Motor Vehicle Policy

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Motor Vehicle Policy

Introduction

The Queensland Association for Healthy Communities Inc (QAHC) maintains a motor vehicle fleet to support the work of staff and volunteers. The use of QAHC’s motor vehicle fleet is subject to the terms and conditions outlined below. This policy applies to the use of all QAHC owned and leased motor vehicles and it is every driver’s responsibility to understand and comply with this policy. It is the responsibility of members of the Leadership Team to over see the implementation of this policy.

Definitions

The following definitions are used in this document:

“FBT log book period” means a continuous period of at least 12 weeks when a vehicle is used for average business use (it should not be a period chosen because of maximum business) for which special log books are used as a basis for FBT calculations.

“Fleet vehicles” refers to all QAHC owned and leased motor vehicles.

“Fringe Benefits Tax” (FBT) is a tax levied on benefits obtained by employees in respect of their employment. Volunteers do not incur FBT.

“Log books” are books used to record details of all trips undertaken including the driver’s name, journey date, starting and ending odometer readings, and purpose of the journey. “Personal use” refers to the use of fleet vehicles for non-business purposes. It generally includes travel to and from work.

“Vehicles supervisor”, for the purposes of this document, refers to the respective Regional Coordinator for Cairns, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast offices, the Townsville Team Leader for the Townsville office, and the Regions and Organisational Support Manager for the Brisbane office.

Purpose

The primary purpose of this policy is to ensure the effective and efficient use of QAHC’s motor vehicle fleet. The policy is intended to ensure:

§ the integrity, reliability, and good performance of QAHC’s motor vehicles; § that fleet users have access to appropriate training and support;

§ that the motor vehicle fleet is appropriate managed.

It is hoped that adherence to this policy will contribute to significant financial and environmental benefits.

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An up-to-date Register of Authorised Drivers will be maintained in each office by the Office Manager.

Drivers will only be authorised to use vehicles from the office at which they registered as an authorised driver. In order to drive vehicles from another QAHC office, the driver must register as an authorised driver with that particular office.

If at any time the licence of an authorised driver expires or is revoked, or the driver is otherwise disqualified from driving, it is the responsibility of the driver to notify their respective vehicles supervisor so that their name may be removed from the register. Under no circumstances is a driver authorised to drive without a valid drivers licence. Except in cases of genuine emergency, the authorised driver will not permit any other person who is not an authorised driver to drive the vehicle. Any emergency which requires another person to drive the vehicle shall be reported to the vehicles supervisor as soon as possible. Unauthorised use of a QAHC vehicle may result in disciplinary action.

Fleet Management

The General Manager has responsibility for overall fleet management. The Office Manager is responsible for the servicing of vehicles in the Brisbane region.

The Senior Finance Officer is responsible for the issue of BP Fuel Cards, insurance claims for damage to vehicles, and liaising with QFleet on any issues arising.

Fleet repairs and servicing will be undertaken by QFleet approved repairers and suppliers. A Vehicle Problem Check List must be completed by all users when taking responsibility for a vehicle and prior to returning the vehicle.

All faults must be recorded on the Vehicle Problem Check List and reported to the vehicles supervisor as soon as possible.

Vehicle Log Books must be used to record information on all journeys undertaken. Fleet vehicles are available for work purposes at any time they are required including weekends and evenings.

Vehicles are to be used and maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s requirements and specifications. The owner’s manual for each vehicle is stored in the vehicle’s glove box and drivers are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the features and correct operation of each vehicle by reviewing the contents of these manuals.

QAHC has a fuel card agreement with BP. A BP Fuel Card will be available for each vehicle and each card has a pin number. The Fuel Card must be used for the purchase of unleaded fuel and oil only. The precise odometer reading and pin number will be required by the service centre attendant each time fuel/oil is purchased using the Fuelcard.

The QFleet Client Access System will be used the Office Manager to record vehicle leasing information and monitor vehicle usage, servicing and repairs.

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Vehicle Allocation

All fleet vehicles are available to be allocated to any employee or volunteer provided they are an authorised driver and allocations should take into account the principle of equitable access for the range of work conducted by QAHC.

Vehicle keys, mobile phone, and petrol card will be stored together in a secure and accessible location in each office.

