The University of Memphis

Operation of Utility Vehicles


Issued: July 17, 2013
Responsible Official: Vice President for Business & Finance
Responsible Office: Physical Plant

Policy Statement


Utility vehicles shall be operated with the utmost courtesy, care and consideration for the safety and convenience of pedestrians. Pedestrians shall be afforded the right-of-way at all times. Under no circumstances may a utility vehicle force a pedestrian off of a sidewalk. Utility vehicles shall also afford the right-of-way to those who may be skating, skate boarding, bicycling, or those in wheelchairs or mobility assistance devices. All utility vechiles shall be operated in accordance with the requirements of this policy.  


This policy applies to all utility vehicle operators on University of Memphis property whether the utility vehicle is owned and operated by the University or by a non-University entity. Deans, directors, and department heads are responsible for ensuring that utility vehicles are purchased, operated, and maintained as provided in this policy.  


Utility vehicles provide a practical, energy saving and environmentally responsible alternative to operation of larger gasoline or diesel powered vehicles on and around campus. University utility vehicles include golf carts, electric powered small trucks, 3 or 4 wheel bicycles and Segway human transporters. Because these vehicles are relatively heavy, extremely quiet and able to move at considerable speed, care must be exercised in operating them. Therefore, employees must be trained and authorized to operate each type of utility vehicle prior to its use.



The University of Memphis desires to ensure that all utility vehicles are operated safely on University property in order to prevent accidents, incidents, and injuries related to the operation of utility vehicles.


Utility Vehicles

A compact Vehicle with or without a motor that: (i) may be designed for on or off road use; (ii) is powered by an electric motor or an engine of no more than 25 horsepower, or (iii) non-motorized 3 or 4 wheel bicycle (iv) is used for athletic events, general maintenance, security, agricultural or horticultural purposes.

Golf Cart: A self-propelled vehicle that is designed to transport persons and equipment on campus. Golf Carts that have been modified for multi-passenger use or configured to carry packages or other materials will be included in this definition.

Segway: A self-balancing personal transportation device with two wheels; can operate in any level pedestrian environment.

T- 3 Transporter: A 3-wheeled electric powered vehicle used by Police Services for patrolling on and around campus


Any person who drives a golf cart/utility vehicle on University property, including without limitation University employees, students, volunteers, contractors, vendors, or other agents of and visitors to the University.



A. Department Requirements:

  1. Persons or departments desiring to purchase a utility vehicle must complete a Utility Vehicle Request form and submit the completed form to Procurement Services for review and purchase.  Those wishing to transfer a utility vehicle must complete the appropriate vehicle or equipment transfer form.  
  2. Departments are responsible for requesting appropriate parking locations and charging stations for utility vehicles from Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health and University of Memphis Parking Services. Departments are responsible for all costs associated with establishing appropriate parking locations and charging stations for utility vehicles. Installation of charging stations must be coordinated through Physical Plant.  
  3. To ensure safe operable condition, utility vehicles must be inspected daily, prior to operation by the vehicle operator. A thorough mechanical inspection of the vehicle should be performed annually by a qualified service technician or trained inspector. Documentation of inspections must be kept for the life of the vehicle. Copies of all inspection reports must be sent to Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health. If a utility vehicle is transferred between departments, the records must accompany the utility vehicle.  
  4. Department personnel (i.e. operators) must immediately remove from service any utility vehicle that is unsafe to operate until it has been repaired.  
  5. Departments must coordinate with Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health to ensure all drivers are trained and authorized to operate the vehicle prior to use.  

B. Vehicle Requirements:   

  1. All utility vehicles will be registered with Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health. All utility vehicles will correctly display the assigned registration designation and any other University markings as required.   
  2. All utility vehicles operated between sunset and sunrise must be equipped with headlights, taillights and turn signals.   
  3. All utility vehicles operated on public streets must have a rearview mirror and a slow moving vehicle placard.      
  4. Student or visitor use of utility vehicles for personal transportation is prohibited.   
  5. Utility vehicles must be maintained in proper working order according to manufacturer’s instructions. Those found to be unsafe to operate are subject to impoundment by University Police or Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health until they are properly repaired.   
  6. Licensable, street legal utility vehicles must display a current license plate for the vehicle’s state of registration.  

