(a) General Guidelines. Any person operating a vehicle is responsible for that person’s and others’ safety. Tribal vehicles shall be operated in a professional and courteous manner and shall be maintained in a clean and safe condition. Any person operating a Tribal vehicle shall obey all laws, regulations, and Tribal policies.
(1) An elected official who will operate a Tribal vehicle shall read and comply with all provisions identified in the Yurok Tribe’s vehicle use policy, including the use of seat belts.
(2) An elected official shall not permit any person who is not an elected official or Tribal employee to be carried in any Tribal vehicle in which the elected official is the driver or passenger, except in emergency situations. Exceptions may be allowed for immediate family members, Tribal members, or other authorized persons when reasonably associated with Tribal business or Tribal community service.
(3) An elected official shall provide the Fiscal Department a copy of the elected official’s driver’s license prior to driving a Tribal vehicle.
(4) Tribal vehicles shall only be used for Tribal business and Tribal community service. Elected officials shall not use a Tribal vehicle for unreasonable personal business or convenience. Incidental stops to and from Tribal meetings or Tribal business are not considered personal use. Use of a Tribal vehicle within a 15-mile radius per day shall establish a rebuttable presumption that the use was reasonable. Alleged abuses of vehicle privileges shall be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.
(5) An elected official shall immediately report any change in their driving record to the Fiscal Department.
(6) Tribal vehicles generally shall not be parked overnight at an elected official’s place of residence. Exceptions are allowed for elected officials who are assigned a vehicle.
(7) An election official shall always lock the Tribal vehicle before leaving it unattended and should not leave valuables in an unattended Tribal vehicle. An elected official is financially responsible if the elected official locks the keys in the Tribal vehicle.
(8) An elected official operating a Tribal vehicle is responsible for any fines or penalties from traffic, parking, or other citations. Such an operator shall be charged an amount equal to the insurance policy deductible if the operator is negligent. Examples of negligence include backing a vehicle without ensuring the area is clear, exceeding the speed limit, and parking where it is unsafe for a vehicle, such as a construction area or prohibited parking space.
(9) An elected official shall immediately notify the Fiscal Department GSA technician of any mechanical or operational problems with a Tribal vehicle, or any accident involving the Tribal vehicle, when the elected official operates the Tribal vehicle.
(10) An elected official is responsible for ensuring proper maintenance and service of any Tribal vehicle assigned to that elected official.
(11) An elected official operating a Tribal vehicle is responsible for asking a business if they accept a GSA vehicle credit card before making any purchases for the Tribal vehicle. Such an operator is responsible to pay for any purchases made from a business that does not accept the GSA vehicle credit card and GSA will not reimburse the Tribe or the operator for these purchases.
(12) An elected official shall not make personal charges on a GSA vehicle credit card.
(13) Smoking, drugs, and alcohol are prohibited in any Tribal vehicle.
(14) Animals are prohibited in any Tribal vehicle, except for service animals.
(15) An elected official shall not use a cell phone while operating a Tribal vehicle, unless the operator utilizes a hands-free device. If a cell phone must be used, the operator must pull off to a safe area prior to using the cell phone.
(16) An elected official shall not authorize any person to operate a Tribal vehicle except in cases of fatigue, illness, or other emergencies. In those cases, the elected official may authorize a person with a valid state or federal driver’s license to operate the vehicle, but the elected official must be in the Tribal vehicle while that person is driving. An exception exists for Tribal employee use of a Council member’s Tribal vehicle in compliance with the Tribal employee vehicle use policy.
(17) An elected official shall turn in all Tribal vehicle logs and receipts to the Fiscal Department within five days at the end of each month.
(18) An elected official shall not allow a firearm in a Tribal vehicle unless the elected official is authorized by majority vote of Council and complies with applicable Tribal, state, and federal law.
(b) Committee Accident Review. A committee comprised of the Yurok Tribal Chairperson or Vice-Chairperson, an appointed Council member and a representative from the Office of the Tribal Attorney will review accident reports involving a Council member and determine whether the Council member was negligent or at fault. The Council member involved in the accident shall be provided an opportunity to present evidence and testify. The committee shall report its determination to the Council. All Council member vehicle accidents shall be reported in the Yurok newsletter.
(c) Driver Qualifications. An elected official shall comply with, and shall not authorize any person to operate a Tribal vehicle unless that person complies with, the following requirements:
(1) Have in possession while operating a Tribal vehicle a valid Tribal, federal, or state driver’s license of a class appropriate for the vehicle that is being used;
(2) Be at least 21 years of age;
(3) Have a clear driving record, defined as no current two-point count vehicle code violation under California law or equivalent; and
(4) Be an elected official or an employee of the Yurok Tribe, except in compliance with subsection (a)(18) of this section.
(d) Violations. Alleged violations of this section shall be referred to the Ethics Review Board. Any violations of this section may result in loss of driving privileges. An elected official who fails to turn in Tribal vehicle logs for two consecutive months shall have their vehicle privileges suspended until all logs and receipts are current. If an elected official violates subsection (a)(18) of this section, the elected official shall immediately lose all vehicle privileges. If an elected official loses driving privileges, that person is not eligible for mileage reimbursement while privileges are suspended.