Each office must keep a separate spare key for each vehicle in the locked key cabinet, which is to be used in emergencies only.

A vehicle booking register will be maintained and located in an accessible area in each office.

Offices are encouraged to use Outlook Public Folders for this purpose. Staff may make their own bookings and volunteers should seek approval from their project supervisor for each booking.

In the event that there is a clash in allocation times where it is seen that a subsequent booking should take precedence, the individuals involved should negotiate the most reasonable resolution based on equity, efficiency and economy. If individuals are unable to reach a satisfactory resolution, then the matter will be referred to the vehicles supervisor for resolution. Any further dispute should be resolved by use of the complaints procedure. As a general rule, bookings of vehicles are to be made at least 24 hours in advance. When a car is required on the day of travel, bookings should be made as early as possible. All bookings must be made for a set period, stating start and end times.

Allocations are not to be made back to back. A half hour leeway time is to be left between each booking, unless prior negotiations between the two drivers have taken place. Bookings must record the name of the driver and the purpose of the journey.

In the event that a vehicle is not able to be returned within the specified period, it is the responsibility of the authorised driver to notify the office and the person to whom the vehicle is subsequently allocated of the reason for the delay and of the expected time of return. Such notification should be made as soon as possible and must occur before the specified return time.

It is the responsibility of the employee or authorised volunteer to ensure the car is available in a clean and useable condition (including petrol level) by the nominated time of return.

Garaging of Vehicles

QAHC vehicles must be garaged at QAHC premises unless otherwise authorised by the General Manager. Approval for garaging of QAHC vehicles at premises other than QAHC premises will not be given unless:

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According to circumstances, authorisation may be given by members of the Leadership Team for temporary garaging at premises other than official premises where:

§ no FBT liability will be incurred (see section 15); and

§ the possibility of taxis or public transport have first been considered and rejected on the grounds of economy and/or effectiveness; and

§ the vehicle will be used to carry essential equipment or personnel; and/or § the authorised driver requires the official use of a vehicle outside normal hours. In all cases of private garaging, the employee must ensure that the vehicle will be adequately protected. Wherever possible the vehicle must be garaged off-street and under cover.

Personal Use of QAHC Vehicles

As a general rule personal use of QAHC’s owned or leased vehicles is not permitted. However, the General Manager may authorise the personal use of fleet vehicles under special circumstances as follows:

§ no FBT liability will be incurred (see section 15); and § it is a one off event of short duration.

Any request for personal use by the General Manager must be approved by the President. The following definition of personal use is consistent with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Taxation Ruling No. MT 2027 on the personal use of cars.

Generally, a vehicle is taken to be available for personal use by an employee at any time when:

§ It is actually used for personal purposes by the employee or associate; or

§ The car is not at the employer’s premises, and the employee is allowed to use it for personal purposes.

Also,

§ a car that is garaged at or near an employee’s home is treated as being available for personal use of the employee, regardless of whether or not the employee has permission to use it personally; and

§ as a general rule, travel to and from work is personal use of a vehicle.

The following table sets out a number of trip scenarios to help clarify usage in relation to the garaging of fleet vehicles.

Scenarios Usage

1 From QAHC office directly to home; then next morning directly to work-related appointment which is not at the QAHC Office

Business 2 From work-related appointment outside QAHC office directly home;

then next morning directly to QAHC office

Business 3 From QAHC office directly to home; then directly QAHC office Personal 4 Any trip which is not work-related eg. personal visit/trip for shopping Personal

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Use of Personal Vehicles

Employees are not required to use their own vehicles for work purposes. Rather, fleet vehicles, hire cars, taxis, or public transport are to be used.

QAHC is not liable for any damage caused to or by an employee’s or volunteer’s vehicle in the conduct of QAHC business. Employees and volunteers are encouraged to purchase appropriate private insurance to cover any damage which may occur while using their own vehicle. Workers Compensation Cover or Volunteer Worker Insurance may apply to personal injury to the employee or volunteer.

In cases where damage is caused to or by an employee’s or volunteer’s vehicle in the conduct of QAHC business under circumstances where the driver is not at fault, drivers have the right to request reimbursement from QAHC for the amount of the excess payable (or equivalent if no insurance exists). Such requests should be directed to the General Manager and will be at his/her discretion. Decisions of the General Manager are subject to appeal directly to the President.

