Click here to return to the James Madison University main page 

Vehicle Operation Safety

Refer to paragraph IV:B of the FM Safety Procedure I:04 and Utility Cart Safety, FM Procedure I:23


    1. Managers and Supervisors are responsible to ensure that all vehicle/motorized equipment operators are properly trained and have a current valid vehicle Operator's License to operate the type or class of vehicle they are to operate as required by the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles.

      1. Supervisors shall make a copy of the Operator License for Class II or above to keep on file.

      2. Students employed in Facilities Management are not to operate motor vehicles. Exception: Those students employed in Waste Management who have a valid Virginia Operator's Permit.

      3. Where additional safety training and/or certification is required by OSHA, VOSH or another agency such training and certification will be documented and kept in a current file for each operator.

    2. It is the responsibility of each operator to conduct daily maintenance checks of the vehicle/equipment that is assigned to them, to ensure safe operation, and to check for damage. These daily checks are to be documented on the form supplied by the Transportation Section. All existing damage to a vehicle is to be listed on the form. All new damage is to be reported and listed. If damage cannot be attributed to a particular event, the last driver to have responsibility for the vehicle will be held accountable for the damage.

    3. The vehicle operator is responsible for the safety and conduct of his/her passengers and is to observe all motor vehicle laws:

      1. Driver and passengers SHALL use seat belts if they are provided. The use of seat belts by all front seat occupants is MANDATORY. It is the LAW. Exception: Riding mowers without roll bars.

      2. Passengers must occupy any empty seating inside the vehicle.

      3. Passengers must remain seated on the floor of the truck bed while the vehicle is in motion.

      4. Arms or legs shall not extend beyond the sides, rear or cab of the vehicle.

      5. Obey all posted speed limits on public roadways, 25 mph on university roadways and 10 mph on sidewalks. Drive at a safe speed for conditions (wet pavement, snow, pedestrians, etc.).

      6. Motor vehicles shall yield to pedestrians and persons in wheel chairs or on bicycles.

      7. Park properly using a designated parking space if one is available. DO NOT park in fire lanes or handicap places. Appeals and/or fines for these violations are the responsibility of the driver, NOT Facilities Management. Always place vehicle in park, set the parking brake and remove keys.

      8. Use extreme caution when backing a vehicle. When there are two or more occupants in a vehicle, one individual will stand at the rear of the vehicle to direct the driver. When the driver is the only occupant in the vehicle, extreme caution is to be taken to ensure that the area is clear before starting to back the vehicle (i.e., get out and walk around the vehicle to observe obstacles, ask any person in the vicinity to assist in directing you to back safely, etc.). Failure to observe this precaution is the most common cause of Facilities Management chargeable accidents.

      9. Do Not operate a vehicle which is not operating properly. Report all defective equipment to your supervisor and turn the vehicle in to the Transportation Section immediately. (Get it fixed.)

      10. Report all vehicle accidents immediately to Campus Police, your Supervisor, the Facilities Management Director's office and the Transportation office.

      11. Do not use service drives or the tunnel under Route 81 for shortcuts or convenience. Sidewalks shall be used only to provide access to a specific building entrance for delivery/pickup of materials or supplies. Parking shall be in designated parking slots whenever such are available. Parking on sidewalks or in fire lanes is not normally permissible, however, parking on non-fire lane sidewalks is acceptable in extraordinary circumstances (e.g. moving office furniture).

      12. No through vehicle traffic is permitted on the area in front of Wilson Hall or on the upper pedestrian bridge of Newman Lake.

      13. Wilson Hall service access parking shall be at the rear loading dock area, on the gravel area in front, and only in the designated service vehicle parking slot in "A" lot.

      14. No unnecessary vehicular traffic is permitted on bluestone pavers between Carrier Library, Hillcrest, and Keezell. A valid work order for one of the above buildings is a requirement to be in this area. DO NOT park on pavers other than to unload.

      15. No unnecessary driving or parking on grass areas is permitted. (Consider ground conditions: wet, grass dry, etc..)

      16. Use rear entrances of buildings whenever possible.

      17. Use gravel walkway in front of Varner and Moody Hall for access parking only.

      18. DO NOT block fire lanes or trash pickup areas.

      19. Vehicles are to be kept clean and free of clutter, inside and out. If you smoke in a vehicle, you are responsible for cleaning the ashtrays daily.

      20. Shut off motor and NO SMOKING when refueling.

      21. Shut off motor, set parking brake, and remove keys before leaving the vehicle. (DO NOT LEAVE A VEHICLE WITH THE ENGINE RUNNING.)

