Golf Carts and Safety Regulations
At EMC, the safety of our vehicles is very important. We often get asked about the safety features, risks and what regulations to follow especially when it comes to our golf carts in particular. The evolution of the golf cart has us seeing opportunity to use them not only on the golf course, but possibly on our roads in the future.
This article will uncover risk factors, speed limits, current regulations across the country and personal safety responsibilities to further your understanding of the use of your golf carts to give you a peace of mind.
First of all let’s clarify the golf cart further, which is otherwise known as an LSV.
This is defined as a Low Speed Vehicle with a minimum speed of 20kw/h and a maximum speed of 40kw/h. Many other terms such as buggies, golf vehicles have been coined to identify this recreational entity.
Let’s give you some idea of how from State to Territory, Australia view Golf Carts and what regulations they adhere to, to ensure and encourage the safe use of Golf Carts.
Across the Country
In adherence with their conditional registration guidelines that there are restrictions to where they can be operated on a golf course. Which extends surroundings of the golf course and the parking facilities. A speed limit is required of a maximum of 20 km/h for your registered golf cart.
New South Wales
NSW run in conjunction the Australian Road Rules, in which motorised vehicles are not considered recreational devices. The classification of a vehicle is important as it can help classify other elements of safety such a power output, and speed. Due the make-up of the vehicle does not meet the minimum standards according to Australian Design Rules limiting their use to private property. Like QLD, NSW have restricted routes and limited to a 20 km/h speed limit.
Within the Northern Territory Golf Carts are not required to have registration. However, the he owners must have a valid driver’s license and can only operate around the golf course and the surrounding golf cart areas such as the car park and shared paths within the golf course. The Northern Territory Motor Vehicle registry suggests that it is a good idea to take out some form of insurance so you are protected, this comes under the guidelines of the Department of Transport. There seems to be only one documented incident in where an owner of a golf cart was apprehended for drink driving on a private road.
Golf carts can be used on public roads for no more that 2 km at a time and only for the purpose of their main use; which is on a golf course. The vehicles must have safety guards fitted such as; a sufficient braking system, a horn and lighting.
Golf carts in South Australia are restricted to the golf course and its surrounded area like Queensland. The vehicle can only be driven by the owner, however someone else can drive the vehicle, but third party liability insurance is required to ensure everyone is covered and safe and conditional registration is a must.
Within Western Australia, the rules for golf carts and Electric Vehicles run parallel to other states such as QLD and NSW. The regulations also run in conjunction with the Australian Road Rules and the Australian Design Rules as mentioned above.
Zoning and Speed Limits
There seems to be a lack of safety standards for LSV’s across the country, in particular current or limited zone access. The lack of classification for this could cause confusion for golf cart owners, in where can they use their vehicle when they are not on the golf course for example, or if they own it for getting around a retirement village – what are the risks when it comes to zone access. Well one factor could speed limit.
According to Conditional Registration when driving your golf cart 20km/h is the recommended speed limit, however the legal speed limit across normal road use is 40km/h. The variation may cause danger to those using the vehicle or other motorists and pedestrians.
Current risk factors that have been resulting in injury have been;
- Un-effective braking
- Vehicle roll-over
- Passenger Ejection
- Head and Neck
We all like to enjoy our golf days and recreational use of our Golf Cart, but it important to do it responsibility, because ultimately it cost you your conditional registration or you could cop a fine depending on which state or territory you reside in.
It is important to be accountable for your own safety, a lot of things that have been covered are only guidelines and legislation that you should indeed follow, but to ultimately enjoy your experience safely and in an enjoyable way here are some aspects that you consider that relies on your own self.
Personal Safety Responsibilities
- Seat belts – though they are not compulsory, it is an accessory that you should really consider and get, soon the industry will move forward given all the positive factors and proposed the seat belts to be fitted as standard.
- Ensure you are of age and have you Class C license – that way you know the road rules and general safety information when it comes to roads e.g. hazards and distractions
- Regular maintenance is required with any vehicle you purchase and that goes for your golf cart. At EMC, Service is what we do, so warranties and services have you covered to ensure the maximum effect of your vehicle.
- Don’t drink and drive! You’ll not only ruin it for you, but also the use of the vehicle maybe prohibited.
As an added bonus click some of videos below for some quick and easy golf cart training to help you understand how to use a golf cart and what it can feature. You can also have a peak at the range of Golf Cart and Leisure Vehicles we offer to give you a better idea of the safety features.