Sub Compact Utility Vehicle Safety

Many departments across campus are utilizing Sub-Compact Utility Vehicles (SCUVs) to quickly maneuver around campus. Vehicles such as Gators, Metros, Club Cars, Toros, etc. are relatively inexpensive and take much less room to park than conventional vehicles. While the increased convenience may be time-saving, the SCUVs bring a new risk to occupants, pedestrians, and persons with disabilities. In addition, the cost to repair damage to hardscape and turf areas is considerable. Therefore, to reduce risk and unnecessary cost, the following procedures are to be followed.

Registration of SCUVs

All SMU-owned, long-term-leased, and contractor-owned SCUVs must be registered with the Parking and ID Card Services Office. Upon registration, the SCUV will be issued a registration label (see example below). Labels may be picked up from the Parking offices in Hughes-Trigg Student Center, Suite 216. This label is to be mounted on the inner front side of the passenger side windshield. Registration must be renewed every other year.

Registration Form


Upon registration, each SMU-owned, long-term-leased, and contractor-owned SCUV will also be issued three sets of vinyl numbers, identical to the registration number assigned by the Parking and ID Card Services Office. These will be picked up concurrently with the registration label in Hughes-Trigg Student Center Suite 216. The Operator of the SCUV will place the vinyl numbers on the SCUV. The numbers will be placed on the front, the left side, and the right of the SCUV and must be maintained in readable condition at all times by the Operator department.

Minimum Safety Features

All SCUVs that are operated on campus property or business must be equipped with minimum safety features:

  • Headlights
  • Taillights
  • Reflective orange triangle

Driver's side and passenger side rear-view mirrors OR interior rear view mirror

Additional recommended safety features include:

  • Turn signals
  • Rooftop strobe
  • All safety features must be kept in good working order, and the department is responsible for the costs associated with installation and maintenance of these safety features.

Operating Procedures

  • Operators must yield to pedestrians at all times. Special care must be taken on sidewalks. Speed is to be reduced when approaching pedestrians and a vocal call-out or request to pass must be issued prior to passing pedestrians and other SCUVs.
  • Operators are to be diligent and pay particular attention to the needs of disabled persons, as limitations in vision, hearing, or mobility may impair their ability to see, hear, or move out of the way of SCUVs.
  • Operators may not use cell phones or tablets for any reason including for text, email, music, photos, phone calls, or for any use while operating the SCUV
  • Operators may not wear headsets, earphones, or ear buds while operating SCUVs.
  • Operators are not to block the path or limit pedestrian access to walkways or stairs.
  • Operators are not to block handicap access points and ramps.
  • All items carried by SCUVs will be secured (via bungee cords, tie-downs, etc.) to prevent them from falling out of the vehicle.
  • SCUVs are not to be overloaded, i.e. carrying more passengers than seating provides or overloading the SCUV’s recommended carrying or equipment load capacity. Passengers are prohibited from riding in the utility bed of SCUVs.
  • SCUVs are to be used for University business only.
  • Keys are never to be left in the SCUV at any time. Operators are responsible for ignition keys for the period of time in which they are using the SCUV.
  • Operators are not allowed to drive SCUVs under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
  • Operators will present SMU identification cards to SMU PD or ORM upon request.
  • SCUVs must be operated in accordance with state law and city ordinances.


SCUVs must be kept in safe operating condition at all times. SCUVs that are rendered unsafe to operate must be taken out of service immediately. This is the financial responsibility of the department, and maintenance contracts must be obtained through the Office of Purchasing.

Driving and Parking Locations

Non-street-legal SCUVs are not permitted to be driven on city-owned streets. The map linked below shows which streets around the SMU campus are University-owned (blue) and city-owned (green). If you need to travel in city-owned areas, you must use the sidewalk. You are encouraged to use the streets in University-owned areas to minimized conflicts with pedestrians. If conditions exist that make traveling on a city-owned street necessary, operators must merge to the right curb in order to allow vehicular traffic to pass. In addition, SCUVs must not be driven on grassy/landscaped areas or inside any University building.

Parking of SCUVs is prohibited in the following locations:

  • Vehicle parking spaces of any kind
  • Grassy/landscaping areas
  • Within 10 feet of any building entrance or fire hydrant
  • Blocking a crosswalk, loading dock, fire lane, stairs, access ramps, or curb cut

SCUV Driving Map