The following will provide guidelines for the procurement and valid business use of utility-type vehicles for the operation of electric or gas-powered utility carts, including low-speed vehicles and/or similar type vehicles on The University of Alabama Campus located in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The purpose of establishing these guidelines is to provide a safer environment for our campus community. The approval of a department to use a utility cart on campus will depend on many factors, such as:

  • Occupants
  • Landscaping, Construction, and Ground Maintenance
  • Travel routes to/from campus locations require travel on public roadways to reach the desired campus location.
  • Utilization of Vehicle

Departments may not be approved for a utility cart or may be required to eliminate a current utility cart based on:

  • Low Utilization
  • Poor upkeep
  • Appearance
  • Department driver’s safety violations
  • Unsafe components of the utility cart
  • Age (seven years of age or older)

These guidelines establish proper safety procedures and practices, which promote safe, courteous operations and demonstrate the value of these vehicles within the campus environment, especially as we encounter students, faculty, staff, and visitors.

Utility Cart Request Form: The multi-step utility cart purchasing process starts with the department filling out the Utility Cart Request Form and obtaining all the necessary signatures before submitting the form to the Fleet Management Office.  For additional information, please contact Tony Johnson with Fleet Management (205-348-8798), Angel Driver (205-348-4809) with Fleet Management, or Catherine Johnson with Purchasing (205-348-0064).

New Acquisition and Currently Owned Utility Carts: Fleet Management and Procurement will approve/deny department requests in accordance with guidelines, procedures, and usage of requested utility cart(s). There are only “TWO” types of utility cart(s):

  • Occupants (ONLY): Low-speed vehicles (LSV) may only be operated on any public road or street under the following conditions.
  1. Code 11-73-4 (1)The vehicle may not be operated on a public road or street by any person other than a licensed driver. (2) The vehicle may be operated only during the hours between sunrise and sunset unless the municipality has determined that a low-speed vehicle may be operated between sunset and sunrise and the vehicle is equipped with (working) headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield. (3) The vehicle is certified as meeting all federal and state laws, rules, and regulations governing safety, emissions, and antitheft standards, including the safety standards provided in 49 C.F.R. Section 571.500. (4) The vehicle has a 17-digit vehicle identification number which conforms to National Highway Safety and Traffic Administration standards, the manufacturer’s statement of origin states that the vehicle complies with the safety standards for a low-speed vehicle or that the vehicle complies with 49 C.F.R. Section 571.500, and the vehicle has affixed thereto a decal certifying that the vehicle meets these safety standards. (5) The vehicle has a current license plate issued by the license plate issuing official.


Note: The number of working seat belts will determine the maximum number of occupants allowed while the vehicle is in use. 


  • Landscaping, Construction, and Grounds Maintenance:
  1. Code 32-5-246 (1) When operated, propelled, driven, towed, pushed, or otherwise moving over, along, or across any highway in this state, every vehicle which has a maximum potential speed of 25 miles an hour, implement of husbandry, farm tractor or special mobile equipment shall be identified with a reflective device as follows:

(1) An equilateral triangle in shape at least 16 inches wide at the base and at least 14 inches in height, with a bright red border, at least one and three-quarter inches wide of highly reflective beaded material.

(2) A center triangle, at least 12 1/4 inches on each side of yellow-orange,

Note: The number of working seat belts will determine the maximum number of occupants allowed while the vehicle is in use. 

Cart Maintenance and Annual Inspections: The department’s responsibility is to schedule preventative maintenance and Annual Inspection with Automotive Services. Fleet Management and Automotive Services require preventative maintenance to be completed every six months and annually for safety inspections. The departments are financially responsible for all repair and maintenance costs (labor, parts, supplies, and transport costs.) If the cart cannot be operated safely without the repairs, the cart will be taken out of service until the repairs are completed, or the cart will be surplus.

Cart Charging and Storage: Cart charging is allowed in designated areas only and with the permission of the UA Transportation Department. The storage of each cart will be the responsibility of the department to which the unit is assigned.

  • Whenever possible, the carts should be stored in an area to allow for battery recharging and to shield the cart from foul weather.
  • A secured storage area with the keys removed is highly recommended, or a steering wheel lock should be utilized.

Occupants and Loads:

  • Never exceed the maximum load capacity recommended by the manufacturer, either by several occupants or the weight of the passengers and load. Follow manufacturer load ratings for carts equipped with a back carriage. Overloading decreases maneuverability and safe operation.
  • One passenger is permitted per seat, and all passengers are required to sit in seats. No riding on the backs, front, or sides of carts is permitted.
  • Do not move the cart until all occupants are seated. Occupants should remain seated while the cart is in motion.
  • Seat belts are required to be worn when driving on campus or public roadways if so equipped.
  • All occupants in the vehicle are required to keep their hands, arms, legs, and feet within the confines of the vehicle while it is in motion.
  • Secure and properly store all equipment and supplies to prevent objects from falling out of striking people.


  • Cart operators are required to inspect the cart before each use visually. Looking for safety equipment in good working condition, tires aired to recommended PSI, dents, lights and horn working, windshield in working order, and a reflective triangle on the rear of the vehicle (when required), etc.

Management Responsibilities: Department heads, managers, and supervisors must ensure that all operators receive proper training (per Risk Management Drivers Safety Program).  To drive a university cart, the individual must first successfully complete the driver approval process administered by Risk Management.  Once approved, the driver must also complete the General Driver Safety Training and the Cart Training.  Visit the Risk Management Driver Safety page (linked here) to get started.  Select the Motor Vehicle Record (MVR) Authorization link to begin the driver approval process.  Contact a Risk Management representative if you have questions.  Supervisors should also monitor employees’ driving habits and take appropriate disciplinary action against operators who fail to comply with policy.

Operator Responsibilities:

While driving a utility cart, the safety of yourself and others should be the driver’s top priority. Responsible driving requires concentration, sound judgment, and common sense. Carts should be operated with the utmost courtesy, care, and consideration for the safety and convenience of pedestrians and cart occupants. Carts must yield to pedestrians on sidewalks and on crosswalks.