EWU 603-06: Golf Carts and Utility Vehicles

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Health and Safety – Public Safety

EWU Policy 603-06 Authority: EWU Board of Trustees
Effective: November 19, 2010 Proponent: University Police Department

Purpose:  This policy prescribes standards for the use of golf carts and utility vehicles on the campuses of Eastern Washington University and in other authorized areas. The intent of this policy is to prevent injuries to pedestrians, vehicle operators and passengers, and to reduce the risk of property damage.

History:  This publication is new.  It was adopted by the EWU Board of Trustees on November 19, 2010.

Applicability:  This policy applies to all golf carts and utility carts owned or leased by the University, operated on University premises, and/or operated by University employees, volunteers, contractors, vendors or agents.

Chapter 1 – Introduction

1-1. General

Departments at Eastern Washington University provide golf carts/utility vehicles to transport equipment and people, perform campus maintenance activities, and perform a variety of other tasks.

A golf cart or utility vehicle, as used in this policy, is defined as any vehicle, regardless of size or energy source, which is used primarily for the transportation of persons or cargo; and is generally recognizable as a passenger or utility type cart, vehicle, club car or conveyance. This policy does not apply to tractors or other machinery.

Knowledge of and compliance with this policy, applicable state laws and regulations, and related university policies are the responsibility of vehicle operators and passengers.  Noncompliance may result in suspension of user privileges, citations, or other disciplinary actions.

1-2. Authorized Use

The acquisition and use of golf carts is limited to departments and operating units with valid business use to include transporting personnel, equipment, and/or supplies for University purposes.

  1. Operators of university-owned golf carts and utility vehicles must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid driver’s license. Operators must also be employees (including part-time or student employees) of Eastern Washington University.
  2. Students, who are not employees, may also be permitted to use university-owned golf carts or utility vehicles due to medical conditions or disabilities. Documentation must be presented to Disability Support Services so that an accommodation recommendation can be prepared. Accommodation recommendations will be forwarded to the University Police Department, the approval authority for all such requests. Students who are authorized the use of a golf cart or utility vehicle under this section must adhere to the requirements of this policy.
  3. Any outside entities or individuals wishing to use private golf carts on the EWU campus must apply to the University Police for approval. All such golf cart users must adhere to this policy while on campus. Movement off of campus is at their own risk.

1-3. Training

Prior to operating a golf cart/utility vehicle, operators must successfully complete Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle safety training.

The University Police Department and University Motor Pool will be responsible for training of all drivers and supervisors on safe use of carts and roles and responsibilities.

To arrange for training, individuals must contact the University Police or University Motor Pool.

1-4. Enforcement

  1. University Police and designated law enforcement officers enforce the appropriate and safe operation of golf carts and utility vehicles. They may issue tickets accordingly.
  2. Parking services will enforce parking of golf carts and utility vehicles.  They may issue tickets accordingly.
  3. Failure of University employees to comply with this policy may result in disciplinary action.
  4. Vendors and contractors shall face sanctions appropriate to the terms of their contract with the University.

1-5. Accident Reporting

Accidents involving a golf cart or utility vehicle will be reported immediately to the University Police and to the operator’s supervisor, regardless of whether property damage or personal injury occurred.  Operators will complete an Incident Report, which can be found on the Human Resources, Rights and Risk web site, as soon as possible following the accident.  If the operator is unable to complete the Incident Report, the operator’s supervisor will work with University Police to ensure that the Incident Report is completed.

