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Guidelines for Safe Operation of Golf Carts/Utility Vehicles

Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) has developed these guidelines to assist the University of Missouri (MU) campus community in the complying with the campus golf cart policy. For the purpose of the guidelines, the term "golf cart vehicles" will be used to encompass golf cars, gators, and other similar utility vehicles.

Authorization

EHS recommends that each department develop written procedures to authorize and train its employees who operate golf cart vehicles. All drivers must possess a valid driver’s license.

As stated in the policy, MU-owned golf cart vehicles are to be used for official business only. Personally-owned golf cart vehicles may not be operated on MU property, unless written approval has been obtained from Administrative Services.

Inspection and Maintenance

All golf cart vehicles should be maintained as recommended by the manufacturer’s service schedule. A vehicle inspection should be conducted each day of use. A checklist should be developed for each golf cart vehicle to include items such as: tire pressure, rust damage, fluid leaks, loose parts, and other obvious visual issues. Following a visual inspection, the functional aspects of the golf cart vehicle safety devices should be checked, such as: steering, brakes, mirrors, wipers, seat belt, horn, signals and correctly charged battery. Refer to the owners' manual for other inspection and maintenance recommendations.

Note: Proper battery maintenance is very important. Older batteries have been known to explode due to overcharging. Refer to owner's manual for correct charging procedures.

Tampering or modifying the golf cart vehicle’s governor is prohibited.

Report any items not in proper working order to your supervisor and take the golf cart vehicle out of service until repairs are made. Keep records of all maintenance and repairs.

Safe Operation

Street legal golf cart vehicles (meeting National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration “Standard 500”) may be operated on roadways in accordance with posted speed limits. Most golf cart vehicles are not street legal and are therefore not allowed on roadways except when crossing from one side to the other. Generally, sidewalks are preferred to be used. Right-of-way must always be rendered to pedestrians. The speed limit for golf cart vehicles not on a standard roadway is 15 mph.

These additional guidelines for the safe operation of carts must be understood and followed at all times:

  • Use extreme caution. Never drive faster than conditions allow. Be alert for changing hazards or hazardous conditions.
  • Avoid distractions – drivers should not use cell phones while operating carts.
  • Do not operate carts on roadways outside the confines of campus boundaries.
  • Do not operate carts inside, under, or through buildings.
  • Do not operate carts on lawns or landscaped areas unless absolutely necessary. Vegetation is easily damaged.
  • Drivers and passengers must wear seat belts (if originally equipped).
  • Drivers are responsible for the ignition key the entire time they use the vehicle. Keys are not to be left in carts while unattended.
  • Drive head up hills/inclines.
  • Never take your hands off the wheel.
  • Sound horn at blind turns.
  • Know maximum weight limits of your golf cart vehicle. Vehicles are not to be overloaded, e.g. do not allow more passengers than seating provided or carry more load than the rated capacity. Passengers may not ride in the cargo area.
  • When hauling loads, check to see that nothing obstructs your view and loads are secured in place.
  • The cart driver must report all accidents to his/her supervisor who will assist in completion and submittal of appropriate written reports per MU policy.
  • Refer to owner’s manual for your particular cart for additional safe operating information.

Note the following about pedestrians and disabled persons:

  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way. Speed must be reduced to a minimum when driving along or near pedestrians.
  • Cart drivers must be especially attentive to the needs of disabled persons, due to their limitations in vision, hearing or mobility.

Parking

Park carts on hard, covered surfaces such as asphalt and concrete. Never park in heavily traveled pedestrian areas. Do not block fire lanes, entrances to buildings, stairways, disability ramps, main thoroughfares, or fire suppression equipment. If you park in a designated parking space, you must have a permit from Campus Parking.

Refer questions to the EHS Safety Representative (573) 882-7018.

 
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