Only employees of Kokua are authorized to drive vehicles owned by Kokua. Company vehicles are to be driven for company business only. Employees will use a seat belt and will ensure that all passengers are properly belted whenever the vehicle is in motion. The Executive Director may prohibit individual employees from transporting clients based upon their driving abstract, their violation of Kokua safety rules or other factors determined by the Executive Director to present a danger to clients or staff.

Employees are prohibited from transporting clients in their personal vehicles. Exceptions may be made by the Executive Director in cases of emergency. Exceptions can only be granted if the employee’s automobile coverage meets the criteria specified in RCW 46.29.490 (twenty five thousand dollars coverage for the bodily injury or death of one person; fifty thousand dollars for the bodily injury or death of two or more persons; and ten thousand dollars for injury or destruction of property of others.)


Employees are expected to operate the vehicle in a manner that respects traffic regulations and ensures the safety of the clients. While in operation of a Kokua vehicle, the following safety rules will be observed:

  1. Employees will have a vehicle orientation before driving an agency vehicle.
  2. Driver will check that tie downs and seat belts are properly attached to wheelchairs prior to driving vans.
  3. Driver will acquaint self with the vehicle features prior to driving.
  4. Driver will obey all traffic laws, and drive defensively and courteously.
  5. Driver will use seat belt and make sure all passengers also utilize seat belts.
  6. Drivers will fill vehicle with gasoline when the gauge reads ½ full. One tank will always remain full if equipped with 2 tanks.
  7. All drivers must operate Kokua vehicles in a safe and lawful manner. Drivers must refrain from operating cell phones, eating, drinking or engaging in any other activity while driving. Operating the vehicle in an unsafe manner or under the influence of drugs or alcohol is forbidden.
  8. If an employee is transporting a client and the client behaves in a manner that presents a hazard to safe operation of the vehicle (grabbing steering wheel, shouting, trying to open door, etc.) the employee should pull the car completely off the roadway and take the key out of the ignition. The employee should not attempt to operate the vehicle until the client has calmed down and conditions are safe.
  9. Smoking is prohibited in all Kokua vehicles.
  10. Clients assessed as needing 24-hour support should never be left in vehicles unattended. Clients who have limited mobility or are in wheelchairs should always be in line of sight while in a vehicle. Any client restrained by a seat belt or wheelchair tie-downs should be visually monitored at all times to ensure safety. Disregarding this directive is a serious policy violation and could result in disciplinary action up to and including termination.


Work teams are responsible for keeping the vehicle in their location clean and assuring it receives regular maintenance. All vehicles will receive regular safety and maintenance checks by a staff person appointed by their team. All checks and maintenance will be recorded in a notebook kept in each vehicle. All vehicle maintenance concerns will be reported in a timely manner to the Business Operations Coordinator in the office. Oil will be changed every 3,000 miles or 3 months. Other routine services will be provided at the time of oil changes. A service report will be kept with the mileage log, and will be filled out at the time of service.  It is expected that teams will keep the gas tanks of Kokua vehicles at least half full so that they will be ready to respond to emergencies.


In case of an accident, the welfare of the clients is the primary concern. First aid and other help will be rendered when appropriate. If involved in an accident, do not move to the side of the road. Stop and stay where you are until the police tell you to move. All accidents will be reported regardless of how minor. The driver and any other employees involved in or witnessing the accident will fill out an accident report. A copy of the accident report will be submitted to the office. If the accident occurs after office hours, the on-call person will be notified as soon as is possible.


Any employee who has a driver’s license revoked or suspended shall immediately notify the Executive Director and shall discontinue operation of any company vehicle.