Section 3 Personnel
Policy 3-12 DRIVER IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
DISTRIBUTION: All Departments
DRIVER IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM
PURPOSE: The purpose of this policy is to reduce injury exposure for
City employees and
the public and to minimize the loss of City resources due to employee involvement in
preventable vehicle accidents. These resources include man-hours, equipment, and money. This
policy contains provisions to insure that all City vehicle operators are properly licensed, and
trained on safe driving procedures for the specific type(s) of equipment that they operate while
on the job; that only properly qualified drivers are allowed to operate city-owned equipment; that
employee behavior that adversely affects the safe operation of equipment is either modified or
appropriately penalized; and that accident-free drivers are recognized and rewarded for their
BACKGROUND: The Driver Improvement Program was implemented in 1986 and
effective in reducing vehicle accidents. This revision is to refine the policy and update
procedures. Further, it incorporates the Safety Belt Policy that was previously published as a
separate administrative policy.
DEFINITIONS: Terms used in this administrative policy are defined as
Motor Vehicle: For the purposes of this policy, motor vehicle is defined as
self-propelled equipment where the operator rides in or on the equipment while operating it.
Included are farm tractors, construction equipment, and large riding mowers.
Collision: Contact of a motor vehicle with another motor vehicle,
person, animal, structure
or other object which causes injury or property damage or has the potential to do so.
Chargeable Collision: A collision (as defined above) in which the
actions of the driver of a
City-owned vehicle are the primary cause of the collision. Normally, the driver will have
violated state or local traffic law.
Preventable Collision: A collision in which the actions of the driver
of a City-owned
vehicle may not be the primary cause of the collision but did contribute to its occurrence by
failure to use appropriate defensive driving techniques or, in the case of non-operators,
negligence or misconduct caused or contributed to the collision of a City-owned vehicle.
Non-Preventable Collision: One in which the driver has little or no
circumstances resulting in the collision.
Damage Incident: An incident where damage or injury involves a city-owned vehicle but is
not the result of a collision. Examples include vandalism, theft, vehicle abuse, or objects thrown
by or out of a City-owned vehicle.
Chargeable Damage Incident: A damage incident (as defined above) where
employee is responsible for damage to a City-owned vehicle, injury to another person, or damage
to private property.
Non-Preventable Damage Incident: Damage incident where the assigned operator of a city-owned
vehicle or other employee had little or no control to prevent the resulting damage or
Driving Violation: A reported and confirmed incidence of a City-owned
vehicle not being
operated in accordance with traffic laws or proper defensive driving principles. These may
result from a complaint from private citizens or fellow employees validated after investigation by
the affected department head or from a citation or warning issued by a law enforcement agency.
I. Records Review and Driver Qualification
A. Pre-employment Record
1. The Human Resources Director will obtain and maintain
on file the official state driving
record of each person recommended for employment, transfer, or promotion to a position in
which operation of motive equipment is a major function, excluding occasional or incidental
operation. The employment candidates may be required to provide a copy of their driving record
or the Human Resources Department will obtain it from the Police Department.
2. If the review discloses a driving record of three
or more accidents, three or more moving
violations, or any combination thereof totaling three or more occurring in the two years
immediately preceding the review, the Human Resources Director will provide a copy to the
affected department director(s) for consideration of whether or not to deny the employment,
transfer or promotion. Any such employment, transfer or promotion accomplished prior to the
completion of the driving record review shall be provisional subject to the driving record review.
3. Departments are responsible for notifying the Human
Resources Department prior to
transferring or promoting an employee from a non-driving position to one requiring vehicle or
Operator Orientation, Vehicle Training and Certification:
1. It is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor
to familiarize each employee responsible
for operating motive equipment with the proper operating procedures and proper safety practices
for the equipment.
2. The employees immediate supervisor, designated
experienced operator or qualified
instructor will conduct a predetermined course of instruction to train and evaluate the employee
on the proper operation of each type and model of motorized vehicle or equipment that the
employee will be required to operate. The training will include proper operator maintenance
procedures. The training will be documented with specific details concerning instruction times,
dates, subject, etc. The exact nature of the training will be based on the complexity of the
equipment. It may be as basic as a check ride or observation of the operator or a formal
of instruction; whatever is necessary to prove to the supervisor that the employee is able to
operate and maintain the equipment proficiently and safely.
