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Published June 23 2012

Reader inquires about state-owned vehicle use

Dear Teri,

Who can use state-owned vehicles and what are the regulations?

Marlene Kouba, Regent

Thanks for writing! I contacted Jamie Olson at the North Dakota Department of Transportation. Here’s what she said:

“Regulations for state fleet vehicles are as follows: Only state of North Dakota employees are authorized to operate state, rented or leased/courtesy vehicles while conducting state business. Some volunteers, if acting in an official capacity on behalf of the state, and university students required to drive for educational programs may be considered temporary employees (and) are allowed to use state vehicles for those purposes.

“Some of the regulations include:

1. Operators must possess a valid driver’s license.

2. Operators must use state vehicles only for conducting state business.

3. Operators may not transport their spouses, children, animals or hitchhikers in state vehicles.

4. All occupants must wear properly fastened safety belts.

5. Smoking is prohibited in all state fleet vehicles.

6. Text messaging while driving or operating a state fleet vehicle is prohibited.

7. All complaints received from the public or otherwise by State Fleet Services for misutilization, driver behavior, speeding, etc., will be documented.

“Thank you for contacting the North Dakota Department of Transportation.”

Do you have a question for a North Dakota state government official or agency? Send us your question, and we’ll do our best to find an answer.

Email politics@wday.com (Subject: Ask your government).

You may also write to Teri Finneman c/o Forum Communications, Press Room, State Capitol, Bismarck, ND 58505.

Please include your name, town and a phone number to reach you for verification.

Teri Finneman is a multimedia reporter for Forum Communications