By the end of December 2016, people played more than 14.8 million rounds of golf in Australia. That’s an increase of 300,000 rounds, or 2.1% compared to the previous year which also means that the number of golf buggies could be on the rise.
Today, people use golf carts for more than golf. The great golf vehicle has become a hit for various other venues and events. But, while these carts are great for small journeys, can we use them on the road as we would any other vehicle?
Read this article to find out if your golf buggy is street legal. We’ll also tell you about some of the most common uses for these types of vehicles.
What Defines a Road Worthy Vehicle?
According to the Motor Vehicle Standards Act 1989, a roadworthy vehicle is one made to transport people. It can also transport animals and goods on public roads. Another type of roadworthy vehicle is a road trailer. These are without motor power but attach to motor vehicles. They also have their wheels.
Additionally, whether a vehicle is suitable to drive on the road depends on the safety of:
- The person driving the vehicle
- The passengers in that vehicle
- Whether or not the vehicle mixes with others on the road
- Whether the vehicle mixes with pedestrians
Simply put, for a vehicle to be road safe it must not endanger anyone or anything. So, where does this leave golf carts? After all, they have a motor, and they can transport both people and goods.
Well, the truth is, a golf cart is not a roadworthy vehicle. Here’s why:
Features That Make a Golf Cart a Non-Road Vehicle
While a golf cart can transport people and goods, most of them don’t have the features to make them street ready. These methods of transportation don’t have:
- Brake lights
- Rear vision mirrors
- Provisions for mounting a registration plate
Additionally, golf carts don’t enclose the passengers. And, they don’t have doors. Instead, people jump in and out. They also don’t go as fast as cars, buses, and other vehicles you’d see on the road.
The construction of golf carts is not suitable for the majority of road uses. If someone were to drive one on the street, they would present serious safety risks.
Many golf carts don’t have seatbelts, an accessory required by law. Additionally, a standard golf buggy can only reach a certain speed. With this in mind, driving one on a busy road could lead to traffic jams which can lead to agitation from other drivers, thus causing accidents. And, these accidents could affect both other drivers and pedestrians.
Exceptions to the Rules
While you can’t drive a golf buggy on all roads in Australia, there are some exceptions. You don’t need to register a golf buggy if you plan on driving it in a golf area. Some of these areas could include:
- A golf course
- The car park attached to the golf course
- When crossing a road that runs through the golf course
- On a footpath within the golf course
While these conditions apply to most golf courses, it’s essential you follow the golf course rules and regulations. If you chose to travel on other roads than the ones listed above, you could face criminal charges.
Can You Drive Your Buggy in Other Places Besides the Golf Course?
As mentioned above, people and companies use golf buggies in various other locations but the golf course. For example, you could register to use a golf buggy on a private residence or company property. For example:
- Caravan parks
- Retirement villages
- Film sets
- Entertainment and sporting venues
You can also use a golf buggy for more unconventional uses. Some people use them for ground maintenance in private properties. Others use them to offer laundry services in residences.
With the right permissions, you may also be able to cross roads if they are the only way to access separate parts of the same compound or business.
Conditions of Operation
To operate a golf buggy in Australia, you must hold a class C driving license which covers vehicles with a gross mass of 4.5 tons. This license also allows you to drive:
- Some light trucks
- Motor tricycles
You can also drive implements like graders and any other vehicle that seats 12 or fewer people. Additionally, you must be 16 years old to operate under the supervision of a person with a full license. To drive without supervision, you must be 18 years old.
While you may believe that your ability to drive a golf cart works under your driving license, there are other requirements.
A golf cart isn’t suitable for purpose if it doesn’t have four wheels. It must also have a maximum speed of 25km an hour on level ground to avoid accidents.
Additionally, for buggies that can seat more than two people, any extra seats have to be bench type seats. And, for those with no more than two seats, you cannot drive a mass of more than 350kg. You must also have high flotation tyres making them suitable for grass and turf.
Find Out More About the Best Golf Buggies at All-Electric Vehicles
As you can see the key difference between a road-ready vehicle and a golf buggy is its safety features. That said, golf buggies also don’t have the same capacity and power as other cars. They don’t go as quickly, and they wouldn’t withstand a severe collision with another, larger vehicle.
While you can’t use your golf buggy to get to and from work every day, there are occasions where a golf cart is suitable. Of course, you can use it on the golf course. But, you can also operate one on some private residences and commercial properties.
In the meantime, are you considering buying a golf buggy? If so, why not check out our range at All Electric Vehicles? We offer everything from golf carts to golf cart accessories, so visit us today!