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Small Utility Vehicle Policy

This policy applies to all Swarthmore College staff members, students and visitors/guests including camp and event participants who use small utility vehicles for transportation.  It covers motorized vehicles including golf carts and other 3- or 4- wheeled vehicles that are powered by electric or internal combustion motors.

Training on the contents of this policy and all applicable departmental procedures for all authorized drivers is the responsibility of the department that operates the small utility vehicle.

General Usage | Where Small Utility Vehicles Can Be Driven | Parking | Supervisor and Reporting Responsibilities | Campus and Event Sponsors

General Usage 

  • Small utility vehicles shall not be operated in a manner that may endanger passengers, pedestrians, or other individuals or cause damage to College property.  
  • Operators must obey all traffic signals, signs, and rules.
  • Keys should not be left in the vehicle when not in use. 
  • All small utility vehicles should be properly secured when parked.
  • Operators shall not exceed the College speed limit of 10 miles per hour. Operators must reduce speed in walkways and in pedestrian areas. In crowded pedestrian areas, operators must park or proceed at a slow walking pace. Pedestrians always have the right of way.
  • Passenger limits and load capacity designated by the vehicle’s manufacturer will not be exceeded.  One passenger is permitted per seat.  The vehicle operator and all passengers are required to sit in seats, and all must use seat belts when available. Passengers must keep their head, legs, and arms within the vehicle, except to signal turns. Riding on backs, fronts, or sides of Small Utility Vehicles is NOT permitted.
  • Secure and properly store all equipment and supplies to prevent objects from falling out or striking people.
  • Use of cell phones or other electronic devices while driving is prohibited.
  • Use of extension cords for charging electric small utility vehicles is prohibited.

Where can small utility vehicles be driven?

Small utility vehicles are prohibited from operating on public roadways that are not part of the main campus.  Small utility vehicles must cross public roadways at designated crosswalks and obey traffic signals and rules when crossing. Main campus is defined by the boundaries on the Swarthmore College campus map. If the utility vehicle is registered and insured, then it may drive on any public or private road. If there is no available pathway appropriate for a small utility vehicle to reach a destination, a registered and insured vehicle must be used.

Small utility vehicles are restricted to designated streets and paths on the Swarthmore College campus. For purposes of adhering to the ADA compliance rules, small utility vehicles should use paths that are at least 10 feet wide to allow for safe passing of pedestrians in wheelchairs. For purposes of maintenance or emergencies at buildings outside of main campus, vehicles can travel to designated College properties (such as 101 S. Chester Rd, Mary Lyon, Chester, Morganwood, or Cunningham Fields) using residential streets, and safely crossing but not driving on state highways such as Yale Avenue or Chester Road. Vehicles may drive on College maintained sidewalks rather than public streets when traveling in residential areas but must allow pedestrians the right of way.  The vehicle may cross public roadways only at designated crosswalks and must obey traffic signals and rules.

Vehicles should stay off all turf areas of campus and athletic fields. The College’s flagstone pathways are appropriate only for small utility vehicles and the following areas are off-limits to all vehicles, including small utility vehicles:

  • Tunnel at Facilities
  • Any stair crossing.
  • Paths within the following gardens:
    • Cosby courtyard
    • Nason garden
    • Rose garden
    • Fragrance garden
    • Harry Wood garden
    • Pollinators garden 

Exception: Use of Small Utility Vehicles in the restricted areas above is permitted for Grounds and Maintenance vehicles conducting work at that location, and for access by those who require vehicle use as an ADA accommodation. 

Parking Small Utility Vehicles

Parking is allowed only on hard surfaces (e.g., asphalt, concrete, gravel, and brick), whenever possible at the building’s loading dock.

The following are prohibited:

  • Parking on soft surfaces such as turf, landscaping, and unpaved surfaces.
  • Blocking entrances to buildings, stairways, fire exits, ADA paths and access ramps, or main thoroughfares.
  • Parking on an incline without use of a parking brake. 

Tickets may be issued if parking privileges are abused.  Contact the Director or Associate Director of Public Safety if you have questions regarding proper parking spaces.

Supervisor and Reporting Responsibilities

Supervisors, in conjunction with Fleet Management,  shall ensure that vehicles are routinely inspected and maintained in proper working order.  If a vehicle becomes disabled and is left in an unofficial location, the operator should notify their supervisor and Public Safety and place a note on the vehicle advising that the vehicle is disabled, and Public Safety has been notified.

All small utility vehicle incidents / accidents should be reported immediately to Public Safety and to the appropriate department supervisor for that vehicle or operator. Public Safety will complete an incident report and provide a copy of the report to Fleet Management,  Risk Management and to the appropriate department supervisor.

Staff members who are injured must file a report with Swarthmore College Public Safety.  This report is used by Risk Management to file a Worker’s Compensation claim.  Once the claim is filed, Human Resources must be contacted for assistance with arranging medical care or work schedule changes related to the incident. 

If any parties are injured, immediately call the Public Safety Emergency Line at extension 8333, or 610.328.8333 from any phone, to receive medical treatment and transport if necessary. 

If any damage occurs to the vehicle or if any problems are noticed, it must be reported immediately to the department supervisor.  The vehicle must be inspected by an authorized dealer or fleet mechanic before returning to service.

It is the department’s responsibility to enforce the Use of the Small Utility Vehicles Policy within its area.  Department’s enforcement responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring that each driver/operator of the department’s small utility vehicles complies with the College’s driver qualification policies. This annual verification of authorized drivers includes Motor Vehicle driver history checks, completion of initial and any required refresher training. 
  • Ensuring that all small utility vehicles are routinely inspected and maintained in conjunction with Fleet Management.
  • Public Safety’s enforcement responsibilities include:
    • Enforcement of appropriate and safe operation of Small Utility Vehicles.
    • Enforcement of parking rules and regulations for Small Utility Vehicles.
    • Issuing tickets or revocation of College vehicle driving privileges, as appropriate for violation(s).
    • Charging fines/fees issued for Small Utility Vehicles to the department to which the Small Utility Vehicle is assigned and/or to the operator.

Failure to follow these rules may result in suspension of Small Utility Vehicle operating privileges, revocation of driving privileges for any College vehicle, and/or disciplinary action up to and including termination of employment. 

Camps and Event Sponsors

Camp and event sponsors' use of utility vehicles are to be approved by the Events Office in consultation with Public Safety and Fleet Management.  The best practice is to include within the contract with the outside vendor or third party a section regarding their responsibility to ensure responsibility that each operator:

  • Is at least 18 years of age.
  • Has had a valid driver’s license for at least one year (attach a copy to the signed Operator Agreement)
  • Has reviewed the College’s Small Utility Vehicle Policy

Records must be retained by the department or camp/event sponsor for three years after the operator’s final year of operating a vehicle.

Failure to follow these rules is considered a violation of the terms of your agreement with the College and may result in termination of the camp or event.