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Document Code No.: FES 12-1-2 (AEP)
Department/Issuing Agency: Department of Public Works - Fleet Administration
Effective Date: October 4, 1991
Approved: /s/ Tim Hill
Type of Action: Supersedes FES 12-1-1 (AEP) (PDF, 2.91 MB)

Signed document (PDF, 2.91 MB)

1.0 SUBJECT TITLE: Use of King County Vehicles


    2.1 To establish uniform practices in the use of assigned and dispatched County vehicles and the management and control of County vehicles used for carpooling.


    Applicable to all King County Agencies and Offices.


    4.1 RCW 35.21.820 - Acquisition and disposal of vehicles for commuter ride sharing by city employees.

    4.2 RCW 43.41.130 - Passenger motor vehicles owned or operated by state agencies.

    4.3 RCW 43.41.140 - Employee commuting in state owned or leased vehicles.

    4.4 RCW 46.74 - Ride sharing.

    4.5 RCW 51.08.013 - Disallows commuter ride sharing as "acting in the cause of employment."

    4.6 KCC 3.04.020A - Just and equitable treatment. A. Use of Public Property.

    4.7 FES 12-1 (AP) - Motor Pool Operating Procedures Manual.

    4.8 Memorandum, dated March 20, 1991 - Subject: Establishment of King County Non-Motor Pool.

    4.9 FES 12-2 (AEP) - Take Home Policy for County Owned Vehicles.

    4.10 FES 12-3 (AEP) - Fuel Conservation Policy.

    4.11 FES 12-2 (AP) - Use of Commercial Fuel Credit Cards


    5.1 Refer to the King County Motor Pool Operating Procedures Manual, FES-12-1 (AP), for definition of Assigned Car; Dispatch Car; Temporary Assignment; Class and Size.

    5.2 "Carpooling" means the use of a limited number of King County vehicles assigned to County employees with take home privileges to transport other King County employees in addition to the assigned driver, to and from the driver's home and work site.

    5.3 "Frequent Driver" means a King County employee who has an "assigned" vehicle, a "temporary assigned" vehicle (see section 5.1) or operates a County vehicle for the purpose of "carpooling."

    5.4 "King County Non-Motor Pool" means all bicycles assigned to the County Motor Pool.

    5.5 "Alternative Fuel" means automotive fuel other than fossil fuel (gasoline).


    6.1 The following policies govern the use of assigned and unassigned King County vehicles and are applicable to all users of King County vehicles:
      6.1.1 The use of County vehicles shall be managed with priority given to safety, cost effectiveness and fuel conservation.

      6.1.2 Operators and all passengers in County vehicles shall use seat belts while the vehicle is being operated,

      6.1.3 Only persons who are employees of King County and who have a valid state driver's license may operate a King County vehicle. Non-employee authorized agents' use of County vehicles must be approved in writing by the Deputy County Executive.

      6.1.4 Each department director and office manager is required to develop and implement departmental policies and procedures which ensure that: These Executive Orders, Policies and Procedures are followed by County employees under their supervision. Employees operate assigned and/or dispatched vehicles with prioritization given to safety, cost effectiveness and fuel conservation. There is a process for approving employee's use of County vehicles which provides for close review and monitoring of such use. Vehicle operators provide accurate and timely reporting of vehicle odometer reading at least twice monthly. Employees are encouraged to use the "Non-Motor Pool" whenever practical. Alternative fueled vehicles are used whenever possible. There is accountability to Fleet Administration and The Office of Financial Management, Budget Division in the use of County vehicles.

      6.1.5 Personal use of assigned County cars not accounted for as business use in accordance with IRS regulations is subject to be reported as auto fringe benefit compensation.

      6.1.6 Motor Pool vehicles parked in the County Garage may only be parked in those spaces designated for Motor Pool vehicles. Repeated violation of this requirement may result in the driver's loss of use of King County vehicles.

      6.1.7 No employee shall be required to use a private vehicle to perform County business unless such use is a precondition of employment, part of a collective bargaining agreement, or a response to an emergency.

      6.1.8 Frequent drivers of King County vehicles, including employees operating King County vehicles for carpooling, shall complete a driver improvement course (defensive driving equivalent) administered by the King County Safety and Claims Management Office. (Driver training programs received by King County Police satisfy this requirement.) Division managers shall ensure that affected employees comply with this policy.

      6.1.9 All County vehicles shall be dispatched on a trip basis from the central Motor Pool, except those vehicles that operate from a County facility other than the central Motor Pool.

      6.1.10 Vehicles may be assigned or have dispatch priority to individual departments and offices, provided that the field operations are an essential element of a Department's functional responsibilities or: It is more economical for the County to assign a vehicle rather than to pay mileage allowance or provide a dispatch vehicle. The characteristics of field operation are such that County vehicles are required to be equipped with specialized equipment (such as foot meter or emergency response accessories) which is inappropriate for other King County purposes.

      6.1.11 The loaning or transferring of assigned "King County Access Card" for the purpose of parking in the County Garage is not authorized.

      6.1.12 Appropriate action will be taken to those vehicle users who repeatedly fail to provide accurate and timely reporting of mileage data.

    6.2 The following policies govern the use of King County vehicles for carpooling:

      6.2.1 Carpooling will be authorized by Department Directors/Managers in order to contribute to energy conservation, to increase the productivity of existing modes of transportation and work site parking facilities, and to serve a growing population without extensive capital investment. The public benefits from carpooling through reduction in energy use, traffic congestion, wear and tear to roadways, air pollution and overflow parking facilities.