3. The division supervisor will verify each and every
type vehicle or equipment the employee
is qualified to operate and provide certification of the operators qualification to the Safety
Risk Officer for inclusion in employee driving records. Certification may be entered or updated
directly on the computer generated form provided by the Safety and Risk Officer and used by
supervisors and operators to update individual driving records. Certification is required for
types of motor vehicles including sedans, pickups, and other general-purpose vehicles.
4. Except during training and evaluation under the
direct supervision of the trainer, employees
will not be allowed to operate equipment that they have not been certified to operate. The
exceptions are sedans and similar light duty general-purpose vehicles which the employee is
licensed to operate.
5. Re-certification is required no less than once every
three years for each type equipment an
employee operates. This re-certification must be in writing following supervisor evaluation
which, when possible, will include a check ride. Re-certification will be required when
review indicates the lapse of at least three years since previous certification. The Safety and
Risk Officer will not accept the records update until certification is current.
Defensive Driving Training
1. Each person employed in a position where operation
of a City-owned vehicle is a
requirement of the position shall be required during duty hours to attend a defensive driving
course within 90 days of employment.
2. Each employee who has been assessed two or more
points for involvement in a collision
or who has a two-year cumulative total point assessment of three or more will be scheduled to
attend the next available formal defensive driving course offered by the City. For lesser point
assessments, the Board may require the employee to complete a formal defensive driving course,
require the employee to complete an alternative course of remedial driver training prescribed or
approved by the Vehicle Accident Review Board, or waive the training requirement as the Board
3. All employees who are required to operate City-owned
vehicles will be scheduled to attend
defensive driving training no less than every five years. The Safety and Risk Officer will
monitor and schedule employees to attend.
4. The Safety and Risk Officer will inform departments
or divisions of the names of
employees who are scheduled to attend driver training. Department directors will insure
employees attend as scheduled.
II. Safe Driver Incentive Awards: Awards are based on the number
of cumulative calendar
years an employee completes without being assessed points against his or her driving record by
one of the Citys Vehicle Accident Review Boards. Any point assessment will disqualify the
employee for any driving award for the calendar year in which the collision, incident or driving
violation giving rise to the point assessment occurred.
Safe Driving Awards: Awards will be presented to eligible employees for consecutive
calendar years without a point assessment according to the following:
1 year Certificate of Achievement
2-4 years Certificate and Safe Driving Pin
5-10 years Certificate, safe driving pin and one-half working
day of non-charged leave time
11+ years Certificate, safe driving pin, and one working day
of non-charged leave time.
1. Eligible employees are those in positions where
driving is a primary or major job
requirement who have completed one or more consecutive accident-free years. Accident free
year is defined as one in which the employee was assessed no points by a Vehicle Accident
2. For award consideration, the accident-free years
start at the first of the calendar year
following hire, promotion or transfer into a position where driving is a primary or major job duty
or the first of the calendar year following the date the employee was involved in a collision,
damage incident or driving violation for which one or more points were assessed.
3. All accumulated accident-free years previous to
the date of a collision, damage incident, or
driving violation for which one or more points were assessed are not considered in determining
future award eligibility.
4. For purposes of the incentive awards, only cumulative
accident-free years since January 1,
1985 are considered. However, the pins awarded will reflect the actual number of years without
C. Department directors will provide a list of such employees
within their department eligible
and nominated for the awards.
D. The Safety and Risk Officer will prepare certificates and
pins for eligible employees and
forward them to department directors for presentation.
E. Awards will be presented annually during the second
or third month of the calendar year.
The Mayor, City Manager, Department director or other official will present the awards in an
III. Point System for Collisions, Damage Incidents and Driving Violations
A. This establishes a system by which points are assessed
against the driving records of
employees involved in vehicle collisions or vehicle damage incidents or who violate traffic laws
or safe driving procedures. Points may be assessed to employees who cause or contribute to a
collision or damage to a City-owned vehicle even if they were not the operator of the vehicle
when the collision or damage occurred.
B. City employee driving records will be updated by
the Safety and Risk Officer to record any
involvement in a collision, incident or a violation and point assessment.
C. Points will be assessed against an employees
driving record by the City Vehicle Accident
Review Board according to the following:
Damage Incident 1
Damage Incident 0
At the discretion of the Review Board, a point may be added to or deducted from items
through "4" on this schedule. The additional point may be assessed due to an unusually high
to the City of the damages or injuries resulting from the collision or damage incident, the
seriousness of the driving violation committed by the employee, failure of the operator to wear
safety belts, failure to use ground guides to back when required, and other instances where
warranted. One point may be deducted by the Board based on extenuating circumstances such as
weather, road conditions, evasive actions minimizing damages, very minor or no damages,
improper or inadequate direction by a designated ground guide, or other situations that the Board
feels mitigate the employees responsibilities for a collision or incident.
