Monday, May 9, 2011

Start Your (Golf Car) Engines

/PRNewswire/ -- Golf cars will be allowed on many local Georgia streets effective Jan. 1, 2012, thanks to a bill signed  by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. Known as Georgia Senate Bill 240, it creates a new class of motor vehicle called personal transportation vehicles (PTVs), which are built on "golf car-like" chassis.

The measure will allow PTVs that meet safety requirements to be driven on roads. That means residents of many communities will be able to shop, take their children to school and parks, and run other errands in their golf cars.

"This bill will allow Georgia families to stretch their transportation dollars and use green energy for miles of local driving. It also gives municipalities throughout the state a common framework for the safe and responsible use of PTVs," says Michael Alexander, Club Car's director of global business development. Club Car is the world's largest manufacturer of small-wheel, zero-emissions electric vehicles.

Qualifications and Safety Standards

To qualify as a PTV, vehicles must have at least four wheels, weigh 1,375 pounds or less, have a top speed of 20 mph or less, and transport no more than eight people.

In addition, they must be equipped with specific safety apparatus, including:

* A braking system that is sufficient for the weight and passenger capacity, including a parking brake.
* A reverse warning device that is functional at all times when the directional control is in the reverse position.
* A main power switch. When the switch is in the "off" position, or the key or other activating device is removed, the motive power circuit must be inoperative. If the switch uses a key, it can be removable only in the "off" position.
* Head and tail lamps
* Reflex reflectors
* A horn
* A rearview mirror
* Safety warning labels
* Hip restraints and hand holds

Golf cars manufactured after 2004 generally have all, or most, of the required safety equipment. Your local Club Car dealer can upgrade your golf car to meet these standards, if needed. To find a dealer near you, visit and click "Dealer Locator."

According to Alexander, who also serves as president of the National Golf Car Manufacturers Association, he and other members will work with leaders of the Georgia Municipal Association to draft a model ordinance that defines licensing and usage guidelines. Please check with your municipality if you have questions about PTV usage in your community.

The bill does not apply to all-terrain vehicles or mobility aids, such as power wheelchairs and scooters.


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