Golf cart safety refresher
Courtesy of OPEI

Golf cart safety refresher

Are your customers struggling with the rules of the paths? An advocacy group offers 7 tips to make their journeys to the ball – or elsewhere – less risky.

As golf carts and personal transport vehicles, become increasingly popular with consumers on and off the course, it’s important to keep safety in mind when driving and riding in them, according to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. OPEI is an international trade association representing manufacturers and suppliers of outdoor power equipment, small engines, battery power systems, portable generators, utility and personal transport vehicles, and golf carts.

“The rules are pretty simple,” OPEI President and CEO Kris Kiser said. “Golf cars and PTVs are not toys. Read the owner’s manual to understand the vehicle’s features and operation. Don’t drink and drive. Obey manufacturer recommendations for operating age and designated number of passengers. Follow the rules of the road, and only drive PTVs where permitted by law.” 
OPEI offers seven safety tips for those using carts and PTVs:
1. Be familiar with operating procedures. Review owner’s manuals and always follow manufacturer’s operating instructions. Use all of the safety equipment that is installed on the vehicle. 
2. If modifying a cart or PTV, use only manufacturer-approved parts or parts that have been tested and comply with industry standards. Modifications to cart or PTV can impact safety and stability. When modifying carts or PTVs, any parts used should conform to standards OPEI/ILTVA Z130 and Z130. 
3. Load the vehicle correctly. Obey the manufacturer’s warnings for maximum number of occupants. Do not try to squeeze in extra passengers or allow anyone to ride standing in the vehicle or on the back platform, including caddies or other employees. Do not operate the vehicle until all occupants are fully seated.
4.  Drive safely and obey all local laws. Reduce speed and use caution when operating vehicles on grades, slippery or loose terrain and when turning. Only operate vehicles on designated roadways or property where permitted.
5. Avoid distractions. Be attentive to traffic and hazards while driving. Do not text and drive.
6. Stay sober and alert. Do not drive a cart or PTV if intoxicated or under the influence of a drug or narcotic.
7. Take shelter during inclement weather. Although a cart may shield occupants from the rain, it may not protect them from a lightning strike. Find safe shelter immediately if you see lightning or hear thunder.