C. Operator Requirements:   

  1. Utility vehicle operators must hold a valid University of Memphis Operator’s Permit.    
  2. Operators of licensable, street legal utility vehicles must hold a valid vehicle operator’s license from the state of their residence.   
  3. All operators must adhere to the University of Memphis Utility Vehicle Operating Procedures contained in this policy.   
  4. Operators of utility vehicles must complete Utility Vehicle Training offered by the Physical Plant Safety and Training Office. Training will include:  
  • Permissible areas of operation
  • Requirements affected by hours of operation
  • Authorized routes 
  • Parking restrictions 
  • Passenger limits 
  • Pre-operation safety inspection 
  • How to handle accidents 
  • Basic vehicle operations 
  • Routine maintenance  

D. Utility Vehicle Operation:  

Utility vehicles shall be operated in accordance with the U of M Utility Vehicle Operating Procedures.  

E. Inspections and Maintenance:  

Each utility vehicle shall be inspected by a qualified technician annually. In order to maintain quality inspections, Physical Plant will identify companies or persons for inspection and maintenance of utility vehicles. Utility vehicles shall not be operated if any inspection item fails, until such time as the inspection item has been repaired by a qualified technician. A copy of the repair bill must be attached to the inspection form as proof of correction. Departments must keep inspection and maintenance records for their utility vehicles for 3 years or until they no longer own the vehicle.  

F. Sanctions:  

U of M Police and Parking Services have the authority to enforce the provisions of this policy as well as issue traffic and parking citations. The campus community is encouraged to report irresponsible operation of utility vehicles to U of M Police Services or Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health.  

Operators who are reported for unsafe operation of utility vehicles may be subject to one or more of the following:   

  1. Employees of the university may be subject to disciplinary actions. 
  2. Students may be subject to student disciplinary proceedings. 
  3. Persons not affiliated with the University of Memphis may be subject to a ban from the campus by U of M Police Services. 
  4. Operators will take sole individual responsibility for any fines relating to traffic citations.


All operators of University utility vehicles must participate in training and acquire certification to operate each type of utility vehicle prior to using it. The Physical Plant Safety & Training Office will be responsible for conducting training and for annual review and updating policies, procedures and training as needed. Training will consist of classroom lecture and hands-on demonstration of operational skills for each type of utility vehicle. Supervisors will be responsible for making sure their employees are properly trained and certified to operate utility vehicles in their areas. 