      22. If a vehicle is difficult to maneuver in tight areas of the campus, the driver should not force the vehicle into those areas. Use a different vehicle or park further away.

      23. If a barricade is removed or a gate unlocked to gain access to a building or area it is the driver's responsibility to replace the barricade or lock the gate after driving through.

      24. FM Service Vehicles are not to be used for personal business and are not to be used off campus except on official state business.

    4. Ticket(s) received due to violations of this procedure is/are the responsibility of the associate receiving same.

    5. All non-supervisory persons MUST have a valid work order for being in a limited access area.

    6. See FM Procedure I:23, Utility Cart (Golf Cart) for special precautions to be taken when operating this type of vehicle.



      The proper operation of electric or gas powered utility cart (carryall) is required of all Facilities Management Associates. The information and instructions included in this program will enable operators of utility carts (carryall) to avoid situations that may compromise their safety or the safety of those in the vicinity of the vehicle, and avoid damaging the vehicle or any of it's accessories.

      Although regulations or laws do not mandate the safe operation of these vehicles, this procedure will act as the guidelines for all FM associates who:

      • Use utility carts (carryall) for work purposes

      • Provide service to utility (carryall) vehicles

    2. PURPOSE

      The purpose of this program it is to ensure that utility cart (carryall) operators are aware of the hazards that exist when operating a utility cart (carryall) and to prevent unnecessary damage or injuries that result from their misuse.


      Director - Responsible for overall implementation of this procedure.

      Assistant Director, Managers, and Supervisors - Responsible for ensuring that all associates in their department who use or service utility carts (carryall) attend the required safety training.

      Institutional Safety Officer - Responsible for providing training, administering the written test and retaining the necessary documentation.

      Operators - Responsible for their utility cart (carryall) vehicle according to the instructions set forth in this program.

      Transportation Associates - Responsible for providing necessary maintenance to the utility cart (carryall) vehicle according to the manufacturer's specifications.


      1. Operators must have a current valid Virginia driver's license. (If you have a valid driver's license from another state it is a simple matter to obtain a Virginia driver's license.)

      2. All operators shall attend utility cart (carryall) safety training.

      3. All operators must pass a written test administered by the safety instructor.

      4. Operation of any utility cart (carryall) shall follow the Virginia Vehicle Code Section 46.2-676 (see attachment 1).

      5. Carts can only be operated within the confines of James Madison University (See attachment l.) .

      6. Carts are not allowed in any area not designated by police and safety vehicle control policies.

      7. Cart occupancy will be limited to the manufacture's specifications.

      8. No modification shall be initiated or made to any cart without the explicit permission of the manufacturer in writing.

      9. All operators will maintain the safe speed limits of the cart as suggested by the manufacturer to avoid turning the cart over. The cart speed shall not be greater than 35 mph or the posted speed limit, whichever is less.

      10. All operators will come to a stop and allow pedestrian traffic to move from the area before proceeding.

      11. Pedestrians have the right of way at all times and the driver of the cart will come to a complete stop at all cross walks.

      12. If any problems are found the vehicle is not to be operated until repairs are made. Notify the Transportation Department to make the repairs. Failure to make the necessary repairs could result in fire, property damage, severe personal injury, or death.


      1. Utility cart (carryall) safety training shall include, but is not limited to, the following information:

        • The policies and procedures that outline this program.

        • Responsibilities of those involved in the program.

        • An introduction to the utility cart (carryall) controls.

        • Daily pre-Start inspection procedure for safety and mechanical failure.

        • Proper conduct for driving the utility cart,(carryall) while obeying safety regulations.

        • Steps to take when leaving the cart.

      2. All training is to be documented and include the operator's name, instructor's name, date of training, brief outline of the training, and copies of the written test.

      3. Operator's who fail the written test must go through the training program again.



        • Key Switch

        • Forward-Neutral-Reverse Lever

        • Accelerator Pedal

        • Combination Service Brake and hill (parking) Brake Pedal.

      2. Functions:

        1. Key Switch- enables you to switch off the basic electrical system.

        2. F-N-R-LEVER allows you to select the direction you wish to travel.

        3. Accelerator Pedal releases the parking brake (if engaged) and controls the amount of fuel to run the engine.

        4. Combination Service Brake and Hill Brake Pedal stops vehicle quickly when depressed and /or locks in place to act as a parking brake.

