Use of Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle at Texas State
Policy & Procedures Manual
Safety Policy & Procedure Manual
· Background Information
To establish standards for the safe use and operations of a golf cart/utility vehicle at Texas State University-San Marcos premises.
Departments at Texas State provide golf cart/utility vehicles to employees so job-related duties can be fulfilled. Golf cart/utility vehicles are used to transport equipment and people, patrol the campus grounds, make deliveries, and provide campus maintenance activities. Only Texas State golf carts used exclusively for playing golf are exempt from this policy. This policy establishes consistent standards regarding:
· Vehicle Operating Standards
· Department & Driver Responsibilities
· Operator Requirements & Standards
· Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Condition and Standard Safety Features
· Accident Reporting Procedures
Compliance with these standards will ensure the safe operation of these vehicles for the campus community; including golf cart/utility vehicle drivers, vehicle operators, cyclists and pedestrians.
Golf cart/utility vehicles owned by departments at Texas State may only be used for official department or university business by university employees, student employees, and university-approved volunteers associated with a university department. Golf cart/utility vehicles may not be used for personal business such as unauthorized home-to-office travel, which will be considered vehicle misuse.
Knowledge of and compliance with applicable state laws, rules, regulations and policies are the responsibility of the driver and noncompliance may result in suspension of user privileges.
Vehicle Operating Standards
· In order to operate a golf cart/utility vehicle operators must be trained and certified. The golf cart/utility vehicle training program is provided by the Department of Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management (EHS&RM).
· Golf cart/utility vehicle operation is governed under Texas Revised Statutes and operators are subject to the rules of the road, including stopping, turning and safe operation. Golf cart/utilities vehicle operators observed in violation of these rules can be cited by the police. Texas State Police on campus are responsible for enforcing these statutes.
· Drivers must have a valid drivers’ license with a satisfactory driving record, an updated drivers’ authorization on file with no major traffic offenses.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles are to be operated at speeds no greater than 15 MPH or as safety concerns demand. Operators should always consider the terrain, weather conditions, and existing pedestrian and vehicular traffic, which may affect the ability to operate the golf cart/utility vehicle safely.
· Golf cart/utility vehicle operators will stop at all “blind intersections” and then proceed with caution.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will be operated only within the confines of Texas State property.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles are to be driven on improved surfaces unless it is the only available way to gain access to the specific area where work is being performed. If the golf cart/utility vehicle must be on a landscaped area in order to allow pedestrians the proper right-of-way, it should be brought to a full stop, then immediately returned to the designated driving surface as soon as the area is clear. The ONLY EXCEPTION is if Texas State University Police are in pursuit.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will be operated in such a manner that does not impede or interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow on sidewalks, ramps or roadways. In that respect, golf cart/utility vehicles will be operated on service drives and roadways whenever possible rather than on sidewalks designed primarily for pedestrian use.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will be operated with the utmost courtesy, care, and consideration for the safety of pedestrians.
· Pedestrians will be given the right-of-way at all times.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will not be parked:
o In fire lanes
o In metered parking spaces
o In handicap parking spaces
o In reserved parking spaces
o Within 20 feet of the main entrance or exit of any building in any manner that would impede the normal flow of pedestrian traffic
o On sidewalks or ramps that would impede handicap accessibility
· Supervisors will assure that each employee in their department, who operates a golf cart/utility vehicle, is properly advised of this policy.
· Supervisors are responsible for obtaining a signed copy of the Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Safety Guidelines Acknowledgement Form from each employee in their department who operates a golf cart/utility vehicle, attesting to the employee’s knowledge and understanding of, and agreement to abide by, the golf cart/utility vehicle policy. This signed acknowledgement must be completed and placed in the employees’ personnel file prior to the employee driving a golf cart/utility vehicle.
· Drivers must have a valid driver’s license with a satisfactory driving record and an updated drivers’ authorization on file with the Facilities Operations department.
· Departments should provide “hands on” training prior to an employee driving a golf cart/utility vehicle.
· Departments will implement procedures for the control of golf cart/utility vehicles registered to such department. Procedures may include the use of a “sign-out log” for keys to the golf cart/utility vehicle.
Employee/Operator Requirements & Standards
· No one under the age of eighteen will operate a golf cart/utility vehicle owned by Texas State.
· Golf cart/utility vehicle operators are responsible for the security of ignition keys during the time a golf cart/utility vehicle is assigned to them. Any time a golf cart/utility vehicle is unattended, the ignition will be turned off, and the key will be removed from the ignition and kept in the possession of the authorized operator.
· Golf cart/utility vehicle operators are not permitted to drive while wearing devices that impede hearing, e.g., stereo headsets, earplugs, etc.
· All passengers must be in seats designed for such use. No passengers are allowed to be transported in the truck beds or on the sides of golf cart/utility vehicle with the exception of the transport of an injured person secured on a backboard.