Parking and Traffic Infringements

It is the responsibility of authorised drivers to comply with all traffic rules and parking ordinances.

Any parking and traffic infringement fines are the responsibility of the driver and will not be paid by QAHC.

Health and Safety

The Workplace Health and Safety Act (Qld) 1995 requires employers to ensure the health and safety of people who may be affected by workplaces and workplace equipment including motor vehicles.

Only QAHC authorised drivers are permitted to use fleet vehicles.

At any time, if you become aware of any problem that makes the vehicle unsafe, you should stop the vehicle as soon as it is safe to do so and report the problem to the vehicles

supervisor as soon as practical. If you are not at a QAHC office, you should contact Roadside Assist 13 11 11 and inform them that any major repairs are to be completed by QFleet Agents.

For driver safety and convenience, each vehicle will be allocated a mobile phone, First Aid Kit and a local Street Directory.

Consistent with the QAHC Phone Policy, mobile phones must not be used while driving fleet vehicles and mobile phone hands-free units will not be installed in fleet vehicles.

Vehicles which are unattended must be locked at all times.

Smoking is not permitted in fleet vehicles under any circumstances. Food or drink may not be consumed in fleet vehicles and open containers of food and drink may not be transported

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The program consists of a theory-based CD-ROM together with a practical evaluation by an accredited driver trainer. Think Safe, Drive Safe aims to promote a better understanding of:

§ driver attitudes, motivation and behaviour § crash prevention countermeasures, and § car safety skills

Vehicles supervisors are responsible for supporting authorised drivers in completing the Think Safe, Drive Safe program, including any literacy (language or technical) assistance required.

Employees who are authorised drivers are required to complete successfully both the CD-ROM and the practical evaluation sections of the Think Safe, Drive Safe program within six months of becoming an authorised driver.

Volunteers who are authorised drivers are required to complete successfully the CD-ROM section only of the Think Safe, Drive Safe program within six months of becoming an authorised driver.

Costs associated with the practical evaluation section for employees will be paid by QAHC. Volunteers are encouraged to complete the practical evaluation section and can request QAHC contribute to the cost of this evaluation, however such financial contribution cannot be guaranteed due to budgetary constraints.

Failure to complete the program successfully will result in the driver’s name being removed from the Register of Authorised Drivers.

Vehicle Problem Check List Procedure

To ensure that motor vehicles used by QAHC staff and volunteers are clean and tidy and maintained in good repair, it is important to protect, monitor and report the condition of fleet vehicles. To achieve this, all drivers are required to follow the procedures below each time they use a QAHC fleet vehicle.

1. Before beginning your trip, complete a pre-departure check as follows:

§ Complete a vehicle walk-around and review the vehicle’s interior noting any

additional (nonlisted) damage (scratches, dents, breakages, missing equipment) not listed or if the vehicle appears unsafe in any way (tire pressure, malfunctioning equipment)on the Vehicle Problem Check List. Record any such damage as follows: § On the Check List vehicle diagram, mark the location of the damage by writing the

next available number (enclosed in a circle) (use the next available number from the table below).

§ from the list In the Check List table below on to the diagram, and completing the next available numbered row as required (date, description, driver’s name).

§ Also note if any equipment is malfunctioning or if the vehicle is soiled (spillages, dumped rubbish, unclean) by adding a description on completing the next available numbered row below in the table. Include a clear description of the location of the problem but If the vehicle is soiled do not write the row number on to mark the

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2. During your trip, note any malfunctioning equipment or vehicle faults. Record these problems by completing the next available numbered row in the Vehicle Problem Check List table but do not mark the vehicle diagram.

3. If any damage or soilage occurs while you are responsible for the vehicle, you must record these on the Vehicle Problem Check List. For each problem, complete the next available numbered row and mark any damage on the vehicle diagram (do not mark spoilage on the vehicle diagram). Remember: if an accident occurs while you are responsible for the vehicle, you must also complete an Incident Notification Form (Form 3) and report the accident to the local supervisor as soon as possible (refer to the Motor Vehicle Policy and the Workplace Health and Safety Policy for more information). 4. When your trip is completed, you should review the vehicle’s interior and complete a

vehicle walk-around to confirm the state of the vehicle.