For non-operator personnel whose negligence or misconduct caused or contributed to
no more than two points may be assessed. No more than one point may be assessed against such
employees for a chargeable damage incident.
For a collision or damage incident where more than one of the above categories may
apply, the Board will assess points based on the one category for which the greatest number of
points could be assessed.
The Police Department has a separate Vehicle Accident Review Board and point assessments
the Police Board will be governed by Departmental policy.
Violations Which May Cause Immediate Termination: Some violations are of such a
serious nature that the point system may be preempted and the initial occurrence becomes cause
for immediate termination of employment.
1. Operating a city-owned vehicle or piece of equipment
while his/her driving privileges have
been revoked or suspended by the State of Oklahoma.
2. Willful intent to injure or damage property, or
reckless conduct resulting in injury or
damage to property, by a City employee. Any property damage or injury caused by a City
employee while using or under the influence of beer or alcoholic beverage or any controlled or
dangerous substance as defined by the statutes and laws of the State of Oklahoma.
3. Any injury or property damage caused by a City employee
who is engaged in conduct
outside the scope of his employment with the City of Lawton.
Recovery of Loss or Liability by City of Lawton: For any property damage or injury
resulting from the actions of an employee as described in the preceding paragraph causing loss or
liability on the part of the City, the City of Lawton shall institute appropriate action to recover
the loss from the offending employee, whether or not the employee is discharged as a result
thereof. Special care shall be given to evaluating accidents involving authorized emergency
vehicles used in emergency situations.
IV. Vehicle Accident Review Boards: Two Boards are established. The City Vehicle
Accident Review Board will handle actions involving all general employees and Fire Department
employees. The Police Vehicle Accident Review Board is established for actions involving
Composition of Boards
1. The City Vehicle Accident Review Board is composed
of the City Manager or designated
representative, the Safety and Risk Officer, and the Equipment Maintenance Division
Superintendent, who are considered permanent members of the Board. In addition, a designated
representative from the Department or Division of the employee whose collision, incident, or
violation is being considered, will be a voting member of the Board, but only for the involved
employees they represent. With the exception of the Fire Department, the designated
representative will be the Department/Division representative on the General Employee Safety
Committee. The Fire Chief will appoint the Fire Department representative. Thus, at any point
time, the Board will have a maximum of four voting members.
2. The Police Vehicle Accident Review Board will be
composed of the Safety and Risk
Officer, Equipment Maintenance Division Superintendent, and two police supervisors (captains
or lieutenants) or one police supervisor and one police master officer appointed by the Police
Responsibilities of Boards
1. The Boards are established to monitor overall driver
qualifications, to review vehicle
collisions/incidents involving City employees and to determine appropriate actions to reduce the
number and severity of vehicle accidents. The Boards will also monitor the driver training and
driver orientation programs.
2. The Boards have final responsibility for assessing
points against the driving records of
employees who are involved in preventable collisions or who are otherwise guilty of driving
violations. In determining points or reviewing discipline, the Board may consider unusual or
Rules and Regulations: The following information pertains to the City Vehicle Accident
Review Board. Police Board guidelines are contained in a departmental policy.
Chairman: The City Manager or designated representative will act as Board
Administrative Support: The Safety and Risk Officer will provide the
administrative support, including preparation of the agenda and recording minutes of the
Meetings: Meetings will be conducted no less than monthly at dates and
in the bylaws or as determined by the Chairman.
Quorum: All three permanent members of the Board must be present.
Conduct Hearings: The employee, his immediate supervisor, division or
may request a formal hearing before the Board if they disagree with the points assessed by the
Board. The request for formal hearing must be submitted within ten days of the Boards initial
findings and must be in writing with an explanation as to why the initial findings of the Board
were not appropriate. The department director will insure that the employee, the employees
immediate supervisor, and the available witnesses appear at the hearing as scheduled. The Board
may elect to conduct a formal hearing on any accident/incident or driving violation. The
decision of the Board is final, subject to applicable provisions of the Lawton City Charter,
employment agreements with bargaining units, and state law.
