Section V: Campus Cart Operations

  1. General: The purpose of this policy is to provide guidelines for the procurement and valid business use of utility type vehicles (those not licensed through TXDOT for operation on city streets), herein collectively referred to as carts (see definition). The intent is to establish safety procedures in the acquisition and use of carts, as well as to provide for a safer environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Further, it establishes a method for the university to track the registration and ownership of carts.

    Any one operating a cart on the University of Texas campus must have the knowledge of and adhere to any applicable state laws, ordinances, rules, regulations, and policies as well as these rules and regulations. The purchase, safe use, operation, and compliance with all regulations is the responsibility of the user. Carts are provided to fulfill job-related duties and must be clearly marked as university property, and registered with the university. Carts that are rented or operated by non-university affiliates must be registered and permitted by Parking and Transportation Services.
  2. Additional Regulations: Cart operations require adherence and knowledge of all rules and regulations in this document. Additional regulations can be found in Section VI and VII.
  3. Purchase of Carts: Procurement of carts require PTS Fleet Operations approval and shall be in accordance with guidelines and procedures established by the university Purchasing Department in conjunction with PTS Fleet Operations.
    1. All carts must be equipped with the following safety features - a slow moving triangle on the rear, and functioning headlights, taillights and 360 degree light, if operated before dawn or after dusk.
    2. It is recommended that carts be equipped with the following:
      1. Front and rear turn signal lamps
      2. Stop lamps
      3. Parking brake
      4. Seat belts
      5. Warning lights or other means of providing high visibility
      6. Red reflex reflectors on both sides and rear of cart
      7. Exterior mirrors
      8. Windshield
      9. Horn
    3. The name of the university department and vehicle equipment number must be displayed prominently on all university-owned carts.
    4. Leased carts or those authorized through PTS for operation on campus must be registered and permitted before operating. Non-registered and non-permitted carts are subject to citations, fines, fees, and immobilization.
    5. Modifications: Carts shall not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the vehicle.
  4. Training: All drivers must pass university approved defensive driving course, have a valid driver's license, have knowledge, skill and training necessary to safely operate carts and follow any departmental-specific policies prior to driving carts for university purposes.
  5. Cart Operation: The driver is responsible for the cart operation. Carts shall be operated in a manner that does not interfere with normal pedestrian or vehicle traffic flow. Pedestrians have the right-of-way on campus at all times.
    1. The driver (operator) must:
      1. Obey all traffic signs, university signs, signals, and laws. All violations are the responsibility of the operator.
      2. Observe all traffic control devices for construction activities.
      3. Insure that all passengers use seat belts, when present.
      4. Avoid city streets when alternative routes exist.
      5. Operator only on paved streets when possible and with caution on sidewalks or grassy areas.
      6. Always yield to pedestrians.
    2. Safety procedures for cart operations: Carts should always be operated in a safe and controlled manner so that operators, passengers, and those encountered by the carts are safe.
      1. No standing up in a moving cart, hanging any body part out of a cart, or jumping on or off carts in motion.
      2. No passengers are to be carried in the bed of a cart.
      3. Occupancy shall not exceed the passenger limit and load capacity designated by the vehicle's manufacturer.
      4. No towing trailers or other carts, unless specifically designed for that purpose.
        1. Cargo must be loaded and secured so it will not cause a hazard by shifting or falling off the cart.
        2. Loads that extend more than three feet from the rear of the cart must be flagged with a brightly colored material, usually red or orange.
      5. No operating a mobile device when cart is in operation.
      6. No wearing headphones or earbuds while driving.
      7. Always secure the parking brake and remove the keys when not in use.
  6. Cart Parking: Carts are considered university vehicles and should park in designated areas only.
    1. Never block ingress or egress to any building, including stairs and ramps.
    2. Never block pedestrian ways, including sidewalks.
    3. It is prohibited to park carts in the following areas:
      1. Fire Lanes
      2. Handicap Parking
      3. Reserved Parking
      4. Within 20 feet of the main entrance/exit of any building in any manner that would impede the normal flow of pedestrian traffic
      5. Sidewalks or ramps that would impede handicap accessibility
  7. Cart Charging is allowed in designated areas only and with the permission of the building manager or other designee who controls the electrical outlets to be utilized.
  8. Cart Maintenance: Repairs and regular maintenance are the responsibility of the department owning the cart. PTS Fleet Operations recommend that preventative maintenance be completed at least every siz months, and more frequently for heavily used carts. The departments are financially responsible for all repair and maintenance costs (labor, parts, and supplies). The department is required to keep all preventative maintenance, fuel, and repair records related to vehicles and carts; however, those are services provided by PTS Fleet Operations. If the cart cannot be operated safely without the repairs, the cart will be taken out of service until the repairs are completed.
  9. Enforcement: Cart operation is governed under Texas Department of Motor Vehicles, and operators are subject to the rules of the road, including stopping, turning, and safe operation. Law enforcement can cite cart operators observed in violation of these rules. The University of Texas at Austin Police (UTPD) are responsible for enforcing these statues. Violations may lead to warnings or citations issued by university-sanctioned enforcement officers or the UTPD. Violations may lead to letters to directors, associate vice presidents, vice presidents or deans, and may lead to the suspension of driving privileges on campus.
  10. Management Responsibilities: Department heads, managers, and supervisors must ensure that all operators receive proper training, and have completed the policy acknowledgement and returned it to PTS Fleet Operations. They should also monitor the driving habits of employees and take appropriate disciplinary action against operators who fail to comply with policy. Operators should always operate carts in a responsible and safe manner and comply with the provisions of this policy.
  11. Accident& Reporting: All accidents involving a cart shall be reported immediately to the appropriate supervisor, the UTPD, and the Office of Risk Management, regardless of whether property damage or personal injury occurred.