The Risk Management Fund’s coverage includes liability arising out of the use of state-owned, state-rented or state-leased vehicles, but only to the extent that the use is within the scope of the employee’s employment. Private use of any of these vehicles is not covered by the Risk Management Fund and will be the employee’s personal responsibility.
State Fleet Vehicles: As of July 1, 1997, vehicles titled to the ND Department of Transportation will be covered by the Risk Management Fund, pursuant to the provisions of the Tort Claims Act.
Rental Vehicles: Liability and comprehensive and collision coverage for vehicles rented short-term when traveling on official state business.
- OMB Fiscal and Administrative Policy 518 provides that agencies must use state contracts that include liability coverage and damage waiver as part of the base rental rate. See State Cooperative Contract for Rental Vehicles (2 pages).
- Risk Management guidelines are that agencies purchase the additional damage waiver and liability coverage when renting a vehicle. For more information, see Vehicle Coverage FAQs.
Courtesy/Leased Vehicles: Liability and comprehensive and collision coverage for courtesy/leased vehicles when traveling on official state business.
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Distracted Driving Awareness
Based upon AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s (AAA) research, approximately 87% of drivers engage in unsafe driving behavior, which shows that “[t]here is a culture of indifference for far too many drivers when it comes to road safety.” Further, AAA’s preliminary estimates for 2015 projected a 9% increase in deaths related to automobile accidents. See article and 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index.
Distracted Driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. These types of distractions include: texting; using a cell phone or smartphone; eating and drinking; talking to passengers; grooming; reading, including maps; using a navigation system; watching a video; adjusting a radio, cd player, mp3 player, and car dashboards/infotainment systems.
In-car dashboard technologies are continuing to increase. Unfortunately with hands-free and voice control features, most people are unaware of the distractions and still believe that hands-free devices/voice control features are safer than handheld. However, AAA’s research has found that these dashboard features actually increase driver distraction by leaving the driver in a state of cognitive distraction for as long as 27 seconds. Other findings are highlighted in Avoid the Dash to the Dashboard Infographic. AAA has conducted various comprehensive studies on mental distractions, including comparisons of in-vehicle information systems and smartphones.
Consistent with the efforts of numerous government and safety organizations, Risk Management encourages state agencies to voluntarily adopt and implement distracted driving policies that restrict the use of handheld and hands-free devices while driving on state business, except as strictly necessary to fulfill approved and designated critical agency functions or in life and safety emergency situations. Such policies must require more than is already prohibited by law in NDCC 39-08-23. Agencies that choose to adopt distracted driving policies that restrict the use of handheld cell phones consistent with that agency’s operations and critical business needs will be eligible to receive a discount on its Risk Management Fund contribution. Contact Risk Management at 701.328.7584 for a sample policy statement.
Agencies can access free materials from the National Safety Council. Additional Distracted Driving Resources have been compiled to assist agencies with training and implementation of distracted driving policies and practices.