By SCOTT PESZNECKER
Calaveras County supervisors on Monday could set new rules to govern how county employees can use county-owned vehicles.
At the suggestion of District 2 Supervisor Paul Stein, supervisors talked about amending the rules at a July 21 study session. The current code was approved in 1992.
The proposed new regulations more clearly define how county vehicles can be used.
For example, the proposal says employees can use county vehicles to get a meal, "as long as the activity occurs in close proximity to the work assignment or travel route."
It also says only county employees can ride in county vehicles. If an employee is traveling out of town for a work-related reason, and if the employee wants to take his or her spouse along, the employee would not be able to use a county vehicle. The only exception to the rule is that a county employee could drop his or her child off at a child-care provider if called out in an emergency.
"The use of county vehicles for any purpose other than county business is prohibited," the proposed code states. "County business shall include incidental personal travel within the route of county business."
The code also says employees must inspect vehicles before driving them to make sure they are in good working order. It prohibits smoking and cell phone usage, unless it is a hands-free cell phone. Eating and drinking while driving is discouraged, but not prohibited.
The proposed code also sets guidelines for employees who take county vehicles home, either permanently or temporarily.