Utility Vehicle Operating Procedures
  • Utility vehicles shall not be operated in a manner that may endanger passengers or other individuals (e.g., pedestrians), or cause damage to University of Memphis property.
  • Supervisors shall assure that each employee within their department, who is authorized to operate utility vehicles, is appropriately advised of all the requirements of the University Policy and has successfully completed utility vehicle training.  
  • Pedestrians have the right-of-way on campus. Utility vehicles must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks, walkways, and crosswalks. Speed will be reduced to a minimum when driving along or crossing sidewalks so as to avoid accidents with pedestrians.   
  • Operation of utility vehicles on University sidewalks and walkways shall be allowed, but should be minimized when possible, with operators rendering the right-of-way to all pedestrians. Utility vehicles may only be used to access restricted areas (e.g., grass, landscaped areas, etc.) in the event of an emergency or when required by the specific activity and approved by a supervisor.
  • Utility vehicles will follow designated routes on campus. Designated routes are defined as internal sidewalks, walkways, and streets within the confines of the campus. Designated routes do not include city streets bordering campus, i.e., Central, Patterson, Walker, and Zach Curlin. Only licensable, street-legal utility vehicles may be operated on city streets or campus streets that are not identified as designated routes in this policy.
  • Caution shall be exercised when operating utility vehicles in congested areas and in locations where blind spots are present. On the Main Campus, some of these include: The plaza near the fountain, the area between the clock tower and bookstore, parking garages, and parking lots. One area to avoid at all times due to restricted visibility is the narrow corridor between CFA and the parking garage.
  • Streets should be crossed at marked crosswalks. (Note: Operators are to use due caution in crosswalks. Utility vehicles using pedestrian crosswalks do not have the right-of-way.) 
  • Utility vehicles shall be parked only on hard surfaces (e.g., asphalt or concrete).
  • Unattended vehicles shall be placed in neutral with the brake set and the key removed from the ignition. Charging cords and equipment shall be plugged in when parking utility vehicles for extended periods of time, such as overnight.
  • Oversized material and loads on utility vehicles shall be clearly marked or flagged to prevent injury to people or damage to other vehicles.
  • Utility vehicle operators shall not block the path nor limit pedestrian access on walkways. Except in emergencies or while charging, utility vehicles shall not park within 20 feet of an entrance or exit to any building, except at loading docks and shall not block entrances to buildings, stairways, or disability ramps. Additional restriction on parking may be enforced if warranted.
  • Non-licensable utility vehicles shall not be driven on Central, Patterson, Walker and Zach Curlin, or beyond these streets unless escorted by a licensed vehicle with flashers on.
  • Utility vehicles operated on the Park Avenue campus or other satellite U of M campuses shall adhere to the guidelines as stated herein.
  • Operators of utility vehicles must not exceed maximum safe speeds, particularly in areas with high pedestrian traffic. 
  • Utility vehicles will not exceed the maximum safe occupancy – 1 person per designated seat.
  • Passengers are allowed on utility vehicles for the purpose of conducting University of Memphis business or when involved in a University of Memphis sponsored event. Visitors to campus may be allowed as passengers when approved by management.
  • Rides may be permitted to passengers who need assistance due to disability, inclement weather or other appropriate reasons. 
  • The use of headphones, ear-buds, operation of cellular phones or texting by an operator is not permissible while the utility vehicle is in motion.
  • When vehicles are operated between sunset and sunrise operators must use headlights.
  • Utility vehicles may only be operated in accordance with the manufacturer’s recommendations. Utility vehicles shall not be modified in any manner that affects the recommended mode of operation, speed or safety of the vehicle.
  • Vehicles shall not display any graphics or logos other than factory emblems or appropriate U of M logos.
  • All accidents involving utility vehicles shall be reported immediately to the supervisor of the department which owns the vehicle, and to Physical Plant Employee Safety & Health, regardless of whether property damage or personal injury occurred. Police reports shall be filed as appropriate.  

  • Maintenance of utility vehicles is the responsibility of the area authorizing its use.
  • The charging of electric utility vehicles and fueling of gas powered utility vehicles shall be done in a well-ventilated area away from any ignition source. Cords shall be placed in a manner which minimizes tripping hazards and/or electrical shock.
  • Modification to a University utility vehicle is prohibited without the approval of the manufacturer.

Penalties for Misues

Operators who misuse utility vehicles on U of M property will be subject to disciplinary sanctions, depending upon the magnitude of the misuse and the frequency with which it has occurred. Misuse includes, but is not limited to:

  • Careless operation that results in damage to the vehicle or injury to persons or property.
  • Use of a utility vehicle contrary to the provisions of this policy.
  • Use of a utility vehicle contrary to the provisions of any applicable policy and procedure for all University vehicles outlined in Policy UM1440 University Vehicles.


Who do I contact with additional questions?

Contact Physical Plant's Employee Safety & Health unit. Contact information is available online at


University Vehicles Policy UM1440

Revision Dates

 UM1761 - Issued: July 17, 2013

Subject Areas:

AcademicFinanceGeneralHuman ResourcesInformation TechnologyStudent Affairs