Employees of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) are never required to use their personal vehicles for business purposes, and such use is not for the convenience of the Laboratory. The Laboratory Facilities Division provides bus and other transportation services, including vehicles from Fleet Operations for individual and divisional use. Laboratory vehicles are for official use only, i.e., for the performance of Laboratory work and business. Passengers in Laboratory-furnished vehicles must be directly associated with the official University of California (UC) business for which the vehicle is assigned or with other official business of the Laboratory. Bus service is provided around the Laboratory, and to and from the UC Berkeley campus and local Bay Area Rapid Transit locations.
Use of an official vehicle for an employee's personal convenience or benefit constitutes misuse and is prohibited. Misuse includes the following specific examples:
Operators of Laboratory-furnished vehicles are personally liable for the costs of any damages incurred due to their misuse of such vehicles. Misuse means unauthorized use, use for an improper purpose, gross negligence in the care and operation of an official vehicle, or not adhering to traffic safety regulations.
Employees who knowingly misuse Laboratory vehicles are subject to disciplinary action such as written reprimand, temporary suspension without pay, or dismissal. They may also be subject to criminal penalties under 18 United States Code §641 that provide for a fine of not more than $10,000, up to 10 years in jail, or both.
The use of Laboratory vehicles, including rental vehicles, for unofficial business may expose the driver to public liability in the event of an accident, particularly if the accident is found to be caused by the driver's negligence. If the use of a vehicle is not official or the driver stops en route or deviates from a direct route to conduct personal affairs while on official business, he or she may be found to have departed from the scope of employment. In such a case, the University and the government would disclaim liability, and the driver would be financially responsible.
Operators of Laboratory-furnished vehicles are personally responsible for the payment of any fines levied by any public law enforcement agency and will receive parking violation points levied as a result of any violation of Laboratory parking regulations, except when the violation is a direct result of a failure of the vehicle and that malfunction was reported immediately to the Laboratory Fleet Office.
All individuals whose duties require them to drive University-owned or government-owned (e.g., DOE or GSA) vehicles must possess a valid license, as specified in the California Vehicle Code. Generally, this means a valid State of California license of the appropriate class. When it is in the interest of Laboratory business, however, a nonresident of California may drive a Laboratory-furnished vehicle if that person meets the requirements of the California Vehicle Code. Non-employees must also have written authorization to drive Laboratory-furnished vehicles as specified in Paragraph (B)(4), above.
Personnel who operate nonstandard vehicles must carry certificates for operation of the specific type of nonstandard vehicles. Training and certification are required before operation of mobile or bridge cranes, earth-moving equipment, and forklift trucks. The Environment, Health, and Safety Division will provide detailed information concerning appropriate certification. Operator certification may be revoked if there is evidence of failure to follow safe operating procedures.
All professional drivers and selected incidental drivers must attend training courses, as required by policy or departmental practice.
If an employee whose duties involve operation of an official vehicle has his or her state driver's license revoked or suspended, the employee must notify his or her supervisor. Division directors or department heads must ensure that no one operates an official vehicle without a valid license (and certification, when required).
Drivers holding commercial driver's licenses (classes A and B) and who operate vehicles of 26,001 lbs. gross vehicle weight (GVW) or more, or who operate any vehicle carrying hazardous material for which the vehicle is placarded, will be enrolled in the DOT-mandated Laboratory Driver Drug and Alcohol Testing Program, as specified in RPM §2.23(C)(4) (Substance Abuse in the Workplace).
The California Commercial Motor Vehicle Safety Act requires employers of drivers of certain types of vehicles to obtain reports of their public driving record from the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). A public driving record includes incidents occurring while driving on and off the employer's place of business. Under the California Vehicle Code, there are criminal penalties for employing or continuing to employ as drivers those persons who have had disqualifying actions taken against their licenses or certificates.
This law applies to the Laboratory with regard to drivers who (a) drive a vehicle requiring a class A or class B driver's license and (b) must obtain special certificates to drive the following vehicles: ambulances, private school buses, farm labor vehicles, special construction equipment, youth buses, vehicles transporting radioactive materials, vehicles transporting hazardous wastes, and vehicles with tank configurations. Students, unless hired primarily as drivers, and van pool drivers are not included. Vehicle Code §12810.5 also specifies the number of violation points assigned by the DMV that will result in a presumption that a driver is a negligent operator of a motor vehicle.
The Laboratory could be liable if a negligent driver is permitted to continue driving for the Laboratory and is involved in an accident.
This policy applies to (a) Laboratory employees hired primarily as drivers; (b) any Laboratory employee who, in the course of employment, drives a vehicle requiring a class A or class B driver's license; and (c) any employee who must obtain a special license or certificate to drive any of the vehicles listed above.
Laboratory employees in the following classifications are also covered by this policy:
|345.0||Assistant Fire Chief|
|566.2||Material Handler (Mailroom)|
|566.3||Material Handler (Mailroom)|
|738.2||Senior Bus Driver|
|741.0||Health and Safety Technician, Trainee|
|741.1||Health and Safety Technician|
|741.2||Health and Safety Technician, Senior|
|741.3||Health and Safety Technician, Principal|
|741.4||Health and Safety Technical Specialist|
|741.6||Health and Safety Technician, Apprentice|
|745.1||Truck Driver, Light|
|745.3||Lead Truck Driver|
At the discretion of the involved division director or department head and with approval of the Head of the Human Resources Department or designee, additional titles or positions may be covered as required.
Individual driving privileges may be refused, revoked, or suspended by the responsible department/division or the Traffic Safety Committee whenever Laboratory policy is violated.
Each use of a passenger vehicle (car or station wagon) will be recorded at the time of use in a vehicle register (sign-out sheet) furnished by Fleet Operations. This applies to vehicles (a) signed out from Fleet Operations or a subpool on a trip or errand basis and (b) assigned for departmental use. These registers show the date, driver's name, operating account number, destination, time, and mileage out and in. Vehicle registers must be sent to Fleet Operations each month. Any exception requires the approval of the Associate Laboratory Director for Operations.
Groups that are assigned nonpassenger vehicles (scooters, trucks, and special purpose) for specified long-term needs will keep any use records required by the Fleet Operations office. These records usually involve monthly mileage only but may require logging of individual uses to verify continuing need for a vehicle in case of low mileage or off-site use. Vehicle-use records (or copies) will be forwarded to the Fleet Operations office when requested.
All accidents involving University-furnished vehicles will be reported as specified in Health and Safety Manual (LBNL/PUB-3000, §126.96.36.199 (Motor Vehicle Accidents)).
Federal regulations restrict painting (including lettering and the use of decals or logos), modifying, or adding accessories to government-owned vehicles. Fleet Operations is responsible for determining the need and for obtaining authorization as required. Requests for such authorization should be made through Fleet Operations.
Normal painting of vehicles is only that required for preservation. Justification is required for nonstandard painting.
Fleet Operations will be guided by current regulations as well as overall vehicle fleet use considerations in determining the need for modification or addition of accessories on Laboratory vehicles.
Because the public will recognize any identification as representing the Laboratory, the University of California, and DOE, any identification must meet standards of size, design, color, and appropriateness for its specific use. To maintain consistency of such signs, logos, or other identification, plans (including sketches or other descriptive information) must be reviewed by the responsible Laboratory division, which will forward the information to Fleet Operations for appropriate action.
. The official or current version is located in the online LBNL Requirements and Policies Manual.
Printed or electronically transmitted copies are not official. Users are responsible for working with the latest approved revision.