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Citizen Report Toolkit
Overview of the Citizen Report Process
Driving an E-plate vehicle is the most public activity performed by the majority of state employees. And the public notices.
A citizen takes the time to report state employee driving or misuse of state vehicles about once every business day. It is not possible to count the number of people who have the same reaction but don’t call. This is a serious public relations issue.
The reports fall into two broad categories:
  • Most frequent are reports about how a state vehicle is being driven. Callers tell us about state vehicles exceeding the speed limit, failing to signal lane changes, following too close, failing to yield right of way or other driving behavior that could lead to a crash.
  • The second category is questions related to the use of the vehicle. Citizens report E-plate cars with child passengers traveling on weekends, occupants going shopping, or the vehicle parked at a private residence.
Most reports of misuse are unfounded. The public does not realize the variety of work performed by public employees. But some presume it is an example of “government waste.”  It is important to be able to respond and tell the public about the work that we do.
  • ORS 283.395 prohibits any personal use of state vehicles. “Personal use” must be narrowly interpreted.
Reports about driving are another matter. Poor driving habits are preludes to crashes. Little things we don’t notice anymore about our driving turn deadly in the wrong circumstances. Most people report they are “good” drivers; it’s everyone else out there.  Those poor habits are noticed by others when it’s an e-plate speeding, following too close or failing to signal.
  • OAR 125-155-020(1) It is the policy of the state that all vehicles in use for state business shall be used legally, courteously and safely.
Citations including photo-radar tickets are reported through various channels. The state does not pay for parking fines or traffic tickets . The cost is the driver’s personal expense. Fines may not be requested as part of reimbursement. Moving violations are investigated in the same fashion as citizen complaints.
Goals for state drivers:
  • Drive in manner that does not attract attention.
  • Use state vehicles only as allowed by statute and rule.
  • Drive defensively to protect self, passengers and other road users.
Goals for managers who are investigating and responding to citizen complaints about vehicle use and driving:
  • Identify and correct deficiencies related to driving and vehicle use.
  • Spot-check overall agency driving safety and vehicle use programs.
  • Improve driving performance and public perception.