Powered Cart Safety

This program outlines responsibilities, training, pre-trip inspections, maintenance, and more for powered carts and low-speed vehicles on campus.

I.  Purpose/Scope
    • To provide administrators and supervisors with guidelines to be followed when training vehicle operators in the proper and safe driving practices for powered carts and low-speed vehicles (LSV). The powered cart & LSV maintenance program and pre-trip safety inspection provide a mechanism to ensure vehicles are maintained to minimum safety standards.
    • The scope includes all California State University, Northridge (CSUN) departments including campus Auxiliary organizations, and official volunteers who operate powered carts and/or LSVs on the CSUN campus. Student employees are also required to complete the training.

II.  Policy
It is the policy of California State University, Northridge to establish a program that provides the operators of electric or gasoline powered carts & LSVs with the following:
    • Adequate training so that the vehicles may be operated in a safe manner.
    • A vehicle that is mechanically safe to operate on a university campus.
    • An understanding of the legal requirements for driving these vehicles on or off roadways (see section VIII).

    • Powered Carts are not motor vehicles and are not licensed by the California State Department of Motor Vehicles (they do not have a license plate) and shall not be driven on public roadways. They may be either gasoline or electric powered.
    • Low-Speed Vehicles (LSV) are motor vehicles which are capable of a top speed of 25 mph. They have a CA Exempt license plate and can be driven on public streets posted 35 mph or less that are adjacent to the CSUN campus.

Environmental Health & Safety:
    • Develop and administer the Powered Cart & LSV Safety Program procedures.
    • Coordinate the program with all affected campus departments.
    • Ensure departments are administering all elements of the program through periodic record audits.
    • Annually conduct the following activities:
    • Review the program for possible revisions.
    • Provide refresher information to departments that operate powered carts and LSV.
Departments that use Powered Carts or LSVs:
    • Ensure that all vehicle operators complete the training prior to operating a powered cart or LSV (Section V).
    • Annually review "Rules for Safe Operation of Powered Carts and LSV" with all powered cart and LSV operators (Section VIII).
    • Monitor the driving habits of employees.
    • Have all purchases of powered carts and LSVs approved and inspected upon delivery by the "Responsible Management Employee"(RME) for fleet vehicles. This approval can be coordinated through the Auto Shop Supervisor (extension 2229).
    • Ensure that the carts and LSVs are maintained according to the Maintenance Program. (Section 7.0).
    • Immediately or within 24 hours of occurrence:
      • Report all accidents using Standard Forms 270 and 274
    • Report all injuries using Form 620 Employee Injury/Supervisors Accident Investigation Report
    • Send completed forms to Risk Management (fax 5853).
    • Accidents involving injury immediately call the Department of Police Services at Ext 2111.
    • Abide by all the rules and regulations specified in this program.
Physical Plant Management (PPM):
    • Develop and maintain a campus standard for powered cart and LSVs safety equipment (i.e. seat belts, horn, windshield). This standard will be used by the RME to ensure that all new carts and LSV purchased meet minimum campus safety standards.
    • Administer the powered cart and LSV maintenance program (Section VII).
 Department of Police Services (DPS):

Prior to operating a powered cart or LSV on the CSUN campus, drivers must complete a powered cart/LSV safety training program administered by their supervisor. Note: this training is in addition to the Defensive Driving class required for all drivers of state vehicles. Complete the following sections:
    • Ensure that the driver has met the minimum requirements for operating a state vehicle:
    • Driver must have a valid California Drivers License.
    • Driver has completed a CSU sponsored Defensive Driving class (required every 4 years).
    • Contact the Department of Public Safety’s DMV Pull Notice Program Coordinator so that a driving record check may be performed to ensure eligibility to drive a state vehicle.
    • Review the CSUN Vehicles Usage Policy.
    • Provide the employee with a copy of Rules for Safe Operation of Powered Carts & Low-Speed Vehicles. Ensure the employee understands all of these rules. A copy of these rules should also be posted in the workplace.
    • Review the Pre-Trip Safety Inspection requirements (Section VI).
    • Review the basics for operating the powered cart or LSV with the employee. Ensure that the driver knows the location and proper operation of the following:
    • Lights, turn signal, and horn location (if equipped).
    • Emergency brake location and operation.
    • Accelerator and brake pedal operation.
    • Forward-Reverse switch location and operation.
    • After completing the above steps, have employee sign the Employee/Supervisor Training Certification Form. A copy of this certification shall be sent to the EH&S Office (mail stop 8284) and retained in your department files as long as the employee remains an active powered cart or LSV operator.

Pre-Trip Safety Inspection
Prior to driving any powered cart or LSV, the following Pre-Trip Safety Inspection shall be performed:
    • Check all tires for proper air pressure - use air pressure gauge if you are unsure.
    • Check accelerator pedal for a smooth and non-binding motion.
    • Check all lights (if equipped).
    • Test brakes for proper operation.
    • Ensure seatbelts are in good working condition.
    • Check mirrors.
If any of the tested items are not functioning properly, immediately take the cart or LSV out of service until repairs are completed.

VII.  Powered Cart & LSV Maintenance Program
    • All powered carts and LSVs must undergo an annual safety inspection conducted by the PPM Auto Shop. A written summary of the inspection results will be given to the department for their records.
    • If a department chooses to use an outside vendor to perform the inspection, the vendor will (as a minimum) follow the same inspection protocol as that followed by PPM. PPM will supply a copy of this protocol upon request. A written summary of the inspections results will be kept in the department files.


VIII.  Rules for Safe Operation of Powered Carts & LSVs
The following operating rules apply to both electric, gasoline powered carts & LSVs.
    • Only drivers authorized by the university and trained in the safe operation of powered carts and LSVs shall be permitted to operate such vehicles.
    • All prospective cart or LSV operators MUST receive training before being allowed to operate a powered cart or LSV.
    • Seatbelts must be worn by all vehicle occupants at all times. The maximum number of passengers is equal to the number of seatbelts in the vehicle. All passengers must be in a seat while the cart is moving - no exceptions. Drivers violating this safety rule may have their driving privileges suspended or revoked.
    • Operators and passengers shall keep arms and legs inside the cart or LSV at all times and shall not jump on or off of moving vehicles.
    • Powered carts shall be driven on campus streets whenever possible. If a sidewalk must be used, the cart speed should not exceed that of the pedestrian traffic. Powered carts shall not be driven on lawns at any time.
    • LSVs (which are capable of 25 mph) shall be driven on campus streets and may not be driven on the sidewalks.
    • LSVs can be driven on public streets posted 35 mph or less which are adjacent to the campus.
    • Powered carts and LSVs shall not exceed 15 mph on all campus roadways.
    • Operators shall be familiar with, and observe all established traffic laws. Citations will be issued for violations of traffic laws.
    • Materials and equipment shall be properly secured so that they will not shift or fall off of moving carts or LSV.
    • Powered carts & LSVs shall not be operated at night without properly working head and taillights.
    • Be extremely cautious while making turns and while driving on uneven surfaces to avoid tipping in carts.
    • Parking is prohibited in the following areas:
      • Red and medical zones
      • Near building entrances and exits


IX. Forms Used
X.  Reference
XI. Revision Record 
3.0Major update and revisions to formsAugust 9, 2004
3.1 Format change and hyperlinks addedApril 23, 2009
3.2 Migrated to Web-One; links updatedDecember 19, 2013
3.3ReviewedDecember 2018