are responsible for obeying the laws of the state/jurisdiction in which they are driving. Any violations of such laws are the operator's responsibility.
No alcoholic beverages or illicit drugs are permitted to be used or carried within the vehicle at any time.
No hitchhikers or unauthorized personnel are to be permitted to ride in or operate any vehicle at any time.
All employees are responsible for operating the vehicle in a safe and efficient manner. Any abuse of the vehicle will not be tolerated and may lead to suspension or termination.
Mechanical problems must be reported as soon as possible to the department head/supervisor, and the vehicle must be taken to the Roads Department for the necessary corrections.
All litter must be removed from the vehicle, and the appearance of the vehicles maintained.
All factory-installed safety equipment shall be utilized in the manner intended when installed.
[Added 11-13-2012 by Ord. No. 2012-12]
Applicability. This section shall apply to the use and operation of all County-owned or -leased vehicles that are primarily designed for the transportation of passengers and shall apply to pickup trucks or other trucks whose use or intended purpose is to transport personnel, as well as materials and supplies. This section shall apply only to those operators of vehicles and vehicles titled in the name of the County, excluding law enforcement operators and vehicles.
Identification and assignment to County personnel.
All vehicles utilized or leased by agencies of the County shall be titled in or leased by the County and may have the using agency also listed on the title or lease. All vehicles owned or operated by the County shall have license tags issued by the state that clearly designate the plate as being issued to a political subdivision and shall have a decal placed on each side that clearly identifies the vehicle as being owned or operated by the County, except unidentified police vehicles.
County vehicles shall be assigned to departments of the County government by the County Executive as approved in the annual budget. Except as otherwise prohibited by law, vehicles may be reassigned between departments by the County Executive or his designee when assigned vehicles are no longer required for the efficient, effective operation of the department to which the vehicle is assigned.
No vehicle shall be operated by an individual whose record indicates a tendency of being accident prone; or whose driving habits or general health condition is poor; or whose record indicates a lack of regard for County property; or who has not properly used or maintained, in a careful manner, a previously assigned vehicle.
When not in use, all vehicles shall be available for other employees requiring transportation for official business. During normal business hours, mileage allowances for use of privately owned vehicles shall not be allowed if a County vehicle is available.
No County vehicle may be operated by any person who is not an officer or employee of the County.
Rules for operation.
The operator of a County-owned vehicle shall be personally responsible for the vehicle assigned to or operated by him. Should damage result through misuse or gross negligence, the operator may be required to make restitution to the County. If the vehicle is damaged beyond repair, such restitution shall be in the amount of the then-current wholesale value of the vehicle as reported in the National Auto Dealer Association's official guidebook. The employee, having made such restitution, will then be entitled to the damaged vehicle.
The operator of a County-owned vehicle is charged with the responsibility to take all reasonable precautions to ensure the safety of the vehicle and its contents from theft and vandalism. When leaving a County-owned vehicle, the operator is to lock the vehicle and take the keys with him, except in those instances when parking in a commercial parking garage where the operator is required to leave the keys in the vehicle. When parked on County-owned or -operated lots, keys shall either be retained by the operator or turned in to the designated custodian.
County-owned vehicles shall be used for official business only and, when permanently assigned to personnel required to respond to emergency calls on a twenty-four-hour basis, for travel directly to and from home and the designated place of work. Use by anyone of a County-owned vehicle for personal business, i.e., except as permitted herein, driving to and from work; transporting members of the family; children to and from school; shopping; or for pleasure is prohibited.
County officers and employees may not accept the use, in the performance of County business, of a motor vehicle which is not titled to the County, unless the vehicle's owner receives a reasonable compensation. If such vehicles are to be operated by anyone other than a County officer or employee on official business, the additional insurance coverage and the cost thereof shall be paid by the using department through the Director of Finance's Office. A written request for such arrangements for use of a vehicle not titled to the County to conduct official business shall be submitted to the County Executive.
All drivers must have a driver's license which is valid in the state.
All traffic and parking laws are to be obeyed. Posted speed limits are not to be exceeded, nor is the vehicle to be operated above safe driving speeds for road conditions. All violation fines shall be the responsibility of the driver involved.
All accidents are to be reported by vehicle operators to their agency heads immediately, even though another vehicle is not involved or there are no apparent injuries or damages. A written report must be forwarded to the Director of Administration immediately by the agency head.
A daily travel log shall be maintained in each County-owned automobile, to be turned in to agency heads on a weekly basis. Logs must indicate all destinations, stops and miles commuted to and from residences and principal work locations by the drivers, even if such vehicles are driven by different individuals. Agencies are required to have these logs available for audit purposes for a minimum of three years.
County-owned vehicles are to be efficiently maintained. Vehicles assigned to agencies unable to provide scheduled maintenance are to be guided by oil changes, lubrications and maintenance recommendations of the manufacturer. All warranties are to be exercised.
The use of County credit cards is restricted to County-owned automobiles, and under no circumstances are such cards to be left in the custody of service station attendants or other persons not employed by the County.