As the spring semester ends and summer sessions begin at MTSU, those who operate golf carts are reminded to follow the new safety guidelines to make traversing campus safer for everyone year-round.
It’s an important safety issue. Just ask Dr. Stephen Lewis, chair of the Department of Business Communication and Entrepreneurship in the Jennings A. Jones College of Business.
Lewis was walking along the sidewalk in front of the Stark Agriculture Building earlier this semester when a golf cart came up behind him. Lewis, who uses hearing aids in both ears, said he didn’t hear or see the cart until it had passed him.
“I didn’t know that anything was approaching from behind,” Lewis said. “Of course it startled me when it came past. I was just fortunate that I didn’t move to my left.”
Last year, university leaders asked the Environmental Health and Safety Committee to recommend a set of guidelines after receiving feedback about the growing number of motorized carts in operation on campus. This effort is part of the True Blue Respect campaign, a campuswide awareness campaign that encourages the community to respect public spaces and property.
Anyone who is responsible for or drives an MTSU golf cart can check the MTSU website under Public Safety/News Announcements or the Environmental Health and Safety website, www.mtsu.edu/ehs/, for instructions on complying with the new golf cart guidelines.
A map of “preferred” golf cart routes is also on the site.
Golf carts travel in campus areas frequented by thousands of pedestrians daily, and the carts and people also are sharing space with the growing number of bicyclists on campus. The purpose of the golf cart safety guidelines is to improve driver and passenger safety and prevent thefts as well as help preserve campus landscaping.
The guidelines apply to all drivers of golf carts (both electric- and gasoline-powered), cart-type electric vehicles, gaiters, trucksters and similar vehicles. Drivers are asked to call the MTSU Motor Pool at 615-898-2415 if you are not sure if your cart fit one of these categories.
Examples of some of the guidelines include:
- Drivers should travel on campus roadways and designated routes when possible.
- Drivers are to slow down or stop at blind intersections.
- Drivers are to drive carefully, be courteous and yield to pedestrians.
- Passengers must be in a passenger seat with limbs inside.
- Do not leave keys in parked carts.
For a full list of the guidelines, visit www.mtsu.edu/ehs/.
How will the guidelines be enforced?
A Safe Driving Hotline has been created — 615-494-7885 — with a voicemail that redirects calls to an Environmental Health and Safety email box. The hotline number will be on the back of each MTSU golf cart, and anyone can call the number to report unsafe driving.
Environmental Health and Safety will then notify the university department that owns the vehicle and report the incident.