Category:107 Legal Relations and Responsibility to the Public
Contractors and MoDOT employees enjoy many opportunities for occupational expression and also have a number of responsibilities to ensure these opportunities continue.
Contractor legal relations to MoDOT and responsibility to the public is detailed in Sec 107. MoDOT employee responsibilities are discussed in many articles such as 237.12 Communication with the Public, 643.1 Utilities - Status and Libaility Acceptance and 460 General Requirements for Bituminous Construction.
Construction Inspection Guidelines for Employee Transportation.
MoDOT furnishes cars, pickups and carryalls for use of the resident engineer and the resident engineer's staff.
General Services is responsible for procuring and maintaining automotive equipment operated by the department. Periodic inspections of all equipment is made by the district chief mechanic’s staff. Keep vehicles reasonably clean and properly serviced. Servicing of equipment is the responsibility of the resident engineer the equipment is assigned to and should be done at the intervals established by lubrication charts furnished by General Services.
Check with your district construction engineer for advice on were to have equipment serviced.
In rare cases it may be necessary for department employees to use personal cars on a limited basis in connection with their employment. Such use will be reimbursed when authorized in accordance the Financial Policy & Procedure Manual.
Do not operate vehicles in excess of speed regulations. As a department employee you are a member of an organization dedicated to driver safety. Always operate department vehicles in a manner reflecting courtesy, safety and respect for law.
Unauthorized use of department vehicles may subject the employee to discharge or suspension. Any employee who damages a vehicle while using it for unauthorized purposes may be required to pay for the damages.
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission is self-insured to provide fleet vehicle liability coverage to protect department employees during the authorized use of vehicles owned, used, or hired by the department in carrying out MoDOT operations. Uniform procedures have been established for the reporting and processing of all fleet vehicle liability claims in order to assure a practical program of cost control. These procedures are included in the Risk Management Manual. The district construction engineer and each resident engineer has been provided a copy of this manual for the use of all department employees.
Accident Report. An employee must report immediately any accident in which any vehicle or unit used, by the department are involved. The employee's supervisor will notify the district safety officer of the incident. The vehicle accident report form is available to MoDOT employees on the Risk Management web page. Form RM-4 is to be completed immediately for all accidents and submitted to the district safety officer, also. This Form RM-4 and the driver's narrative is to be clear, concise, accurate, and legible; typed if possible. Vehicle Accident Instruction Form RM-5 is placed in all motorized equipment for use by employees who are involved in an accident.
Guidance for Handling Damage Claims. The contractor has legally assumed custody and liability for maintaining safe travel through the project when a section of roadway is actively under contract. MoDOT’s role is to make sure that the contractor is performing professionally, timely and appropriately to developing roadway deterioration issues and any public concerns and/or damage claims. We do not have the right to "force" the contractor to pay claims that they have fully reviewed and elect to deny. We do need to make sure the public is being treated fairly and professionally. Blanket denial letters are unacceptable. The public has a right to know the specifics associated with a denial of their claim. If a vehicle is damaged in a work zone the public has four options: 1) file a claim with their insurance carrier, 2) file a claim with the contractor or its insurance carrier, 3) pursue legal remedies against the contractor and 4) pay for repairs themselves.
MoDOT’s goal is to have the contractor provide a roadway without defects so that it is safe and vehicle damage should not occur. If the existing roadway is in very poor condition it should be addressed before the contract is awarded if possible. MoDOT should make all appropriate repairs up front or reimburse the contractor for needed repairs before work begins. It would then be the contractor's responsibility to keep the roadway properly maintained for the safety of the traveling public. Please continue to assist the public and be responsive to their concerns.