Are State-Owned Vehicle operators bound by state traffic laws?
Operators of State-Owned Vehicles must obey all motor vehicle traffic laws of the State of Connecticut, except when the duties of their position require otherwise. Drivers are personally responsible if they are fined or otherwise penalized for an offense they commit while performing official duties.
A summary of what each operator is responsible for, includes, but is not limited to:
- Being knowledgeable of, and compliant with, all of the rules and procedures outlined in General Letter No. 115 and any applicable collective bargaining agreement;
- Driving courteously and obeying all motor vehicle laws;
- Possessing the ability, knowledge, skill, experience, and appropriate license to operate the type of vehicle assigned;
- Never operating the vehicle while distracted; and
- No hand-held electronic devices while driving.
Are State-Owned Vehicles assigned to specific operators?
Answer: In accordance with General Letter No. 115 - The Policy for Motor Vehicles Used for State Business, there are different circumstances for the assignments of State-Owned Vehicles within each individual agency. The agency makes the request for the vehicle assignment, and DAS Fleet Operations reviews for appropriateness and compliance with GL-115. Some vehicles are assigned to specific employees based on their job classification and the operational needs of the agency. Most vehicles are pool vehicles within an agency, and can be operated by different drivers each day.
If a State Employee has been assigned a vehicle, are they allowed personal use of it?
Answer: Appropriate use of state-owned and rental vehicles is outlined in DAS General Letter #115. Drivers are permitted to use state-owned and rental vehicles only to conduct official state business. Personal use of a state-owned or rental vehicle for social, recreational, religious, educational or any other such purpose, whether on duty or off, is not permitted. Transportation of passengers, including state employees, is not permitted, unless this transportation is necessary to perform official state business. For appointed officials, see the Connecticut Handbook for Appointed Officials.
With that being said, there are several agencies that operate on a 24 hour a day / 7 day a week schedule, and would generally explain why they are in use beyond what most would consider normal business hours.
Social Service agencies such as The Department of Children and Families would often be transporting children in their vehicles. The Department of Developmental Services will often have clients during these times and may be observed at grocery stores or shopping malls as they assist their clients with the development of life skills.
If a State Employee has been assigned a vehicle, are they allowed to take it home?
Answer: Due to the operating needs and collective bargaining agreements with some agencies, employees may be approved to park their vehicles at their residence. State-Owned Vehicle operators do not have personal use of their assigned vehicles beyond their scheduled working hours.
How do I report what I perceive as the misuse, or unsafe operation of, a State-Owned Vehicle?
If you wish to file a report online, go to Connecticut State Vehicle Feedback Form, and please fill out the form completely, including as much information as possible:
- Date of the incident;
- Time of the incident;
- Location of perceived misuse or unsafe driving;
- Activity that is the cause of your concern;
- License Plate Number (Plates generally follow these formats: #-XXXX or #-XXXXX)
If you request to remain anonymous, you will not hear anything further on your inquiry. DAS Fleet Operations will keep your email on file in the event that an agency requires additional information in order to conduct an investigation. In these cases, DAS will contact you directly and ask if the investigating agency can contact you.
See FAQ Question: What Should I expect to happen when I submit the feedback form?
What should I expect to happen when I submit the feedback form?
When DAS Fleet Operations receives a report, it reviews for completeness and accuracy, with respect to the involved vehicle. DAS confirms that the license plate and vehicle description on the complaint, matches the vehicle that has been assigned the license plate. DAS then determines the agency that the vehicle has been assigned to and forwards the report to the agency leasing that vehicle.
Please understand that the agency has 30 days, to complete an investigation. Under agency personnel rules, actions taken against drivers may not be reportable to the individual filing the complaint. The investigation and any response to it is the responsibility of the Agency alone.
How do I request an update on my report?
In order to request a status update on your report, make sure that you provide your telephone number and your email address. Occasionally the agency may contact the complainant requesting more information regarding the incident. At the completion of the investigation, DAS Fleet Operations will close the complaint and you will be automatically sent an email indicating that the complaint has been closed.
Additional questions may be submitted by emailing: DAS.firstname.lastname@example.org