In the sporting world Georgia is known as the home of The Masters. But Georgia is also the home of the golf cart with the two main manufacturers, Club Car and E-Z Go, based in Augusta, Ga. In what could be seen as a boost to the local golf cart industry just last week Georgia passed Senate Bill 240 which allows “Personal Transport Vehicles”, PTVs, to travel on the street. Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal signed the bill which will allow their use from January 1st, 2012. PTV’s are a class of vehicle which also include golf carts and must meet the following criteria.
“(43.1) ‘Personal transportation vehicle’ means any motor vehicle:
(A) With a minimum of four wheels;
(B) Capable of a maximum level ground speed of less than 20 miles per hour;
(C) With a maximum gross vehicle unladen or empty weight of 1,375 pounds; and
(D) Capable of transporting not more than eight persons.”
More and more state legislators are recognizing that golf carts provide an fuel efficient and, particularly in the case of electric golf carts, an eco-friendly mode of transport. With gas prices rocketing and most people's journeys only being short trips, a golf cart is becoming a increasingly popular choice.
As with any vehicle that is driven on the street there are several safety concerns which must be addressed before a golf cart is licensed for the road. These considerations are noted in Bill 240 with the requirement for all PTVs to be equipped with safety equipment, the most important of which are listed below:
- Head lamps;
- Tail lamps;
- A horn;
- A rearview mirror;
- Safety warning labels; and
- Hip restraints and hand holds.
More and more cities and states are passing laws which allow street legal golf carts to be allowed on their roads and this can only be a good thing for the golf cart manufacturers and drivers who are economically and environmentally conscious. But, as the legislators have demonstrated, safety of PTV users and all other road uses is a primary concern and golf cart owners must always ensure that their street legal cart is fitted with working lights, mirrors, a horn and safety belts.