· Cell phone usage while driving a golf cart/utility vehicle is prohibited.
· Employees will not operate golf cart/utility vehicles registered to other departments unless the supervisor of the department to which the golf cart/utility vehicles is registered has granted prior approval.
Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Condition and Standard Safety Features
· Golf cart/utility vehicles owned by departments will be equipped and maintained with working headlights and tail lights (two red lights, one each located on the opposite sides at the rear of the golf cart/utility vehicle that stay on during night operations).
· Golf cart/utility vehicles’ physical condition should appear to be new condition (no dents, dings, cracked fenders, etc.)
· Golf cart/utility vehicles purchased for events without headlights and/or tail lights are to be used only during day time operations.
· Electric turn signals are required for night time operation; hand signals suffice for day time operation.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will be equipped with working horn or bell and “Slow Moving Vehicle” sign and strobe light (amber) at the highest point to be observed from all directions at all times when in motion.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will be identified with the department to which it has been assigned. In the case of numerous golf carts or utility vehicles assigned to said department, each will be numbered in sequential order beginning with 1 (ex. EHS-1, EHS-2 ect.). Identifying logos will be between 3 and 4 inches in black, white or maroon lettering visible on both sides of the vehicle. On the front of the vehicle, there will be a Texas State logo.
· Reflective tape will be placed on the front and rear bumpers for easier visibility at night.
· Golf cart/utility vehicles will not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the golf cart/utility vehicle.
· When the golf cart/utility vehicle is not in use, make sure to engage the parking brake.
Rental Golf Cart/Utility Vehicles and Courtesy Vehicles
· If a department rents or has use of a golf cart/utility vehicle, it must follow this policy with the exception of the required logo. The logo must state it is a rental or courtesy cart with a temporary magnetic department sign under or beside the rental/courtesy logo.
· Rental carts must have rental insurance since Texas State does not insure rental or courtesy carts. The department renting the golf cart/utility vehicle is liable for any damage done by the rental/courtesy cart.
· Golf carts/utility vehicles not owned by Texas State are considered a rental or courtesy cart. If the cart/vehicle is borrowed it is not owned by the Texas State and so is considered a rental or courtesy cart. ONLY carts purchased with Texas State funds are considered Texas State property.
· Texas State participates in the State Office of Risk Management’s (SORM) State-Wide Vehicle Insurance Program. Therefore most of the university’s golf carts/utility vehicles are currently NOT covered since the program only provides liability and no physical damage coverage with a deductable of $1,000.00. If departments choose to insure carts they must coordinate with the EHS&RM office to obtain coverage.
Note: Departments are responsible for payment of premiums and deductibles for their carts.
Golf Cart/Utility Vehicle Maintenance Responsibility
· Each golf cart/utility vehicle operator is responsible for providing timely notification of safety and maintenance concerns to the supervisor of the department to which the golf cart/utility vehicle is registered.
· Supervisors will be responsible for seeing to the timely repair of such concerns and; if the golf cart/utility vehicle cannot be operated safely without said repairs taking place, the golf cart/utility vehicle will be taken “out of service” until the repairs are completed.
· The department of ownership is responsible for the cost of maintenance of the golf cart/utility vehicles.
· The department of ownership is responsible for the cost of repairing damage to the golf cart/utility vehicle caused by regular use or an unpreventable accident.
· The department of ownership is responsible for the cost of repairing damage to the golf cart/utility vehicle caused by misuse, abuse or a preventable accident.
· The department of ownership is responsible for maintaining the golf cart’s/utility vehicle’s condition so that the cart’s/vehicle’s appearance looks to be in good condition (no dents, dings, cracked fenders, etc).
Accident Reporting Process
· All accidents involving a golf cart/utility vehicle will be reported immediately to the supervisor of the department to which the golf cart/utility vehicle is registered and to the Texas State University Police Department (UPD) regardless of whether property damage or personal injury occurred.
· The Department of Environmental Health, Safety & Risk Management and Texas State UPD will investigate the incident.
· Upon completion of the investigation, depending on the severity, the driver may lose all privileges to operate golf carts/utility vehicles.
· If an accident was sustained, a Supervisor’s Report of Incident, Injury or Illness form must to be completed and sent to the Worker’s Compensation claims coordinator in the department of EHS&RM within 24 hours of the incident.
Policy Variance Procedure
· If a department believes that a variance of a portion of the golf cart/utility vehicle is warranted, the department should submit their request to EHS&RM. It will then be reviewed by the Texas State University Safety Committee. If the University Safety Committee determines that the requested variance is in line with the spirit of this policy, a variance may be granted. If such a variance is granted, the University Safety Committee will inform the department that such a variance has been granted and provide the committee with the rationale for the variance. The University Safety Committee shall take into consideration the Texas State UPD comments as to whether the future of similar variances is appropriate as an impetus to revise the golf cart/utility vehicle policy.