V. Disciplinary Action
A. The appropriate level of disciplinary action for
an employee is determined by the
cumulative points assessed against that employees driving record by the Board for collisions,
damage incidents, or infractions occurring during a 24-month period. Points assessed by
Board for any current collision, incident, or infraction under review will be added to points
assessed for such occurrences in the previous 24-month period and prescribed disciplinary action
will be based on the point total. Department directors are responsible for taking disciplinary
action. The City Manager must approve suspensions of ten days or more or termination. The
prescribed disciplinary action for the various levels of point accumulation are as follows:
0-1 Informal Conference
2-4 Written warning notice
5-6 Written reprimand and one day suspension without
7-8 Suspension of 40 working hours without pay
or above Termination from City employment
Process for Investigation, Submission to Board, and Determination of Disciplinary Action -- Collision/Damage
1. All employees will be instructed to immediately call their
supervisors and the Police
Department whenever they are involved in a vehicle accident. The Police Department has agreed
to respond and prepare a report even if the accident occurred on private property.
2. Upon notification that one of his/her assigned personnel
have been involved in a
collision/incident, the immediate or higher level supervisor shall immediately begin investigation
of the collision/incident. Written statements from available witnesses will be obtained.
3. Interview of the employees involved: As a part of
the investigation, the investigating
supervisor must interview the vehicle operator to determine the employees version of how the
collision/incident occurred and how it could have been prevented. If one or more other
employees were involved who were not operating the vehicle at the time the collision or incident
but may have caused or contributed to it, they will also be interviewed. The affected
employee(s) will be told that points may be assessed against their driving record(s) and, based on
cumulative point total, disciplinary action may be taken. Also, the employee(s) will be told that
he/she may be required to appear before an Accident Review Board.
4. Based on the investigation, the supervisor will
prepare a City of Lawton Vehicle Damage
Report." (See attachment #1)
5. At department or division level, any police report
of the collision/incident and written
damage estimates must be obtained and attached to the City of Lawton Vehicle Damage
6. The department director will review the documentation
for completeness, accuracy, and
comprehensiveness. Based on the information available, the department director will
recommend the appropriate point assessment in accordance with this policy. The
recommendation, along with narrative justification, will be forwarded to the Safety and Risk
Officer for consideration by the appropriate Review Board.
7. Copies of all documents relating to the collision/incident
and subsequent investigation,
along with the department head recommendations which may be made on the "City of Lawton
Vehicle Damage Report" or in a separate narrative attached to the report, will be forwarded to
the Safety and Risk Officer within seven calendar days of the collision/incident.
8. The Review Board will review the accident package
and preliminarily determine the points,
if any, to assess against the driving records of the employees involved. If points are assessed,
employee(s) will have a chance to appeal and have a full hearing before the Board. Once the
Board has reached a final ruling, it will forward to the applicable department director or division
supervisor a report of the assessed points for the accident/ incident in question, the employees
cumulative point total, and the disciplinary action specified by this Policy. The department
director will then take appropriate action.
Process for Submission to Review Board, and Determination of Driving Violations (Police
1. All employees are required to report to their supervisor
all traffic citations (tickets) that
they receive while operating a city-owned vehicle or piece of equipment. Department directors
will insure that the immediate supervisor provides a copy of the citation along with a narrative
statement as to events and circumstances surrounding the issuance of the citation in
memorandum format. A statement from the employee may be included.
2. The Board will review the documentation and issue
a ruling on the reported driving
violation. The employee will be given an opportunity for a formal hearing if dissatisfied with
Boards preliminary ruling.
3. The Boards findings will be transmitted by letter
to the employee and their supervisor
concerning any point assessment. The department director will be notified of the
suggested/recommended disciplinary action to take based on the employees cumulative point
Process for Investigation, Submission to Review Board, and Determination of Disciplinary
Action--Driving Violations (Complaints)
1. Due to the nature of complaints from the public
or fellow employees concerning driving
violations (see definition), investigation is required to determine their validity.
2. All such complaints received will be sent to the
appropriate department/division for
3. The complaint or summary thereof, and the result
of the investigation will be submitted in
writing, by the immediate supervisor, to the department director who will forward the report with
his comments and recommendations to the Safety and Risk Officer.
4. All documentation concerning the complaint will
be reviewed by a Review Board, the
validity determined, and, if appropriate, points assessed.
5. The Review Board will inform the department of the
employees cumulative point total and
of the prescribed disciplinary action to be taken and forward a notice letter to the affected
6. A formal hearing may be requested by the employee
to appeal the Review Boards
VI. Driver Record Maintenance, Review, and Update
Establishment of City Driver Records for City Employees
1. The Human Resources Department will establish City
driving records for employees newly
hired, promoted, or transferred into positions requiring operation of City-owned vehicles.
