IV:30:02 Gasoline Powered Utility Vehicle Use


Volunteer State Community College Campus Police and Maintenance Departments utilize gasoline powered utility vehicles on campus daily. Campus Police use the vehicles to monitor parking lots, patrol and respond to calls for service. Maintenance uses the vehicles to deliver packages, goods and services. These vehicles are economical and not as restrictive as other motor vehicles. However, the utility vehicle can cause injury if improperly used or maintained. Therefore, a policy and procedure has been developed to ensure specific safety practices be required for safe operation.


To develop and implement Standard Operating Procedures required for the safe operation of the gasoline powered utility vehicle. Employee(s) must be trained prior to operating utility vehicles.

Policy Implementation

It shall be the responsibility of the VSCC Chief of Campus Police, Safety Officer, or their designee to ensure that college employees utilizing the utility vehicle receive training and adhere to this policy. Upon successful completion of training, employees will sign off verifying receipt of training and safety information regarding utility vehicles.

Operation Safety Rules/Practices

1. Personnel and Burden Utility vehicle Operation Qualifications

Only persons who are trained in the proper operation of the utility vehicle shall be authorized to operate the utility vehicle. Operators shall be qualified as to visual, auditory, physical, and mental ability to safely operate the equipment according to Section 5 and all other applicable parts of this standard.

2. Personnel and Burden Utility vehicle Operators' Training

The user shall conduct an operators' training program. The user, before operation of the utility vehicle, shall require successful completion of the operators' training program. The program shall be presented in its entirety to all new operators and not condensed for those claiming previous experience.

The user should include in the operators' training program the following:

a. Instructional material provided by the manufacturer;

b. Emphasis on safety of passengers, material loads, utility vehicle operator, and other employees;

c. General safety rules contained within this standard and the additional specific rules determined by the user in accordance with this standard, and why they were formulated;

d. Introduction of equipment, control locations and functions, and explanation of how they work when used properly and when used improperly, and surface conditions, grade and other conditions of the environment in which the utility vehicle is to be operated.

e. Operational performance tests and evaluations during, and at completion of the program.

3. Personnel and Burden Utility vehicle Operator Responsibility

Operators shall abide by the following safety rules and practices.

4. General

Safeguard pedestrians at all times. Do not drive the utility vehicle in a manner that would endanger anyone. Riding on the utility vehicle by persons other than the operator is authorized only by personnel seat(s) provided by the manufacturer. All parts of the body must remain within the confines of the utility vehicle when in use.

When a utility vehicle is to be left unattended, stop utility vehicle, apply parking brake, stop engine or turn off power, turn off control or ignition circuit, and remove key, if provided. Block the wheels if machine is on an incline.

A utility vehicle is considered unattended when the operator is 25ft. (7.6m) or more from the utility vehicle which remains in his view, or whenever the operator leaves the utility vehicle and it is not in his view. When the operator dismounted and within 25ft (7.6m) of the utility vehicle, still in his view, he still must have controls neutralized, and the parking brake(s) set to prevent movement.

Maintain a safe distance from the edge of ramps and platforms.

Use only approved utility vehicles in hazardous locations, as defined in the appropriate safety standards.

Report all accidents involving personnel, building structures, and equipment.

Operators shall not add to, or modify, the utility vehicle.

Utility vehicles shall not be parked or left unattended such that they block or obstruct fire aisles, access to stairways, or fire equipment.

5. Traveling

Observe all traffic regulations, including authorized speed limits. Under normal traffic conditions keep to the right. Maintain a safe distance, based on speed of travel, from a utility vehicle or vehicle ahead; and keep the utility vehicle under control at all times.

Yield the right of way to pedestrians, ambulances, fire vehicles, or other utility vehicles or vehicles in emergency situations.

Do not pass another utility vehicle or vehicle traveling in the same direction at intersections, blind spots, or at other dangerous locations.

Keep a clear view of the path of travel, observe other traffic personnel, and maintain safe clearance.

Slow down or stop, as conditions dictate, and activate the sound-producing warning device at cross aisles and when visibility is obstructed at other locations.

Ascend or descend grades slowly.

Avoid turning, if possible, and use extreme caution on grades, ramps, or inclines; normally travel straight up and down.

Under all travel conditions the utility vehicle shall be operated at a speed that will permit it to be brought to a stop in a safe manner.

Make starts, stops, turns, or direction reversals in a smooth manner so as not to shift the load, endanger passengers, or overturn the utility vehicle.

Do not indulge in dangerous activities, such as stunt driving or horseplay.

Slow down when approaching, or on, wet or slippery surfaces.

Do not drive utility vehicle onto any elevator unless specifically authorized to do so. Approach elevators slowly, and then enter squarely after the elevator car is properly leveled. Once on the elevator, neutralize the controls, shut off power, and set parking brakes. It is advisable that all other personnel leave the elevator before a utility vehicle is allowed to enter or exit.

Avoid running over loose objects, potholes, and bumps.

To negotiate turns, reduce speed to improve stability, and then turn hand steering wheel or tiller in a smooth, sweeping motion.

Use directional signals, headlights and horn, when appropriate.

The utility vehicle is versatile; therefore, it can be used on roadways and sidewalks yielding to pedestrians.

6. Loading

Handle only stable and safely arrange loads. When handling off-center loads, which cannot be centered, operate with extra caution. Loads should be strapped or tied.

Handle only loads within the capacity of the utility vehicle as specified on the nameplate.

Handle loads exceeding the dimensions used to establish utility vehicle capacity with extra caution. Stability and maneuverability may be adversely affected.

7. Operator Care of Personnel and Burden Utility vehicles

At the beginning of each shift during which the utility vehicle will be used, the operator shall check the utility vehicle condition and inspect the tires, warning devices, lights, battery(s), speed and directional controllers, brakes, and steering mechanism. If the utility vehicle is found to be in need of repair or in any way unsafe, the matter shall be reported immediately to the designated authority and the utility vehicle shall not be operated until it has been restored to safe operating condition.

If during operation the utility vehicle becomes unsafe in any way, the matter shall be reported immediately to the designated authority, and the utility vehicle shall not be operated until it has been restored to safe operating condition.

Do not make repairs or adjustments unless specifically authorized to do so.

The engine shall be stopped and the operator shall leave the utility vehicle while refueling.

Spillage of oil or fuel shall be carefully and completely absorbed or evaporated and fuel tank cap replaced before restarting engine.

Do not operate a utility vehicle with a leak in the fuel system or battery(s).

Do not use open flames for checking electrolyte level in storage battery(s) or liquid level in fuel tanks.

VSCC Source: October 4, 2001, President; September 15, 2008, President