[HISTORY: Adopted by the Harford County Council by Bill No. 76-87. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Amended by Bill Nos. 77-6; 77-93]
This chapter 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 chapter shall apply only to those operators of vehicles and vehicles titled in the name of the County, excluding Liquor Board inspectors and vehicles and civil defense, law enforcement, fire protection and emergency ambulance service operators and vehicles.
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.
County vehicles shall be assigned to agencies of the County government by the County Executive as approved in an Annual Budget and Appropriation Ordinance. Except as otherwise prohibited by law, vehicles may be reassigned between agencies by the County Executive or his designee when assigned vehicles are no longer required for the efficient, effective operation of the agency to which the vehicle is assigned.
No vehicle may be assigned to one (1) particular person, except for the County Executive, district supervisors of the Department of Parks and Recreation and the Director of Administration or a person who is regularly assigned to and is actually required to respond to emergencies on a twenty-four-hour basis. An "emergency" is a situation involving any unforeseen combination of circumstances or pressing necessities that may cause the loss of life, limb or property, which necessitates prompt and immediate action or remedy by the individual to whom the vehicle is assigned.
No vehicle shall be assigned to 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, except for the County Executive and County Councilmen, 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 unless authorized by the Director of Administration in writing. Those individuals permitted to operate County vehicles must comply with all applicable County requirements.
[Amended by Bill No. 15-016]
Except as provided for herein, no vehicle assignments shall be made specifically on the basis of seniority or personnel classification of an individual. Permanent assignment of County-owned vehicles shall be made only to persons meeting the established criteria.
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, transporting 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 County Treasurer'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.
Willful disregard of these regulations will be considered just cause for disciplinary action under the County Personnel Law and civil service regulations.
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 (3) 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.
The County Executive shall establish intraagency County-owned motor vehicle pools, in which all vehicles not assigned to individuals shall be maintained. The reimbursed use of privately owned vehicles for County business during normal business hours of the County shall be allowed only when no County-owned vehicle is available.
The County Executive shall establish rules, regulations and procedures to provide for the effectuation of this chapter.