2. Should supervisors become aware that employees who
are required to operate City-owned
vehicles have not been entered in the records program, they are to contact the Safety and Risk
Officer who will arrange to establish the appropriate driving records.
3. Employees who do not have established driving records
are not authorized to operate City-owned vehicles.
4. The Safety and Risk Officer will maintain and update
driving records as appropriate.
5. Driving record will include the employees
name, drivers license number, birth date, job
title, department, division, driver license expiration date, type license, list of type equipment the
employee is authorized to operate, defensive driving courses attended, collisions/incidents and
driving violations with point assessments, and most recent record review date.
1. No less than once every four years, during the month
the employees drivers license is
scheduled to expire, the Safety and Risk Officer will provide a copy of their driving record to the
2. The employee will review their record with the immediate
or higher level supervisor. They
will correct and update any incorrect, incomplete or outdated information on the record and
determine if further action is required (such as schedule attendance at a defensive driving course,
train the employee on additional equipment, re-certify the equipment the employee is authorized
to operate, etc.)
3. A copy of the updated record certified by the employee
and the supervisor will be returned
to the Safety and Risk Officer who will then update the master record.
Driver License Examination: It is forbidden for an employee to operate a city-owned
vehicle or piece of equipment without a drivers license of the appropriate class currently valid
the State of Oklahoma. In conjunction with the records review, the supervisor will physically
inspect the employees license and certify that it is valid and indicate the expiration date or
certify it invalid or unavailable and report the employee to the appropriate division supervisor or
department director for appropriate action.
VII. City Safety Belt Policy
A. Unless an exemption has been granted, any person
operating or riding in a City-owned
vehicle will be required to have safety belts buckled around them and properly adjusted at all
times while the vehicle is in motion. This policy includes construction equipment, farm tractors
and riding mowers equipped with rollover protection, and vehicles equipped with air bags.
B. Requests for exemptions to this policy must be in
writing with full justification as to how
and why particular operations or job requirements preclude the use of safety belts. The request
will be forwarded from the Department Director through the Safety and Risk Officer to the City
Manager for approval. The Safety and Risk Officer will investigate and provide findings and
recommendations to the City Manager. No exemptions can be granted for vehicle classes
requiring seat belt usage by state law.
C. Equipment Maintenance Division employees will inspect
to insure that safety belts are
installed and serviceable during maintenance activities on City-owned vehicles. If discrepancies
are found, they will be reported to the applicable department director for correction. Department
directors will be responsible for insuring that safety belts are installed and serviceable.
D. The bid specifications for all vehicle purchases
will require safety belt installation for
drivers and passengers as a part of the contract. This requirement extends to construction
equipment, farm tractors and large riding mowers. Also, rollover protection (ROPS) must be
specified for these vehicles.
E. Noncompliance with this policy will be treated the
same as noncompliance with any other
job requirement. Disciplinary action will be taken against employees who fail to use safety belts
and supervisors who fail to enforce this policy.
VIII. Authorized Operations of City-Owned Vehicles: Only
City employees who are
properly licensed, trained and who have driving records established in the Citys Driver Program
should be allowed to operate city-owned vehicles. Persons not employed by the City of Lawton,
including leased employees from a temporary services firm, should be prohibited from operating
IX. Dead Lining of City-Owned Vehicles
A. It is the policy that all vehicles and other motorized
equipped provided by the City for
operation by City employees will be fully serviceable and safely operable.
B. Department directors will insure that a comprehensive
vehicle inspection program is in
effect for assigned equipment. Inspection checklists will be used to ascertain operating condition
of each vehicle.
C. All operators will take action to correct, or report
to their immediate supervisor for
correction, all vehicle discrepancies which could affect the safe operation of the vehicle.
D. Unsafe vehicles will be immediately dead lined by the
division/department to which they
are assigned until repairs are completed.
E. The Equipment Maintenance Superintendent has the authority
to dead line any City owned
vehicles which he deems to be operationally unsafe.
RESCISSION: This policy rescinds Administrative Policies 3-12 dated August
14, 1998, and
will remain in effect until rescinded.
DEPARTMENT: Human Resources
LARRY S. MITCHELL
May 17, 2005
(3-12, Amended, 05/17/2005, Prior Text)