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Volunteer Drivers Guide - Section 5

Conduct of Drivers

Driver conduct is one of the most important elements contributing to how the Sponsoring Organization is viewed by the public they serve.  Driver conduct policies can assist the Sponsoring Organization in ensuring the safety of riders.

Following Traffic Laws

All drivers must be familiar with and adhere to state and local traffic laws and regulations. Depending on the seriousness, violations of traffic laws and/or chargeable collisions can result in additional training or termination of the driver. Drivers who have their driver's licenses suspended or revoked are subject to immediate termination.

Controlled or Illegal Substances

The use, sale, distribution or possession of intoxicating liquor, a controlled substance, a drug not medically authorized, or other substance which impairs the job performance of a volunteer must be strictly prohibited and result in swift disciplinary action. Drivers should also be required to report to the Manager any use of medically authorized drugs which may impair their job performance. Proper written medical authorization from a physician should be provided to the Manager in order to work when using such authorized drugs.

Theft, Violence, and Gross Negligence

Sponsoring Organizations must have policies in place to prevent theft, violence, and gross negligence on the part of the volunteer driver. These policies should be strictly adhered to. The purpose of the policies is to protect not only the Sponsoring Organization and the riders, but also protect the driver from false accusations of misconduct.

In order to eliminate claims of theft, volunteers should not enter residences of riders or accept gifts or gratuities from riders. However, volunteers for some programs do enter the rider's homes as part of helping with housework and other duties. Policies for these activities should be developed to protect both the rider and the volunteer.
The following are examples of offences that are grounds for immediate termination:

  1. Theft of funds, equipment, or services.
  2. Gross negligence with regard to the safety and well being of self, riders, the general public, or program equipment.
  3. Engaging in physical or verbal confrontations while on duty.
  4. Failure to provide high quality rider service or to positively represent the Sponsoring Organization in the community.

Confidentiality, Conflict of Interest, Code of Conduct, and Ethics

Confidentiality should be reviewed regularly in each program. Transportation volunteers often know or become familiar with riders. While it is desirable to establish a positive relationship with riders, it is important to avoid situations that can create "Conflicts of Interest". All transportation volunteers should sign a confidentiality statement and acknowledge an understanding of confidentiality rights. [Form 21: Rider Confidentiality]

Violations of confidentiality or conflict of interest policies should be grounds for termination. The following serves as guidelines for the sharing and handling of information about riders by a transportation program's representatives.

  1. "Right to Confidentiality" is breached when information received from or about riders is repeated to persons other than the Manager. Riders may confide in a trusted driver. It is tempting to share this information. Volunteer drivers are encouraged to share their concerns with the Manager, but not with other drivers, family or friends. Only information that the Manager "needs to know" can be communicated. Even the names of individuals receiving service from a program must not be shared with anyone outside the Sponsoring Organization.
    1. Information about a rider must not be shared, unless it is necessary to obtain needed services, and the rider has given written consent. If a rider is not able to give permission to share information for their well being, the driver and Manager should use their best judgment to share information only to ensure that needed services are provided.
    2. Under some circumstances, the transportation volunteer is required to share information. This applies when it relates to suspected abuse of children or vulnerable adults. If abuse is suspected, this information must be conveyed to the Manager, but not to other drivers, family or friends.
  2. "Conflict of Interest" occurs when personal arrangements for transportation are made with riders outside the scope of duties as a program volunteer. Such arrangements are prohibited and can lead to serious liability issues for the driver and the Sponsoring Organization.
    1. Riders should not have access to personal phone numbers and addresses of transportation volunteers. Rider requests for this information should be relayed to the Manager.
    2. Transportation volunteers should not ask personal questions of professional services.
    3. In addition, transportation volunteers may not accept gifts or gratuities.
    4. Program personnel will not use, to their personal advantage, any rider information gleaned in the course of their duties.
    5. Volunteers will not use the Sponsoring Organization's vehicles for personal business.
  3. All drivers should follow the Sponsoring Organization's Code of Conduct. [Form 16: Code of Conduct]
  4. Drivers should be familiar with all aspects of the organization's Ethics Policy. [Form 17: Ethics Policy]