1-6. Responsibilities

  1. Departments with assigned golf carts and/or utility vehicles will:
    • Ensure that all golf carts/utility vehicles and operators in their unit comply with the requirements of this policy.
    • Ensure that all equipment on the golf cart/utility vehicle is working properly and that the cart/utility vehicle is taken out of service when there are deficiencies that could contribute to an unsafe condition.
    • Ensure that vehicles are routinely inspected and maintained by the Facilities Automotive Shop or a Golf Cart service company.
    • Maintain completed Golf Cart / Utility Vehicle Operation Acknowledgement forms are maintained on record within their department for a minimum of three calendar years.
  2. Individuals who have been assigned to operate golf carts or utility vehicles will:
    • Read, and comply with this policy.
    • Successfully complete Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle safety training prior to operating a golf cart or utility vehicle.
    • Acknowledge responsibility and accountability for compliance with this policy by completing the Golf Cart / Utility Vehicle Operation Acknowledgement form.
    • Maintain a valid driver’s license.
    • Be personally responsible for any parking tickets or fines related to driving violations when the vehicle is under the operator’s supervision or control. The vehicle is considered under the operator’s supervision until such time as it is returned to its designated storage site.
  3. The University Police Department will:
    • Monitor golf cart and utility vehicle operations on campus.
    • Issue citations and/or notify department heads of violations of this policy as deemed appropriate.
    • Coordinate university-wide compliance with this policy and facilitate safety training as requested.

Chapter 2 – Operating Rules

2-1. General Rules

Pedestrians will be given the right-of-way at all times. Golf Carts/ Utility Vehicles will be operated with the utmost courtesy, care, and consideration for the safety of pedestrians and property.

Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Operators are to be diligent and pay particular attention to the needs of disabled persons, as limitations in vision, hearing or mobility may impair their ability to see, hear, or move out of the way of vehicles.

While operating a golf cart or utility vehicle, drivers will:

  1. Inspect the golf cart/utility vehicle before operation, document and report any deficiencies;
  2. Refrain from use of the golf cart/utility vehicle if there are any deficiencies which have not been corrected;
  3. Operate the cart/vehicle in a safe manner;
  4. Report accidents as described in Para 1-5;
  5. Adhere to State of Washington motor vehicle laws and applicable municipal ordinances of the City of Cheney whenever operating a golf cart in a designated golf cart zone;
  6. Not wear devices that impede hearing, e.g., stereo headsets, earplugs, etc.;
  7. Not use a cell phone, PDA, or other electronic device; and,
  8. Remove and keep the vehicle keys whenever the vehicle is left unattended.

2-2. Safe Operation Standards

  1. Operators shall drive vehicles with due care and caution. Operators must reduce speed on walkways and in pedestrian areas to walking speeds. In crowded areas, such as during class changes, operators must park or proceed at a slow walking pace.  Operators shall always yield to pedestrians to avoid obstructing, hindering or impeding the travel of pedestrians.  On vehicles equipped with safety belts, operators and passengers shall wear safety belts at all times while the vehicle is in motion.
  2. Travel shall be with the flow of traffic and follow the same protocols as a motor vehicle (i.e. stopping at stop signs, etc). Operators shall not obstruct, hinder or impede the course of travel of motor vehicles.
  3. Vehicles shall not be operated in a manner that may endanger passengers or other individuals or property.
  4. Vehicles shall only be operated from the driver’s side.
  5. Operate vehicles with care, taking into account terrain and weather.
  6. Golf carts/utility vehicles must have headlights and a strobe light when operating after dark (tail lights are also recommended).

2-3. Authorized Areas

Golf carts/utility vehicles are restricted to designated paths and areas on the Eastern Washington University campus and in designated Golf Cart Zones.

  1. Do not drive on covered walkways
  2. Do not drive on grass areas except for the purpose of conducting University business or to give way to pedestrian traffic. Return to designated driving surfaces as soon as possible.
  3. Do not drive on city sidewalks.
  4. Use on Public Streets: Golf carts, utility vehicles and other vehicles which are not appropriately licensed may not be operated on public streets except:
    • to cross from one sidewalk to another around the main campus boundary. Cross roadways only at clearly marked crosswalks or at street corners.
    • in areas designated as Golf Cart zones by the City of Cheney per Chapter 46.08 RCW. Golf carts may operate in Golf Cart zones only as permitted by the RCW and city ordinance.

