VEMA has been asked to remind drivers about the implications of using the purchasing power bestowed upon them by the government to obtain personal gain.
Fuel reward programs are incentives that fuel vendors use to encourage customers to purchase their products by giving the customers something “free” in return for their patronage (like flights, cash or products). Examples include Air Miles, Petro Points, CAA dollars and CO-OP dividends.
The use of personal reward cards or accounts to collect patronage points while purchasing fuel and/or supplies for a vehicle conducting government business is considered inappropriate. VEMA suggests that fuel reward program incentives should be declined whenever fuel is being purchased for a vehicle conducting government business.
This suggestion is supported by the following policies:
- The Conflict of Interest Policy for Manitoba Government employees states that “employees are expected to place the public interest first in carrying out their duties. Part of protecting the public interest involves avoiding or effectively resolving conflict of interest situations where private or personal interests influence, or appear to influence, the performance of their duties and responsibilities. Ultimately, these situations must be resolved in favour of the public interest.” (Civil Service Commission Policy Manual, 3.2.1 Conflict of Interest.)
- The general provisions of the Conflict of Interest Policy also states that “employees must not, directly or indirectly Undertake outside employment, a business transaction or other private arrangement for personal profit or have any financial or other personal interest that is, or may appear to be in conflict with the performance of their duties” (Civil Service Commission Policy Manual, 3.2.1 Conflict of Interest).
In addition, the General Manual of Administration states “Employees shall not accept any gift or other consideration from any person with whom he or she is conducting (or has conducted) government business, other than one of a token nature with limited value” (General Manual of Administration, PP-30-05, pages 98 and 99.)
Do you know what precautions you should take when filling up a portable gas container?
Here are 5 things to remember if you use portable gas containers:
- According to the Provincial Fire Code, the only portable containers you can dispense gas into must be CSA or ULC approved.
- Gas expands as it warms. When filling a portable container, remember to leave an air space of about 5% just in case the gas expands.
- Do not fill any container while it is inside a vehicle, a vehicle’s trunk, pick-up bed or any surface other than the ground. Fumes could collect posing a serious fire threat. When a container is sitting on a non-grounded surface, like a plastic liner in the back of a truck, it is possible to have a static spark ignite the gas fumes. Remove the approved container from the vehicle and place it on the ground and away from the vehicle before filling.
- Keep the nozzle in contact with the container during filling. This lessens the chance of a spark occurring between the nozzle and the container.
- Never engage a latch-open device (these are found on pumps where you don’t have to hold the nozzle) to fill a portable container. This type of container does not generate sufficient back pressure to turn off the pump.
Please remember these safety procedures when dispensing your own fuel into portable containers.
Managing thousands of vehicles and equipment means managing a very large quantity of fuel. The ever-rising cost of fuel has the potential of driving up vehicle operating costs. To help reduce gas consumption, Vehicle and Equipment Management Agency (VEMA) suggests the following be considered:
- Check out our Preferred Fuel Vendors list for maximum cost savings.
- Have the right vehicle for the job. Sometimes a compact vehicle can perform the task as easily as a full size vehicle. VEMA can assist with the specification.
- Promote pooled vehicle use within and between organizations. Why have three vehicles travel to a job site when two will do?
- VEMA can supply exception reports to assist departments monitor abnormal fuel consumption. Poor vehicle condition or poor driving habits can be identified.
- Keep your vehicle well maintained. VEMA’s Preventive Maintenance Program will assist with this important aspect.
- Discuss with VEMA the installation of mesh tailgates, where applicable, to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency.
- Determine if benefits are available through the use of alternate fuels such as natural gas, propane, or diesel. VEMA can assist with this decision.
- Think about other ways to conserve fuel and forward ideas to your Vehicle Coordinator and/or VEMAinfo@gov.mb.ca.
Anti-lock Braking systems were developed to reduce skidding and maintain steering control when brakes are used in an emergency situation.
However, cars with anti-lock brakes are up to 65% more likely to be in fatal crashes than cars without them, says a recent US study. It appears that the problem isn’t with the technology, it’s poor driving habits and lack of driver awareness on how the brakes operate. Driver who rely on technology instead of better driving habits to improve safety are driving down a dangerous road.