      6.2.2 The use of County vehicles for carpooling is not a contract. Carpool arrangements can be revoked at any time.

      6.2.3 Carpool travel is strictly limited to and from the driver's home and work site.

      6.2.4 Employees who participate in carpools are excluded from Worker's Compensation coverage for the time spent going to or coming from their work site in the carpooling arrangement.

      6.2.5 Passengers in a carpool must all be County employees and must work at a County work site on the same route as the driver's destination, the same location as the driver, or must be dropped off and picked up for the return trip at the same point as the driver.

    6.3 The following policies restrict the Use of King County Vehicles.

      6.3.1 County vehicles, both assigned or dispatched to Departments/Offices, shall not be used for transportation to an employee's place of residence unless the employee is required by the County to commute in the vehicle because: The department assignment of the vehicle shall be to a position which is responsible for responding to an emergency situation related to public health or safety and protection of property on a 24 hour basis. Employees assigned on-call duties on a rotational basis shall only take a County vehicle home on those days the employee is assigned the on-call duty. It can be demonstrated in a particular case that the County incurs greater costs (such as lost inspection time) in requiring that either the central Motor Pool or an outlying parking facility be used for overnight parking rather than an employee's residence. Attendance at night meetings is required. In such cases, the County vehicle shall only be taken home on the day of the evening in which an employee is assigned to attend the night meeting. The vehicle is authorized for use within King County Department of Public Safety Car-Per-Officer Program (C.P.O.).

 Any use of Public Safety vehicles by officers while "off duty" that is related to transportation of relatives or non-County employees shall be approved in writing and in advance by the Sheriff-Director or his designee. Prior to that transportation taking place, the Department of Public Safety must have on file an appropriately signed "Hold Harmless" agreement. Hold Harmless agreements and written approval for exceptional use of County vehicles shall be filed and maintained within Public Safety. Police vehicles are not intended to replace privately owned vehicles and must not be utilized as such. Public Safety officers are reminded of the provisions contained in RCW 42.20.010(3) and its associated restrictions. Officers must sign an appropriate document acknowledging same which shall remain on file within Public Safety.

      6.3.2 Pursuant to the above provisions, department directors/managers or their designees may authorize in writing a County employee to park a County vehicle at his/her place of residence. This provision does not apply to elected officials, the Deputy Executive, Department/Office Directors or King County department of Public Safety vehicles.

      6.3.3 Except when directly related to County business, at no time may a County vehicle, assigned or dispatched, be used to transport any person or employee other than the vehicle operator. Transporting any person or a County employee solely for the purpose of commuting between home and work does not constitute "County business." Authorized carpooling is exempt from this.

      6.3.4 Except where reasonably necessary to accommodate the employee's meals, other physical needs, and approved breaks, County vehicles (assigned or dispatched) may not be used for personal business even though that personal business may not result in additional cost to King County. The King County Public Safety Car-PerOfficer (CPO) is excluded from this provision.


    Action By: Department


      7.1 Develop policies and procedures governing the supervision, monitoring and reporting of department's use of County vehicles. Department directors, managers and supervisors shall annually review the vehicle assignments and use with their staff to assure that vehicle assignment and uses are consistent with the intent and purpose of K.C.C. 3.04.020A.

      7.2 Ensure that frequent drivers of County vehicles receive certification of completion of the Defensive Driving Course.

      7.3 Ensure that their employees with assigned vehicle report accurate odometer readings at least twice monthly.

      7.4 Department Directors, managers and supervisors, upon receiving notice of employees from their respective departments or division who repeatedly fail to comply with odometer reporting, will take appropriate disciplinary action.

      7.5 Ensure that all drivers of County owned vehicles, within their respective agency, have a valid Washington State Drivers License.

    Action By: Driver


      7.6 Refer to the King County Motor Pool Operating Procedures Manual FES 12-1 (AP) on driver responsibility when using a County vehicle.


    8.1 The King County Executive will determine the appropriate sanctions to agencies that repeatedly fail to report accurate and timely vehicle usage data.

    8.2 The Department of Public Works, Fleet Administration, is responsible for:

      8.1.1 Ensuring King County vehicles are managed in a manner consistent with the provisions of these Executive Orders Policies and Procedures.

      8.1.2 Fleet Administration shall provide reports to Department Directors of those vehicle operators that fail to report accurate and timely usage data (vehicle odometer reading).

      8.1.3 Fleet Administration will provide reports to the King County Executive on agencies' drivers who repeatedly fail to report accurate and timely vehicle usage data.

      8.1.4 Ensuring these Executive Orders Policies and Procedures are current with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations.

    8.3 The Office of Financial Management, Budget Division is responsible for reviewing departmental use of King County vehicles during the annual budget process to ensure cost-effective use of vehicles.

    8.4 All Executive Departments and Offices are responsible for:

      8.4.1 Establishing and maintaining departmental policies and procedures and K.C.C. 3.04.020A for the use of King County vehicles by departmental employees in a manner consistent with these Executive Orders, Policies and Procedures, including procedures for responding to complaints about an employee's use of King County vehicles.

      8.4.2 Providing such information as may be required by the Fleet Administration and the Office of Financial Management, Budget Division in meeting their assigned responsibilities.