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Policy on Low Speed & Assembled Vehicles

I.       Purpose

The purpose of this Policy is to enhance pedestrian and traffic safety on the campus of Michigan State University by establishing minimum requirements for the operation of low speed and assembled vehicles.

II.    Applicability

This Policy applies to all low speed and assembled vehicles owned or rented by the University and all low speed and assembled vehicles operated on property owned, leased, or otherwise controlled by the University. [1] This Policy does not pertain to low speed vehicles or assembled vehicles operated only on the MSU golf course or on University-owned farms for farming purposes.

III. Definitions

  1. Low speed vehicle:  A four wheeled, self-propelled motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of less than 3,000 pounds with a minimum speed of 20 miles per hour and a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour.  Examples of low speed vehicles that are legal for on-road use include those manufactured by GEM, Columbia ParCar, American Custom Golf Car, Tomberlin, and Bombardier.
  2. Assembled Vehicle:  A four wheeled, self-propelled motor vehicle that has been modified for on-road use by a non-manufacturer and does not fall within the "low speed vehicle" definition.  An "assembled vehicle" is identified with a body style of either a "roadster" (passenger use), "pickup" (has a small pickup bed), or "utility" (has a flat bed) vehicle.  Most off-road utility vehicles (e.g., John Deere Gator, Polaris Ranger, Yamaha Rhino, etc.) modified for on-road use will be titled as an "assembled pickup" or as an "assembled utility vehicle."  An "assembled vehicle" speed rating will not fall within the "low speed vehicle" speed rating.
IV. Policy Requirements

A.    Equipment

Low speed vehicles must meet the following motor vehicle equipment requirements:

  1. Headlights;
  2. Front and rear turn signal lights;
  3. Tail lights;
  4. Stop lights;
  5. Reflex reflectors: one red on each side as far to the rear as practicable, and one red on the rear;
  6. Horn;
  7. An exterior mirror mounted on the driver's side of the vehicle and either an exterior mirror mounted on the passenger's side of the vehicle or an interior mirror;
  8. Brakes;
  9. Parking brake;
  10. Windshield;
  11. Wipers;
  12. Vehicle Identification Number;
  13. Front and rear bumper; and
  14. Seatbelts.

Assembled Vehicles must meet all of the above-listed equipment requirements for low speed vehicles, as well as the following equipment requirements:

  1. Low/high beam headlights;
  2. Bright light indicator;
  3. License plate lights;
  4. Street Tires;
  5. Differential gear;
  6. Proper exhaust system (if gasoline powered); and
  7. Slow-moving vehicle sign (if maximum speed below 25 MPH)

B.     Vehicle Operator Requirements

1.      All operators of assembled vehicles registered for on-road use and low speed vehicles must possess a valid, unrestricted Michigan operator or chauffeur's license and have a satisfactory driving record. [2]

2.      Low speed and assembled vehicle operators employed by the University are required to complete the low speed and assembled vehicles training program offered by the Office of Radiation, Chemical and Biological Safety (ORCBS). [3]

C.    Operating Requirements

  1. Assembled vehicles registered for on-road use and low speed vehicles may not be operated on any pedestrian sidewalk, the area between the sidewalk and roadway, or in any designated bicycle lane.
  2. Low speed vehicles may not be operated at a speed over 25 miles per hour.
  3. Assembled vehicles registered for on-road use may be operated at a speed over25 miles per hour.  However, a slow moving sign is required if the maximum speed is 25 miles per hour.
  4. Low speed vehicles may not be operated on a street with a speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour, except for the purpose of crossing that street.
  5. Assembled vehicles registered for on-road use may be operated on a road with a speed limit over 35 miles per hour.
  6. Low speed and assembled vehicles owned, leased, or rented by the University may not be operated off-campus.
  7. Operators of low speed and assembled vehicles must observe all vehicle traffic laws (e.g., stopping at stop signs, yielding to pedestrians) and MSU ordinances.
  8. Low speed and assembled vehicles shall not be operated in a manner that may endanger passengers, pedestrians, or property (e.g., no driving on sidewalks or carrying more passengers than available seats).
  9. The University's low speed and assembled vehicles may only be parked in University-owned vehicle parking spots.
  10. Low speed and assembled vehicles may only be used in a manner consistent with their design and all manufacturer safety recommendations.

D.    Sports / Summer Camp Usage

Low speed and assembled vehicles may be used to transport equipment and supplies in connection with sports camps, summer camps, and other similar programs held on the University's campus.  Low speed and assembled vehicles may not be used to transport camp participants under any circumstances.

E.     Purchasing Requirements

The University's Purchasing Department must approve the purchase, lease, or rental of all low speed vehicles.  Approval will be granted only when the low speed vehicle will be used for a valid business purpose (such as transporting University personnel, equipment, or supplies).  The University will not approve the purchase of a non-street legal vehicle that is intended to be modified to meet the definition of an assembled vehicle.  The University encourages the purchase of electric-powered low speed vehicles instead of gasoline powered low speed vehicles whenever possible.

F.     Vehicle Maintenance, Fueling, and Storage

 

Low speed and assembled vehicles must be routinely inspected and maintained as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer.  All operators must receive department specific maintenance and fueling instructions (when applicable) and all vehicles must be charged and stored in ORCBS approved sites.

G.    Registration and Licensing Requirements

Low speed and assembled vehicles modified for on-road use must be titled, registered and licensed by the Michigan Department of State through MSU Transportation Services. All retrofitted low speed and assembled vehicles will be required to pass a vehicle inspection by the MSU Police Department before they are titled, registered, and licensed by the Michigan Department of State through MSU Transportation Services.

 

V. Accident Reporting

 

Accidents involving a low speed and assembled vehicle must be reported to the MSU Police Department.  The driver of the vehicle, or the driver's supervisor/unit administrator, must complete an Automobile Accident Report Form and forward it to MSU Risk Management on the day of the accident or as soon as practicable. [4]

 

VI. Policy Violations

The MSU Police Department enforces all traffic laws and MSU ordinances on the campus, including those regulating low speed and assembled vehicles modified and registered for on-road use.  Individuals operating low speed vehicles or assembled vehicles in violation of the Michigan Vehicle Code or a MSU ordinance may be ticketed.  University employees who violate this Policy may also be subject to discipline, up to and including suspension or revocation of low speed and assembled vehicle driving privileges and/or termination from employment.

VII.       History

This Policy was issued by the Office of the Vice President for Finance and Operations and Treasurer on February 16, 2009.

[1] Campus units that purchase or rent low speed or assembled vehicles should also refer to Section 245: Vehicle and Transportation Services in the Manual of Business Procedures.

[2] Satisfactory driving criteria are defined at http://www.rmi.msu.edu/form/employeedrivercertification.html

[3]This training is available at  http://www.oeos.msu.edu/TRAIN/NRV/

[4] This form may be accessed at http://www.rmi.msu.edu/form/autoaccidentreport.html

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