      3. Before Starting Engine.

        1. Inspect vehicle in accordance with the pre-start inspection guide (attachment 2).

        2. If an item is found to be damaged, broken, or prevents the safe use of the vehicle, it must be reported to the immediate supervisor. Do not use the vehicle.


      4. Starting the Vehicle:

        1. Apply the parking brake and fasten seat belt.

        2. Place the F_N_R lever in the neutral position.

        3. Put the key in the ignition and turn to ON.

        4. Put the F-N-R- lever in the desired position that you wish to go.

        5. Release the parking brake.

        6. Depress the accelerator to start the motor.

      5. Driving the vehicle:

        1. Always check area behind vehicle before backing up.

        2. Two (2) persons are the maximum occupancy for these vehicles.

        3. Do not put hands, feet, or any other body parts outside the vehicle while it is in motion.

        4. Drive at posted speeds only, or less as conditions allow. Maintain a low speed on wet or slippery surface. Do not exceed 35 mph or operate on roadways with posted speed limits higher than 35 mph.

        5. Avoid areas with wet or loose terrain. Drive vehicle on hard surface and avoid soft shoulders.

        6. Approach all blind corners, hidden driveways, and sharp turns with caution.

        7. Avoid travel over steep grades.

        8. Do not exceed the load capacity. Do not force the vehicle to pull a load which is too heavy.

        9. Do not dismount until vehicle has come to a full stop.

        10. Remain seated and hold on while vehicle is in motion.


        12. Pedestrians have the right of way at all times.

        13. All operators will come to a full stop and allow pedestrian traffic to move to an other area.

        14. Come to a complete stop at all cross walks.

        15. Always bring the vehicle to a complete stop before shifting the Forward-Neutral-Reverse lever.

      6. Leaving the Vehicle:

        1. Engage the parking brake.

        2. Put the F-N-R lever in neutral position.

        3. Turn the key to OFF position, release safety belt, remove the key and take it with you.

      7. FUELING:

        1. Turn switch to the off position and allow 15 minutes for engine to cool before fueling.

        2. Never pour gasoline into the fuel tank when the engine is hot or while it is running.

        3. To avoid electric arc caused by static electricity, the fuel storage /pumping device must be grounded. If the pump is not grounded, the vehicle must be grounded to the pump before and during operation.

        4. If the vehicle has an all-weather enclosure installed, the gas tank must be properly vented as per manufacture's instruction.

        5. To avoid the possibility of fire, be sure to clean up any spilled gasoline before operating the vehicle.


The Virginia Vehicle Code, Section 46.2-676, now permits the use of utility/golf carts on college and university campuses within certain limitations. Also, this department is making certain requirements for operation locally. Bold print pertains to matters found in the Vehicle Code.

  • Carts must have no more than 25 horsepower.

  • Carts must be equipped with a "slow moving placard. We will also require a tall fiberglass whip with a "dayglo" orange flag affixed at the top.

  • Carts may only be operated on the road during the time between sunrise and sunset, unless equipped for operation on the highway (lights); the following is suggested:

    • Headlights to be illuminated at all times, night or day.

    • Equipped with turn signals and brake lights.

  • Carts are not to be operated on highways with posted limits higher than 35mph. We have none of these on/or around campus, but remember the prevailing speeds are usually higher than 35MPH on Bluestone, Duke, Carrier Drives, University Blvd., and South Main Street.

  • Carts can only be operated within the confines of the campus boundaries, i.e., NOT ON Grace, Mason, Paul, Cantrell, Port Republic, Reservoir, or University Blvd. beyond the Arboretum. They CANNOT be operated in Forest Hills to Oakview. If there is no continuous property on either side of the street it is highly unlikely that carts can be operated on such a street. They are permitted on Bluestone, Duke, Driver, and Carrier Drives, as well as University Blvd. through campus.

  • Carts can only be operated by university employees WHILE ON OFFICIAL BUSINESS (no students not employed by JMU); and only by a Virginia licensed operator (no employees with operator's licenses from other states).

  • Equip carts with roof and windshield to prevent road debris from striking the operator and passenger.

  • Equip carts with "roll-over" cages and safety belts.

  • Require all employees to be assigned to carts to take familiarized course in the operation of the cart to be utilized.

  • Primary routes should be confined to wide service drive/sidewalks; narrow walks are out since a cart could push pedestrians into the street, placing them in harms way.

  • USE EXTREME CAUTION ON University Blvd. Blind curves and hills, high prevailing speeds, the history of vehicular accidents at curves and hills preclude the use of carts on this highway.

JMU Division of Administration and Finance James Madison University Website