Safety Information

Emergency Communications to the University Community

Upon confirmation of a significant emergency or dangerous situation occurring on the campus and involving an immediate threat to the health or safety of students, faculty, or staff members, Rice University will provide accurate and timely information to the campus community during such emergencies. Rice may utilize a variety of communication methods, including text messaging to mobile phones, e-mail, voice mail, web pages, emergency hotlines, announcements via Rice’s public address system, meetings in affected buildings, and announcements in the news media. In the case of a severe weather emergency, an episode of campus violence, or another sudden emergency, Rice University will use an automated system to notify students, faculty, and staff of the nature of the emergency and of any steps the recipient should take to safeguard his or her personal welfare. Contact information should be updated in iO and should include local and home emergency numbers where Rice can most effectively provide time-sensitive emergency information; usually, these contact numbers will be for mobile phones or other handheld electronic devices. Rice will limit the use of this emergency contact information to only the most urgent campus emergencies. Rice urges community members to take seriously any emergency notifications received via their primary emergency contact point and to respond accordingly.

In the event of a severe, time-sensitive emergency, persons on campus (depending on their location) may also hear announcements or instructions via Rice’s public address system. Persons should take seriously any announcements received in this manner and follow any instructions provided.


I. General Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish responsibilities and procedures to ensure safety, proper operation, storage, and enforcement of all personal and micro-transportation devices on campus.

This policy applies to faculty, staff, students, tenants, visitors, and contractors working on behalf of Rice University.

II. Roles and Responsibilities

Rice University Police Department (RUPD) is responsible for safety, traffic enforcement, and registrations of all micro-transportation devices on campus. In conjunction with the Rice Facilities and Capital Planning department and the Housing and Dining department, the university will provide and maintain all exterior parking and storage areas.

The operator is responsible for following guidelines outlined in this policy including traffic regulations, securing their equipment in designated areas, the safe handling and operation of equipment and registration of equipment with RUPD. Building management may develop interior storage options in areas that do not impede egress and comply with the City of Houston Fire Code.

III. Definitions

Micro-transportation shall include all devices, owned or part of a rental service, manual and motorized, that facilitate the movement of people locally. Micro-transportation shall not include devices that are designated or used to facilitate access in accordance with the American Disabilities Act.

  • Scooters: a personal device with two or three wheels, with handlebars and a floorboard that can be operated seated or standing, propelled by human power or motor(s).
  • Skateboards: a device with at least four wheels connected to a floorboard, on which a person can ride in a standing or crouching position, propelling themselves by pushing one foot against the ground and/or motor(s).
  • Monowheels: a device with only one wheel that can be operated seated or standing, propelled by human power or motor(s).
  • Bicycles: a device composed of two wheels held in a frame one behind the other, steered with handlebars, and propelled by human power or motor(s). Devices to include unicycles, tricycles, and carts with wheel bases ranging from one to four or more wheels.

IV. Operation

A) All persons utilizing micro transportation on university owned or controlled property are to comply with all applicable State of Texas statutes, university policies and procedures, and all traffic control devices.

B) Operators of micro transportation must obey all the laws of vehicular traffic when on the roadway; and shall not engage in acrobatic riding or other acts or maneuvers which may endanger the safety of the operator or others or damage property.

C) Operation of motorized micro transportation devices is only permitted on roadways and parking lots.

D) Operation of non-motorized micro transportation devices is permitted on roadways and in areas where bicycle travel is allowed. Operators should reduce travel speed in the presence of pedestrians and must yield to pedestrians at all times.

E) Operation of micro transportation is prohibited on sidewalks, covered walkways, and paths not designated as bicycle routes; stairs, ramps, and railings; and other surfaces not intended for vehicular travel; or inside and at the entrance to university owned or controlled buildings and parking structures, including but not limited to loading docks, driveways, and access ramps to garages.

V. Parking, Storage

A) Motorized micro-transportation devices shall be parked in areas specifically designated for storage of such devices. Indoor storage of motorized micro-transportation is prohibited in university owned or controlled property not designated for indoor storage. Residential rooms and personal office spaces are designated indoor storage spaces.

B) Motorized micro-transportation devices may not be left at ramps, entrances, stairwells, or facilities designated for persons with physical disabilities, or in such a manner as to impede the free and clear use of such facilities and exit passageways.

C) The Rice University Police Department (RUPD) may move, assess fees, or impound any device operated or stored in a manner that violates university policy.

D) Rice University shall not be liable for any damage, repair, or replacement associated with moving or impounding any device operated or stored in a manner that violates university policy.