2-4. Passengers

  1. Do not exceed the passenger capacity designated by the manufacturer. For the most common type golf carts that means two passengers in the front seat and two additional passengers if a back seat is installed.
  2. Passengers shall keep their head, legs, feet, and arms within the cab.
  3. Children may only ride on EWU golf carts for official state business, or to facilitate movement during special events only, and must be accompanied by a parent, guardian, or supervising adult at all times. That adult cannot be the driver. At no time will children be permitted to be on golf carts by themselves.
  4. All passengers must be in seats designed for such use. No passengers are allowed to be transported on the bed, back, or sides of Golf Cart/Utility Vehicles.
  5. Occupants must remain seated until the golf cart/utility vehicle comes to a complete stop. Jumping on or off of a moving cart is prohibited.
  6. Operators will inform passengers of safety rules prior to travel.

2-5. Loading / Cargo

Do not overload the golf cart/utility vehicle by exceeding the recommended carrying or load capacity.

Loads shall not extend more than one foot from either side or front of the vehicle. Loads that extend more than three feet from the rear of the golf cart/utility vehicle must be flagged.  Operators are responsible for ensuring all loads are properly secured.

2-6. Parking

Parking is preferred on hard, covered surfaces such as asphalt and concrete.

  1. The following areas are prohibited, except for loading or unloading:
    • Fire lanes
    • Entrances to buildings, stairways, disability ramps, or main thoroughfares
  2. Gasoline powered golf carts must be parked at least 10 feet away from buildings.
  3. The parking brake must be set when parked.

Chapter 3 – Equipment

3-1. Acquisition

Procurement of golf cart-type vehicles must be processed through the Purchasing department and have prior approval from the University Police and University Motor Pool. Facilities Maintenance shall also be contacted prior to purchase to verify adequate power for chargers.

  1. New vehicles (bought or extended lease) must include the following safety features:
    • Rear view mirror (for roofed carts)
    • Tail lights
    • Head lights
    • Horn
    • Seat belts.
  2. Used vehicles must include (at a minimum) the following safety features:
    • Horn
    • Head lights (if used after dark)
    • Strobe (if used after dark)
    • Rear Reflectors
    • Seat belts?
  3. New golf carts shall be approved by University Motor Pool/University Police for safety feature inspection and registration within 5 days of delivery to responsible department. Registration information will include:
    • Name of department or operating unit
    • Make and type of vehicle
    • Serial Number
    • Business Purpose
  4. All University-owned golf carts and utility vehicles must have an identification number assigned by University Motor Pool. This number and the department’s name will be clearly visible on the vehicle.

3-2. Maintenance

  1. Supervisors shall ensure that University-owned vehicles are inspected by Facilities Services or a Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle service company at least every 6 months, and as needed to repair malfunctioning items.
  2. Golf carts/utility vehicles which are leased shall be routinely inspected and maintained as recommended by the rental company and vehicle manufacturer to ensure that they are in proper working order and have all safety features.
  3. Golf Cart/Utility Vehicles will not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the vehicle.

3-3. Vehicle Fueling and Storage

All operators must receive department specific fueling instructions when applicable and after use of a vehicle operators are responsible for ensuring that the vehicle is returned to its assigned storage site and charged. Each of the storage sites will take into account machine specific hazards (e.g. flammability of fuel, off gassing of hydrogen from battery charging).

Appendix A – EWU Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Safety Acknowledgement Form

Eastern Washington University

Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Safety Acknowledgement Form

Employee Name (print): __________________________________________________

ID Number: ____________________________________________________________

Department: __________________________________ Phone: ___________________

By signing below, I acknowledge that: (please check all that apply)

__ I have read the Golf Cart and Utility Vehicle Safety and Use Policy.

___ I have been provided with the opportunity to ask questions related to the Golf Cart and Utility Vehicle Safety and Use Policy and certify that based on my review and my opportunity to seek clarification, I certify that I understand all of its terms and provisions. 

__ I understand the hazards associated with driving a Golf Cart / Utility Vehicle and agree to abide by the Golf Cart and Utility Vehicle Safety and Use Policy.

Employee Signature Date

Supervisor Signature Date

The complete form is to be kept on file by the supervisor.

_____ I have verified that the employee has a valid driver’s license (supervisor initials)