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City of Canton
Vehicle Policy

Section 1.    Vehicle Operator Responsibilities

1.  All City of Canton vehicle operators (“vehicle operators”) must, at all times, understand the operating procedures required for the type of vehicles they are licensed to operate.

2.  All City of Canton vehicle operators must be thoroughly familiar with and use the following forms (available at the Law Department)

  • City of Canton Vehicle Policies & Procedures Form
  • City of Canton Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form

3.  All City of Canton vehicle operators must understand and obey any other rules that are added from time to time to the vehicle policy

4.  City of Canton vehicle operators must understand the seriousness of vehicle abuse and misuse and that all offenders will be responsible for any offense committed. 

5.  All vehicle operators must understand that any failure on his/her part to comply with the operator’s inspection requirements or failure to comply with any policy procedures required by the City of Canton may result in disciplinary action up to and including dismissal and/or any pecuniary liability damage.

6.  Each City employee must inform his/her Department Head, immediate supervisor or other appropriate official when and for what reason his/her license to operate vehicles has been suspended or terminated.

7.  City vehicles are to be used exclusively for City business.

8.  In the event of any accident, a vehicle operator shall submit to immediate drug testing subject to Civil Service Laws, Rules and Regulations and/or Collective Bargaining agreements, if applicable.

Section 2.    Vehicle Operation Guidelines
       
1.  A City vehicle must be operated in a careful, defensive and safe manner, within authorized speed limits, and observing all traffic regulations. 

2.  Proper driving techniques must be used and proper care of a City vehicle must be practiced to preserve the vehicle and reduce operating costs.

3.  City vehicle operators must follow all local, state and federal laws regarding the operation of motor vehicles. 

4.  No vehicle operator will place a vehicle in motion until ALL seat belts have been properly fastened.  Seat belts shall not be released while vehicle is in motion.  Inoperable seat belts shall be reported to the Division of Motor Vehicles (“DMV”).

5.  All vehicle operators will avoid backing up unless performed with reasonable safety and without disrupting traffic or threatening damage to other property.  A spotter shall be employed at ALL times when backing up in vehicles with restricted vision including, but not limited to, buses, tractor trailers, van type vehicles, fire trucks and the like.

6.  Emergency flasher lights should be used in appropriate situations.

7.  When a vehicle operator exits a vehicle, the engine should be shut off, the emergency brake set, keys removed and the vehicle shall be locked.  Vehicles responding to emergency calls should follow departmental policy.

8.  When parking City vehicles at parking meters during hours of operation, the necessary change must be paid by the employees at the time of parking.  The police will enforce violations of this rule and employees will be liable for fines.
   
9.  No City vehicle should be parked in restricted areas throughout the City of Canton.  The police shall enforce violations of this rule and employees will be liable for fines.

10.  If your vehicle encounters a mechanical problem within the City of Canton corporation limits, follow established departmental policies or contact DMV at 330-489-3012 and report the nature of the problem.  If you are outside the corporation limits, contact your immediate supervisor.

Section 3.    Accident Reporting Guidelines   

1.  In the event of any accident, immediately stop the vehicle and call the local police, State Highway Patrol or the Stark County Sheriff’s Office.

2.  Seek assistance for any injured persons.  However, injured persons must not be moved, unless absolutely necessary for their protection.

3.  Warn other motorist of any existing street or highway hazard.  Use flares, if necessary.

4.  Submit to drug/alcohol testing subject to Civil Service Laws, Rules and Regulations and/or Collective Bargaining agreements, if applicable.

5.  Vehicle operators with radio communications must notify Central Dispatch and provide their name, location, vehicle number and any injuries.

6.  Complete and sign City of Canton Motor Vehicle Accident Report Form and submit to the Department Head.

7.  Department Heads must sign, certify and forward the completed City of Canton Motor Vehicle Accident Report within twenty-four (24) hours of the accident to the Law Department.  The Law Department shall distribute to designated departments. 
   
8.  All vehicles shall be taken to DMV within twenty-four (24) hours for visual inspection and estimated damage reports.

Section 4.      Fatal Accidents       

1.  All fatal accidents or accidents involving serious bodily injury shall be investigated by the State Highway Patrol.

2.  All vehicle operators involved in fatal accidents or accidents involving serious bodily injury shall submit to immediate drug testing, which will be performed subject to Civil Service Laws, Rules and Regulations and/or Collective Bargaining agreements, if applicable.

Section 5.     Licensing Requirements

1.  Any employee operating City vehicles must possess a valid State of Ohio driver’s license.  All operators of City equipment, excluding cars, pickup trucks, window vans and station wagons, must possess a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

a.    Exception:

  • Any exempt Fire Department personnel.
  • Operators of motorcycles must possess a motorcycle endorsement.

2.  Any City employee whose driver’s license is suspended or revoked by any Court in the United States or by the State of Ohio Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), will report such actions to his/her Department Head.  Failure to report this may result in disciplinary action.  Employees will not drive City vehicles until their driver’s license is reinstated.

3.  Department Heads are to maintain current documentation of all licenses for each employee who operates a City vehicle or equipment.

4.  Any changes in licensing requirements due to physical impairments or other reason(s) shall be reported to the Department Head immediately.

5.  All new City employees shall sign a release to allow for a review of their Ohio DMV driving record in order to determine their qualifications for operating City vehicles or equipment.

