Environmental Health and Safety

Safety Programs > Electric Utility Cart Use


Electric Utility Cart Use



The purpose of the Golf and Utility Cart Policy is to establish procedures for the safe operation of these vehicles.



This policy applies to any user (Faculty, Staff, Student Workers, and Contractors) of golf and utility carts on the NP College campus.

Note: Supervisors of employees using Golf and Utility Carts are responsible for ensuring adherence to this policy. Supervisors may use disciplinary procedures on employees, as per Employee Union policies, found not to be adhering to this policy.


Operational Procedures

Golf and utility carts are traditionally used to transverse campus common areas quickly and quietly. It is a common practice for them to be used not only for the transportation of persons but for utility purposes as well. They are of significant value to the College for efficiency and economic transportation. Recognizing that a golf and utility cart is a moving vehicle, NP has established procedures for the safe operation of these vehicles.


1. Student operators of these carts must be a minimum of 16 years old and possess a valid driver's license. Supervisors/Department Heads are responsible for ensuring student workers possess a valid driver's license.

2. All occupants of carts shall wear seat belts where supplied by manufacturer.

3. Never leave the keys in the ignition when unattended. When the cart is not in use the operator must place the cart control lever in the park or neutral position, remove and secure the key and set the parking pedal brake.

4. Use common sense while using carts - they are not toys. No horsing around is permitted. Anyone found violating safe and proper use of carts will be prohibited from using them until further notice and re-training has been completed.

5. On the campus of New Paltz College, the pedestrian has the right-of-way AT ALL TIMES. Operators of carts will permit this right-of-way. If the cart is being operated on a sidewalk, the operator will pull off of the sidewalk to pass the pedestrians or stop the unit when approaching pedestrians until they pass.

6. Carts may not be driven on or across Main Street at any time.

7. When traveling from one end of the campus to the other, use the back drive between Southside loop west and pathways to avoid pedestrian traffic on the main roads.

8. While on Campus automotive shared roads, the cart shall be driven at a safe speed warranted by conditions (weather, traffic, etc.) and not greater than the posted speed limit of 20 mph.

9. A cart should be operated on sidewalks, parking lots and off-road areas at a speed equivalent to a well-paced walk and no faster than 10 mph. This maximum speed may be subject to the terrain over which it is being driven, the weather conditions, and the total weight of the electric cart and passengers and any equipment being carried.

10. Carts are not to be operated with more passengers than seating is provided.

11. All occupants in the cart shall keep hands, arms, legs and feet within the confines of the cart at all times when the cart is in motion.

12. When using the cart to carry packages or merchandise, be sure to not overload the cart. It is recommended that loads not extend more than one foot from either side or front of the cart.

13. If workers must ride in the back of the cart when the seat is folded down to stabilize equipment, workers must be seated with backs against the cab/seat of the cart.

14. Never back up without making sure there is no person or obstruction behind the cart.

15. Never shift gears while the vehicle is in motion.

16. Avoid operating a cart on lawns.

17. Keep the cart on the pavement - avoid cutting corners. Our Grounds staff works hard to maintain these areas.

18. Reduce speed to compensate for inclines, pedestrians, and weather conditions.

19. Maintain adequate distance between vehicles and pedestrian.

20. Approach sharp or blind corners with caution and reduce speed.

21. Use extreme care at building entrances and upon entering/exiting enclosed areas.

22. Carts shall not block exits, entrances, stairs, sidewalks, fire hydrants, fire lanes, or accessible ramps.

23. Use of cell phones, pagers, and radios are prohibited while driving a cart. Operator must pull over and stop to make or receive calls or messages.


Additional guidelines may be implemented by individual departments.


Equipment and Safety Checklist

Before operating the cart, the operator will check the following items:

1. Proper tire condition and inflation.

2. Proper operation of brakes, lights, and horns.

3. Indication of battery fluid leaks such as wet spots under the unit.

4. If the cart is in need of repair or maintenance, it should not be driven. Contact your supervisor who will arrange for servicing.


Battery Recharge

When recharging the batteries, the following safety rules shall be observed:

1. Do not smoke near the recharge station.

2. Only an approved battery charger will be used to recharge the batteries (designed to shut off automatically when the batteries are fully charged).

3. Do not recharge near an open flame or source of ignition.

4. Pour baking soda on all spilled battery acid before cleaning up the spill. Wear safety goggles and gloves while cleaning up spills. You should wash skin thoroughly with cold water if it comes in contact with battery acid.

5. Disconnect all battery charger cords before using the cart.



Methods of training may include any combination of hands-on training, email distribution of this policy, or a video. Training will be coordinated by the Supervisors of using departments. Environmental Health & Safety can be contacted for advice and council on training.

Faculty and Staff - the entire Faculty and Staff shall be provided a copy of the policy via email upon implementation of this policy and annually thereafter. Additional training maybe required for employees exhibiting disregard for this policy.


Appendix A

Electric and Gas Cart Acknowledgment Sheet
(Student / Staff Workers)
Dept ___________________________

Supervisor __________________________ (print)

I have read and understand the SUNY New Paltz College Electric and Gas Golf and Utility Cart Policy. If I violate any of the above operational procedures, I will lose my privilege of using a cart on campus until further notice and retrained.


Printed Name Signature Date











Contact Information

Kyle Mungavin, Assistant Director
Service Building, Room 217
(845) 257-3310