XVI. VEHICLE SAFETY
1.0 Utility Vehicle Operating Procedures Program
1.1 Subject: Utility Vehicles, Golf Carts, Club Cars, Gators, Tractors, Mowers and Four Wheel ATVs (Three Wheel ATVs not included).
1.2 This policy provides guidelines for the use of Utility Vehicles and/or similar slow moving vehicles (SMV) on the campus of Texas A&M University. The intent is to enable operators to avoid situations that may compromise their safety and avoid damaging the vehicle or other property, as well as to promote a safer environment for students, faculty, staff, and visitors.
1.3 STATEMENT OF PROCEDURE
1.5 The safe operation of Utility Vehicles is paramount. Failure to follow this procedure, render common practices or courtesies, or follow rules of the road for the State of Texas, could result in citation, appropriate disciplinary action, and/or suspension of operator's Utility Vehicles driving privileges.
2.0 General Vehicle Safety 2.1 Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death and crippling injury in the United States. Traffic safety laws are important components of vehicle safety, but the most important aspect of vehicle safety is the driver. IMPORTANT: All TAMU employees who operate a motor vehicle for company business (whether a company vehicle, rental vehicle, or personal vehicle) must possess a valid state driver's license for their vehicle's class.2.2 The University Police Department is responsible for regulating moving vehicles and bicycles on university property. To ensure driving safety, follow these driving practices:
3.0 Defensive Driving 3.1 By taking defensive driving courses, employees can promote driving safety and lower their insurance rates. The principles of defensive driving include the following:
4.0 Backing Vehicles 4.1 Backing a large vehicle can be very difficult. Try to avoid backing whenever possible. If you must back a vehicle, follow these guidelines:
5.0 Accidents 5.1 If you are ever involved in a vehicle accident, follow these guidelines.
5.2 If you cannot move your car, try to warn oncoming traffic to prevent other accidents:
5.3 Exchange the following information with other drivers involved in the accident:
5.4 Call the police in the following circumstances:
6.0 Alternative Fueled Vehicles 6.1 Although liquid hydrocarbon fuels, such as gasoline, are efficient and easy to handle, they are a finite energy source and a cause of various pollution problems. Alternative fuels, however, such as compressed natural gas and propane, are widely available and offer few emission problems. Based on these findings, the Clean Air Act of 1990, and the Energy Policy Act of 1992, TAMU is developing a fleet of alternative fueled vehicles. NOTE: Alternative fueled vehicles must be refueled by trained personnel. Employees should not refuel their alternative fueled vehicles themselves. IMPORTANT: Any vehicle greater than 20hp must maintain a 2 1/2 pound, portable, class A-B-C fire extinguisher.
7.0 Compressed Natural Gas 7.1 Compressed natural gas (CNG) is a plentiful domestic fuel that is very affordable. Seventy cents of natural gas possesses the same amount of energy as one dollar of gasoline. CNG also produces low tailpipe emissions, no evaporative emissions, and low refining energy. Unfortunately, however, CNG requires bulky gas cylinders and higher cost vehicles. CNG vehicles must be tested and inspected annually for corrosion, pressure, and possible gas leaks.
8.0 Propane 8.1 Propane is a by-product of gasoline, but it can also be extracted from natural gas. Propane offers slow evaporative emissions and virtually complete combustion. 8.2 When filling propane tanks, operators should allow at least 10% free space for gas expansion. Safety valves should also discharge to the atmosphere and not to enclosed spaces.
9.0 Railroad Crossings
9.1 Compared with other types of collisions, train/motor vehicle crashes are 11 times more likely to result in a fatal injury. On the average, there are more train-car fatalities each year than airplane crashes. Unfortunately, driver error is the principal cause of most grade crossing accidents. Many drivers ignore the familiar tracks they cross each day, and some drivers disregard train warning signals and gates.
9.2 All public highway-rail grade crossings are marked with one or more of the following warning devices:
Crossbuck Signs: Railroad crossbuck signs are found at most public crossings. Treat these signs as a yield sign. If there is more than one track, a sign below the crossbuck will indicate the number of tracks at the crossings.
IMPORTANT: You must stop at least 15 feet from a train track when: (1) warning lights flash; (2) a crossing gate or flagperson signals an approaching train; (3) a train is within 1500 feet of the crossing; or (4) an approaching train is plainly visible and in hazardous proximity.
9.3 Follow these guidelines when you encounter a railroad crossing:
10.0 Bicycle Safety
10.1 Each year there are 700 fatalities and 39,000 injuries among cyclists in the U.S. Cyclists must take precautions when driving on city and University streets.
10.2 Follow these safety precautions when riding a bicycle:
Use hand signals when turning or changing lanes.
For Questions or Concerns,
EHS @ 979-845-2132
or after hours contact
Communications Center 979-845-4311