5. Report all additional damage and incidences of soiling problems – damage, soilage, malfunctions and faults - to the local supervisor immediately upon return. For any items of damage, also report the damage to the Office Manager by email within the next 8 working hours. For any accidents or personal injury, complete an Incident Notification Form (Form 3) as soon as possible.

The information in the Vehicle Problem Check List will be used to investigate, remedy and prevent vehicle problems. It is in the driver’s interest to complete the vehicle checks and Check List thoroughly. Returning vehicle keys is taken as evidence the driver responsible for the vehicle has completed steps 1 to 4 above.

Additional Safety Issues

If you return a vehicle you believe is un-roadworthy, unsafe or likely to be further damaged if driven, you should attach a note to the vehicle keys notifying other drivers that the vehicle is not to be driven until authorised by the local supervisor. You should also arrange to advise as soon as possible any drivers who have booked the vehicle during the likely off-road period so that they may make alternative arrangements.

An entry of kilometre usage in the Car Log Book is taken as evidence of completion of the predeparture check.

Reporting Accidents

Under no circumstances must liability for an accident be admitted.

All accidents involving a QAHC vehicle must be reported by the authorised driver to the vehicles supervisor as soon as possible.

Where police or legal action is instituted against the driver in respect of an accident, the matter must be reported to the vehicles supervisor and General Manager as soon as possible.

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As soon as practical, the authorised driver of the QAHC vehicle is required to complete an Incident Notification Form (Form 3) for Workplace Health and Safety, and QAHC insurance purposes.

All accidents must be reported to the vehicles supervisor as soon as possible. Under no circumstances should driver admit fault for any accident at the scene of the accident. If under pressure to admit fault, drivers should state that they are not permitted to make a statement until after reporting to their supervisor.

Insurance

Fleet vehicles will be covered by comprehensive motor vehicle insurance and Compulsory Third Party insurance through QFleet.

Please note that under the motor vehicle insurance policy you and any other person in charge of or driving the vehicle are not covered, if at the time of an accident you or that person:

§ was under the influence of any alcohol or drug or both

§ had in their breath or blood an amount of alcohol or drug equalling or exceeding that limit prescribed by law;

§ refused to take a legal test for alcohol or drugs;

§ did not without a reasonable cause remain at the scene of the accident until the police arrived or when required by law to do so;

§ did not have the appropriate driver’s licence as and when required by the relevant authorities in Australia to have one and was not complying with its conditions. To minimize motor vehicle break-ins, valuable or potentially valuable items (mobile phones, notebooks, packages, cases etc), if left in an unattended vehicle, must not be visible from outside the vehicle. Care should be taken to ensure that no confidential or sensitive documents are left in vehicles while unattended.

Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT)

Fringe Benefits Tax is payable by QAHC on the taxable value of fringe benefits provided to employees which exceed the “cap” for Public Benevolent Institutions. Personal use of fleet cars by employees constitutes a fringe benefit.

To minimise its FBT liability QAHC has a policy of not permitting personal use of its fleet cars by employees and requesting employees to sign a No Personal Use of QAHC Cars

Declaration, annually.

A twelve week FBT Log Book Period is undertaken annually for the purposes of calculating Fringe Benefit tax liabilities The document titled Fringe Benefits Tax Reporting Arrangements provides additional information about the operation of FBT and motor vehicles.

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Procurement

All vehicles will be leased through QFleet, a business unit of the Queensland Department of Public Works.

A Standard Motor Vehicle will be selected by the General Manager from time to time based upon the following specification: a four-cylinder, manual sedan or hatch, with air-conditioning, front and side airbags, and excluding any additional options and accessories.

It is intended that the Standard Motor Vehicle will be appropriate for all QAHC situations and the leasing and running costs will be met by the Queensland Health core grant.

From July 2006 the Standard Motor Vehicle is the Toyota Yaris. However, Regional staff may, with the approval of the General Manager, select a different vehicle from the QFleet leasing range or may select additional features to those on the Standard Motor Vehicle. Any request for approval should detail the operational benefits to be achieved.

The number of vehicles able to be leased by region is as following Brisbane 2, Cairns 1, Gold Coast 1, Sunshine Coast 1.

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