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Utility Vehicles

Utility vehicles are used on all of the College campuses for maintenance, security and event support purposes. Operators can be injured when operating a utility vehicle improperly. This safety program is designed to establish training and operating standards to minimize risk to operators and pedestrians.

Scope and Application

The Utility Vehicle Safety Program applies to any College employees who operate utility vehicles on College property. Utility vehicle is defined as an off-road vehicle used for maintenance, security or event support purposes. Utility vehicles are commonly referred to as utility carts, golf carts, or by their manufacturers’ names (Cushman, Kubota, etc.) Vehicles not covered by this program include: automobiles (cars and trucks), forklifts, lawn tractors, construction machinery and vehicles, and Segways.

An authorized utility vehicle operator is an employee who meets the training and licensure requirements of the AUTHORIZATION section of this program. An authorized operator is required to adhere to the INSPECTION and OPERATION sections of this program, as well as instructions provided by the applicable utility vehicle manufacturers (owner’s manuals).

AUTHORIZATION (training and license)

1. Operator must complete simple training in vehicle operation and rules of operation on the campus. Training consists of 3 parts:

  • Hands-on instruction and evaluation by experienced operator
  • Familiarization with operational and safety requirements in owners’ manual for each model utility vehicle
  • Familiarization with these Utility Vehicle Safety Requirements

 2. Operator must have a valid driver's license.

INSPECTION (daily or before operation)

1. Visual

Tire pressure
Body damage
Broken lights
Fluid leaks

2. Safety

Loose steering
Functional audible reverse alarm
Working brakes
Working mirrors
Functional headlights
Working seatbelts
Functional turn signals
Functional horn
Fully charged battery
Unobstructed views
All cargo secure


  • If the vehicle is equipped with seatbelts, the operator and all passengers must wear them when the vehicle is in motion.
  • The operator is responsible for the safe operation of the utility vehicle in accordance with these requirements and those of the applicable owner’s manual.
  • Follow any speed restrictions set for an area or event – in general, speed should never be greater than that of a fast walk.
  • Never drive too fast for conditions.
  • Always reduce speeds when pedestrians are present, especially when crossing or driving on sidewalks.
  • Accelerate slowly.
  • Maintain safe stopping distances.
  • Back up slowly, and as rarely as possible.
  • Reduce speed or find alternate routes where tire traction can be expected to be poor or visibility reduced.
  • Know maximum weight limits (posted on vehicle or in owner’s manual) and never overload vehicles.
  • Secure all cargo and do not allow it to extend far from the vehicle.
  • Do not transport passengers in vehicle bed.
  • Keep hands, feet and objects inside vehicle when in motion.
  • Approach blind turns slowly (consider using horn).
  • Watch for obstacles when driving off pavement.
  • Always drive straight up or down hills, not at an angle.
  • Avoid steep hills.
  • Come to a complete stop at roadways, sidewalks, blind spots.
  • Cross roadways at marked pedestrian crosswalks.
  •  Actively watch for pedestrians when driving.
  • Always yield to pedestrians.
  • In high pedestrian traffic areas, find alternate routes or wait for areas to clear.
  •  Keep 2 hands on the steering wheel.
  • Avoid using radios an cell phones while driving.
  • Stop driving when full attention cannot be paid to the area ahead.
  • No horseplay.
  • Use parking brakes.
  • Do not leave keys in ignition of an unattended vehicle.
  • Do not block emergency exits, doors, stairs, sidewalks, ramps or high pedestrian traffic routes.
  • Park in areas designated for vehicle parking or in areas of low pedestrian traffic.

What you need to know

  • Ensure personnel whose duties may require they operate utility vehicles get the training specified in this program.
  • Ensure all personnel operating utility vehicles are authorized to do so and follow the Inspection and Operation guidelines of this program.
  • Maintain knowledge of this safety program and the safety, operating and maintenance instructions provided by the utility vehicle manufacturer.
  • Explain and demonstrate proper operating procedures for new operators.
  • Require the new operator demonstrate proper operating procedures until you are comfortable that he/she can operate vehicle safely.
  • Report to Supervisor when a new operator has satisfactorily completed all training requirements.
  • Obtain the training required by this program.
  • Follow all safety instructions given by supervisors and this safety program.
  • Maintain and periodically update this safety program.
  • Provide training support, as needed.
More Information

Contact the Public Health & Environmental Safety office for assistance whenever you have questions or concerns regarding utility vehicle safety.