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Guidelines for Golf-Utility Carts and Low Speed Vehicle Operation

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Introduction – Purpose & Scope

These guidelines are for the operation of electric or gas-powered carts, golf carts, utility carts, low-speed vehicles and/or similar type vehicles (hereafter collectively referred to as “Carts”) on Cedarville University campus properties, including traveling to/from campus locations that may be separated by property owned by others or require travel on public roadways to reach the desired campus location. These guidelines establish proper safety procedures and practices, which promote safe and courteous operations of these vehicles within the campus environment, especially as we encounter students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

I. Golf-Utility Cart and Low Speed Vehicle Guidelines

Golf and utility carts are electric, gasoline powered vehicles that are primarily manufactured and distributed for off road purposes and not intended for travel on regulated roadways such as golf carts, multi-seat golf carts, carts with cargo boxes or beds, heavy duty carts, off road carts and 4x4 carts. (Examples include, but are not limited to: E-Z Go, Club Cars, Gators, Bobcat Utility carts, etc.) The top speed of these vehicles is typically 15 – 18 MPH.

II. Operator Guidelines

While driving a golf-utility cart or low speed vehicle, the safety of yourself and others should be the top priority of the driver. Responsible driving requires concentration, sound judgment, and common sense on your part. Carts should be operated with the utmost courtesy, care and consideration for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and cart occupants. Carts must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and in crosswalks.

Pedestrians shall be afforded the right-of-way. Pedestrians as defined in this document refer to: persons walking, jogging, inline skating, skate boarding, bicycling, or those in wheelchairs or mobility assistance devices. It is recognized that they also have the responsibility to exercise reasonable judgment.

A. General Use
  • Only authorized drivers are allowed to operate carts following approval by their supervisor. Do not allow anyone to borrow the cart without your supervisor’s approval.
  • Carts should not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the vehicle.
B. Pre-trip
  • Cart operators should not wear headphones, use cell phones or two-way radios or use/operate any other device that may cause a distraction or disrupt your ability to hear. Pull over to the side and stop the vehicle when answering phones and/or radios.
C. Occupants and Loads
  • Never exceed the maximum load capacity recommended by the manufacturer, either by number of occupants or weight of the passengers and load. Follow manufacturer load ratings for carts equipped with a back carriage. Overloading decreases maneuverability and safe operation.
  • One passenger is permitted per seat and all passengers are required to sit in seats. No riding on backs, front, or sides of carts is permitted.
  • Do not move cart until all occupants are seated. Occupants should remain seated while the cart is in motion.
  • Seat belts should be worn when driving on campus or public roadways, if so equipped.
  • All occupants in the vehicle should keep hands, arms, legs and feet within the confines of the vehicle while it is in motion.
  • Secure and properly store all equipment and supplies to prevent objects from falling out of striking people.
D. Driving the Cart
  • Carts should be operated in such manner that they do not impede or interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow on roadways, ramps, or sidewalks.
  • Do not operate a cart on a public roadway except when crossing from one side of the street to the other. When crossing roadways use designated crosswalks if possible or otherwise use an area that can be considered safe to cross (areas of lighter traffic, not on curves or blind spots and areas of lower speed limits) and obey traffic signals, signs and rules when crossing.
  • The recommended maximum speed on walkways and congested areas is not more than 5 miles per hour. However, the speed should be no faster than pedestrians walking in the same area.
  • Special care should be taken while driving carts through parking lots to observe traffic and vehicles pulling in/out of parking spaces. Carts should be operated at speeds of less than 10 miles per hour in parking lots and other areas of traffic.
  • Obey all traffic regulations – this includes observing stop signs, one-way areas and traffic signals.
  • Never drive a cart forward or backwards while any person is standing in front or behind the vehicle.
  • Carts should be parked and/or operated in such manner that they do not impede or interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow on roadways, ramps or sidewalks.
  • Carts should not be parked within 20 feet of the entrance or exit of any building, except at loading docks or during the short term process of unloading equipment, etc. Blocking entrances to buildings, stairways, fire exits, disability ramps or main thoroughfares is prohibited.
  • Drive the cart only as fast as terrain and safety considerations allow. Always consider the total weight of the cart, passengers, equipment, terrain, existing vehicular and pedestrian traffic conditions, as well as environmental/weather factors that may affect your ability to operate the cart safely.
  • Use caution when driving downhill; reducing speed and avoiding sharp turns. To avoid tipping over, drive carts straight up and straight down slopes.
  • Avoid sudden stops or change of direction that may result in a loss of control.
  • Operators of vehicles that are not equipped with turn indicators should use appropriate hand signals. Arm straight out for a left turn, arm straight up and bent at elbow for a right hand turn and arm pointing downward bent at the elbow for stopping.
  • Allow for extra travel time and stopping distance when roads are wet or slick from the weather.
  • The vehicle should be turned off when refueling the cart. Failure to do so may result in personal injury due to explosion.
E. After the Trip
  • When finished with the cart, remove the key and take it to the proper key storage location and secure the vehicle if it is lockable.
  • Make certain the parking brake (where applicable) is applied and whenever possible, park in a manner that will not allow the cart to move if the parking brake were accidentally released.
F. Reporting an Accident
  • All accidents or incidents involving the carts should be reported immediately to your supervisor and all injuries/accidents reported promptly to the Campus Security Department for documentation.

III. Cart Maintenance and Repairs

A. Specific Details
  • Cart operators should be responsible to provide timely notification of safety and maintenance concerns to your supervisor and the supervisor of automotive to facilitate corrective action.
  • Every cart should be checked prior to use each day by the operator to confirm the proper operation of critical equipment including:
    • Lighting (where applicable) – headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, flashing strobe light.
    • Brakes - Parking and/or Emergency
    • Reflector & Signage
    • Steering
    • Horn
    • Tire Inflation
  • In the event a cart has critical equipment that is not operational or is not functioning as intended, the supervisor must be notified and the cart should be placed “out-of-service” to prevent its use until repairs can be completed.
  • Any maintenance or repair work that needs to be done on the batteries should be directed to the automotive department that the manufacturer’s requirements and safety are maintained.
  • Routine preventative maintenance will be performed by the automotive shop at the Service Center on a quarterly basis.
B. Cart Storage
  • The storage of each cart will be the responsibility of the department to which the unit is owned by or assigned to.
  • Whenever possible, the carts should be stored in an area to allow for battery recharging and to shield the cart from foul weather.
  • Some unauthorized persons may find the cart enticing for a joy ride, and thus, a secured storage area and/or the use of a chain and padlock or steering wheel lock should be utilized.

Revision 8/2016, dc