Powered Carts, Motorized Vehicles & Low Speed Vehicle Safety Program (Golf Carts)


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.


It is the policy of Washington and Lee to establish a program that provides the operators of electric or gasoline powered carts & LSV with the following:
1. Adequate training so that the vehicles may be operated in a safe manner.
2. A vehicle that is mechanically safe to operate on a university campus.
3. An understanding of the legal requirements for driving these vehicles on or off roadways


Powered Carts are not motor vehicles and are not licensed by the DMV (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 top speeds of 25 mph. They MAY BE LICENSED TO OPERATE ON public streets posted 35 mph or less that are adjacent to Washington and Lee within the city of Lexington and Rockbridge County.



1. Develop and administer the procedures relating to the Powered Cart & LSV Safety Program.
2. Coordinate the program with all affected campus departments.
3. Ensure departments are administering all elements of the program through periodic record audits.
4. Review as needed the conduct the following activities:
a. Review the program for possible revisions.
b. Provide refresher information to departments that operate powered carts and LSV.


1. Ensure that all vehicle operators complete the training prior to operating a powered cart or LSV.
2. As needed, review "Rules for Safe Operation of Powered Carts and LSV" with all powered cart and LSV operators.
3. Monitor the driving habits of employees.
4. Have all purchases of powered carts and LSV approved and inspected upon delivery by appropriate department heads.
5. Ensure that the carts and LSV are maintained according to the Maintenance Program.
6. Immediately report accidents within 24 hours of occurrence:
a. Report all accidents using proper channels i.e. law enforcement/safety managers
b. Report all injuries
c. Send completed information to human resources


1. Abide by all the rules and regulations specified in this program.

Public Safety

1. Develop and maintain a standard for powered cart and LSV safety equipment (i.e. seat belts, horn, windshield). This standard will be used when purchasing to ensure that all new carts and LSV purchased meet minimum safety standards.
2. Administer the powered cart and LSV maintenance program


Prior to operating a powered cart or LSV, drivers must complete a powered cart/LSV safety training program PowerPoint. Note:  Complete the following sections:
1. Ensure that the driver has met the minimum requirements for operating a state vehicle:
a. Driver must have a valid STATE Driver’s License.
2. 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 and are included in the safety PowerPoint.
3. Review the Pre-Trip Safety Inspection requirements
4. Department supervisors should 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:
a. Lights, turn signal, and horn location (if equipped).
b. Emergency brake location and operation.
c. Accelerator and brake pedal operation.
d. 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 Human Resources Office and retained in 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:
1. Check all tires for proper air pressure - use air pressure gauge if you are unsure.
2. Check accelerator pedal for a smooth and non-binding motion.
3. Check all lights (if equipped).
4. Test brakes for proper operation.
5. Ensure seatbelts are in good working condition.
6. 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.

Maintenance Program

All powered carts and LSV must undergo an annual safety inspection conducted by the facilities maintenance. 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.