Section 6.    Accident Review Board (ARB)  

1.  The regular voting members are as follows: 

  • Warren Price, Chairman, Accident Review Board
  • Thomas Ream, Director of Public Safety
  • Lt. John Rubis, Director of Public Safety Appointee
  • Donald Heath, Director of Public Service Appointee

2.  The purpose of the ARB is to promote safety in all phases of City vehicle maintenance and operation to reduce the number of accidents. 

3.  All City of Canton Elected Officials, Department Heads and employees who operate City vehicles or equipment in the course of their official duties may be required to appear before the ARB in the event of an accident.

4.  The ARB shall have complete authority to review all City vehicle accidents and to make decisions, orders and recommendations relative to operations in accordance with this policy.

a.  ARB may choose not to review a case prior to determination pending in any Court.

5.  The ARB shall be designated as a disciplinary body with complete authority to enforce all internal rules and regulations regarding City vehicles issued by the Mayor, Director of Public Service and Director of Public Safety and at its discretion, may review all complaints and violations thereof.

6.  The ARB may delegate authority to a Department Head to investigate and charge an employee with points for any classification violation.
   
7.  The ARB will hold quarterly meetings to review cases from all Departments to ensure consistent application.

8.  The ARB will only meet outside of their quarterly meetings for the following purposes:

a.    To review accidents involving potential six (6) point violations.

b.    To review accidents involving employees who are charged with any classification violation which would increase the employee’s total number of points to six (6) points.

9.  In the event that a regular voting member is unable to attend a meeting, the Appointing Authority shall appoint an alternate.

10.  The ARB shall review all materials provided by the Department Head and conduct interviews of the City employee and any other witnesses it deems necessary in order to determine whether the accident was preventable.

11.  Preventable includes accidents or incidents that could have reasonably been prevented by proper attention and/or utilization of defensive driving techniques.

12.  Non-Preventable includes accidents or incidents where the employee is not at fault or where the accident or incident could not have been reasonably prevented.

13.  Any employee failing to appear before the ARB will be referred to the Appointing Authority for disciplinary action.  The ARB may be granted one (1) rescheduled meeting upon an employee’s request and receipt of the ARB Chair’s prior approval.

14.  Failure to appear at any ARB meeting will be viewed as an acceptance of any decisions made by the board members.

Section 7.    Appointing Authority Actions   
       
1.  After the Director of Public Service or Director of Public Safety (“Directors”) receives the ARB’s report, which shall include a summary of the accident, the ARB’s findings, conclusions and recommendations, either Director shall review the report and determine what discipline, if any, shall be imposed.  Discipline may not be the same as the ARB’s recommendation. 

2.  The Directors reserve the right to issue discipline involving an accident without prior review from the ARB, if necessary.

3.  Preventable accidents or incidents are grounds for disciplinary action subject to Civil Service Laws, Rules and Regulations and/or Collective Bargaining agreements, if applicable.
   
Section 8.     Point System  

1. Any City of Canton driver convicted of a traffic violation is assessed a specific number of points according to the type of violation. 

2.  Points are cumulative throughout a two (2) year period from the first violation.

3.  The following is the point assessments for specific violations:

a.    Classification I         0 POINTS
City Employee Not at Fault: Employee not at fault, may be required to attend classes for defensive driving instructions.
       
b.    Classification II          1 POINT
Mitigating Circumstances:  City employee technically at fault, but because of particular circumstances was unable to avoid accident.
       
c.    Classification III           2 POINTS

i. City Employee Carelessness: Accident could have been prevented with reasonable thought and caution.

ii. Failure to report:  Failure to report any accident to the proper law enforcement agency is an automatic 2 points.

iii.    All moving violations except those pertaining to size limits including, but not limited to:

a.  Speeding
b.  Failure to Yield Right-of-Way
c.  Assured Clear Distance

iv.   Out of Control
v.    Weaving In and Out of Traffic, Improper Lane Usage
vi.   Operating a motor vehicle in violation of a restriction imposed by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.

e.    Classification IV       4 POINTS
City Employees Culpable Reckless: Operated vehicle with knowledge of possible consequences.

f.    Classification V         6 POINTS

i.    Operating a City vehicle while under the influence of alcohol and/or any drug abuse.
ii.    Failure to stop and disclose identity at the scene of an accident.
iii.    Willfully fleeing or eluding a police officer.
iv.    Drag racing.
v.    Operating a City vehicle without the consent of owner.
vi.   Operating a City vehicle while license is under suspension or revocation.
vii.  Using a City vehicle in the commission of a felony or committing any crime punishable as a felony under Ohio Motor Laws.
viii.    Vehicular homicide.

Section 9.      Penalties   

1.  A driver assessed with two (2) points within a one (1) year period will be issued a verbal warning to be placed in his/her file. 

2.  A driver assessed four (4) points within a one (1) year period will be issued a written warning to be placed in his/her file. 

3.  A driver assessed six (6) points in less than a two (2) year period will be referred to the Director of Public Safety or Director of Public Service for possible disciplinary actions.

4.  Employees may be discharged prior to an ARB hearing subject to Civil Service Laws, Rules and Regulations and/or Collective Bargaining agreements, if applicable.

Section 10.      Appeals  
   
1.   Any employee may appeal to the ARB. 

2.   Where applicable, employees may object or appeal to any decision by filing a grievance pursuant to the appropriate Collective Bargaining Agreement grievance procedure.

 


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