Since much of the problem stems from lack of awareness of how to use the brakes, education is needed. Here are Manitoba Safety Council tips on operating ABS-equipped cars:
- In an emergency situation, apply your brakes hard and stay on them. The more pedal chatter the better.
- Don’t pump your brakes. Pumping is for standard brakes. It completely robs ABS brakes of their effectiveness.
- Remember that ABS brakes do not help you stop quicker under most conditions. They do help you maintain steering control during braking so you can veer around obstacles.
- The general rule of thumb is that if you have to avoid an obstacle, veer to the right. This way, you avoid oncoming traffic.
- Don’t become an over-confident driver because you have ABS. Drive prudently as you always should.
Anti-lock brakes are designed to keep cars from going into a skid when the brakes are applied in an emergency. Designed to allow the driver steering control, ABS brakes work by automatically actuating the brakes on and off during emergency stops. They are effective in helping drivers avoid accidents.
VEMA continually looks for ways to improve its services to you. Now, we have adjusted our Light Division Preventive Maintenance Program to be more in tune with current manufacturer’s guidelines.
Due to improved vehicle standards, newer vehicles do not need to be serviced as frequently. Our updated Light Duty Preventive Maintenance schedules will save you time and money. It will also help to ensure you receive maximum performance and dependability from your VEMA vehicle.
These schedules come into effect on September 3, 2013. Our new PM Schedules are Adobe PDF documents. You may need your system administrator to download and install Adobe Reader for you.
When bringing a VEMA vehicle to a vendor for service or repairs, please remind the vendor to call VEMA for authorization prior to any work being started.
If you have any questions about the improved Preventive Maintenance Program, please e-mail VEMAPM@gov.mb.ca.
To Vehicle Coordinators:
Attached is VEMA’s new Additional Equipment/Accessories Request Form.
This form must now be completed for all additional equipment and/or accessories your organization may want installed on a VEMA vehicle. This will help us ensure consistency within our fleet.
The form provides for authorization (Director and Vehicle Coordinator) prior to installation of equipment and/or accessories on your VEMA vehicle/s and equipment. The form is to be filled out electronically, printed and authorized. Once this has been completed, a copy of the form must be sent to VEMA – fax to (204) 957-1109, attention Repair Audit Technicians. A second copy is sent to the requestor. The requestor can then take the form to a VEMA shop or outside vendor for the equipment/accessories installation.
This process will keep VEMA’s vehicle and equipment specifications up-to-date and will assist us in further standardizing our fleet in an effort to reduce expenditures.
Please make all areas within your Department/Organization aware of this new process.
Should you have questions, please feel free to contact Sean Savage at (204) 781-7092 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chief Operating Officer
While vehicles equipped with air bags have proven to save lives in motor vehicle accidents and are considered effective, life saving technology, it is important to remember that, as with all safety devices, precautions must be taken. Information collected from manufacturers, industry periodicals and safety magazines was used to create the following recommendations.
- Follow these precautions if your vehicle is equipped with air bags:
Dealers, Manufacturers, and VEMA continue to support the installation of air bags and do not recommend disconnecting them. Air bags do work when the recommended seating precautions are followed.
Air bags are supplemental restraints and are designed to work in frontal crashes. Your seat belt provides protection in all kinds of crashes and should be worn at all times.
- Children 12 years old and younger should ride properly buckled up in a rear seat.
- Never place an infant in a rear-facing child safety seat in front of an air bag.
- Never allow children, or any passenger, to slide the shoulder belt behind them.
- Driver and front passenger seats should be moved back as far as practical to allow air bags room to deflate.
- Read the owners manuals for child safety seats to ensure they are properly installed.
These precautions are important, since fatalities may occur if they are not followed.
Manufacturers are currently notifying all registered owners, in order of serial number, on seating precautions as it pertains to their vehicles.
In 1998, vehicles sold in Canada by General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Toyota, and Nissan will start to be equipped with less powerful Air bags. The action is in response to an urgent request to automobile manufacturers to make the devices safer. U.S. statistics indicate that only 65 percent of Americans use their seat belts while 92 percent of Canadians “buckle up”. However, air bag design specifications for vehicles sold in Canada are based on U.S. seat belt use.
For more information, please contact Sean Savage at VEMA, (204) 781-7092.