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Cart/Utility Vehicle Operation Policy

  1. INTRODUCTION (Purpose and Intent)

    This policy provides guidelines for the use of electric or gas-powered carts and/or similar utility type vehicles (carts) on all campuses of the University. The intent is to establish proper safety procedures and practices, as well as to promote and provide for a safer environment for students, faculty and staff.
    1. All members of the University community are governed by this policy (students, staff, faculty, and contractors/vendors). All operators of carts must meet the following criteria before operating a cart on property under the jurisdiction of Southwestern Oklahoma State University.
      1. Possess a valid Oklahoma driver’s license.
      2. Know and adhere to the State of Oklahoma motor vehicle laws.
      Note: SWOSU employees who will be operating carts are required to obtain an Oklahoma driver’s license within thirty (30) days after commencement of such employment or notice that they will be operating a cart as part of their job duties. Full-time out-of-state students who have a valid driver’s license from their state of residence are exempted from the requirement of obtaining an Oklahoma driver’s license for only that period of time allowed by Oklahoma law.
    2. The safe operation of carts is paramount. Failure to follow this policy, render common courtesies, or follow rules of the road for the State of Oklahoma could result in citation, appropriate disciplinary action, and/or suspension of operator’s cart driving privileges.
    3. All new cart acquisitions must meet the minimum safety features found in National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration (NHSTA), Standard 500 (49 CFR Part 571.500), hereafter “Standard 500.” As of the effective date of this policy, the purchase of used, remanufactured, or transferred (from another University department) carts not meeting Standard 500 is prohibited. Contractors and other non-affiliated departments/companies, corporations, etc. carts must meet Standard 500.
    4. Standard 500 carts must be maintained so that all original equipment safety features are kept in good working order.
    5. Minimum safety features for carts not Standard 500 (acquired by Department prior to effective date of this policy) are to include:
      1. Carts must be four-wheeled vehicles – No three-wheeled vehicles.
      2. All original equipment safety features must be kept in good working order.
      3. All carts and trailers (pulled by carts) must have clearly displayed on the exterior of the cart and trailer the slow moving vehicle reflective triangle.
    6. The following outlines procedures for the safe operation of carts.
      1. Supervisors must monitor and ensure that all persons operating carts have been instructed in the safe operation of carts.
      2. The speed limit for carts off standard roadways is 15 mph.
      3. Carts meeting Standard 500 criteria may operate on University roadways, but must adhere to posted speed limits on University roadways. All other carts are prohibited from operating on the roadways of the campus, except when crossing from one side of the street to another or utilizing a roadway where no sidewalk exists. In most cases, sidewalks are to be used while right-of-way is to be rendered to all pedestrians. Note: Operators are to use due caution in crosswalks. Carts using pedestrian crosswalks do NOT have the right-of-way.
      4. Modification or tampering with a cart’s governor is prohibited and is a violation of Federal law.
      5. The operator must report any accidents to the University Police (UP) and to the operator’s supervisor. UP will forward cart accident information to the SWOSU Department of Public Safety (Risk Management) for processing.
      6. Cart operators are to use extreme caution at all times.
      7. Operators may not wear headsets while operating carts.
      8. Operators are prohibited from operating carts on roadways outside the boundaries of the University.
      9. Operators are prohibited from operating carts inside, under or through the confines of University buildings.
      10. Pedestrians have the right-of-way on campus. Carts must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks. SPEED IS TO BE REDUCED TO A MINIMUM WHEN DRIVING ALONG OR CROSSING SIDEWALKS SO AS TO AVOID ACCIDENTS WITH PEDESTRIANS.
      11. Cart 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 carts.
      12. Carts are not to be overloaded, i.e., carrying more passengers than seating provided or overloading the cart’s recommended carrying or load capacity.
      13. The University identification number (provided by Physical Plant at the Department’s expense) must be displayed prominently on University-Owned parts. Contractors and other non-affiliated departments/companies, corporations, etc., must display company name and vehicle identification number (VIN) on their cart at the owner’s expense.
      14. Cart operators are not to block the path nor limit pedestrian access on walkways.
      15. University-owned carts are to be used for University business only.
    7. University-owned carts are to be maintained in accordance with manufacturer and Physicals Plant’s recommended service schedule.
      1. Repairs and regular maintenance are the responsibility of the Department owning the cart. The Departments are financially responsible for all repair and maintenance costs (labor, parts, and supplies). The Department is required to keep all preventative maintenance and repair records related to the cart; however, for those services provided by Vehicle Maintenance, Vehicle Maintenance will keep such records.
      2. Departments are responsible for keeping all original equipment and safety features in good working order.
    8. Personally-owned carts are prohibited from operating on University property. However, special consideration will be given to ADA accommodations.