Author Topic: No such thing....  (Read 113 times)

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
No such thing....
« on: June 16, 2017, 10:15:25 AM »
My rich BIL bought an allegedly street legal golf cart for over $10,000 in Arizona.  Since I'm both poor and tight, I have been fixing up my old junky golf cart and decided to make it street legal.  My understanding, at least in AZ, is that DOT tires, windshield, headlamps, tail lamps, turn signals, stop lights, horn, seat belts, reflectors would basically give me a street legal golf cart.  I have found that there is technically no such thing as a "street legal" golf cart.  The NHTSA officially classifies golf carts as "LSV''s or low speed vehicles, capable of speeds less than 25 mph.  Anything faster than that is considered a motor vehicle and is subject to all the safety nonsense of real cars.

Low speed vehicles may be operated on roads with posted speed limit of less than 35 mph.  Said vehicle may, however, cross a roadway with a  greater posted speed limit, but not at an intersection (?).  In Missouri, you can only do this if you call it a "personal aid vehicle" like an electric wheelchair.  Technically, in Missouri, if a cop wants to be nasty about it, he can haul both your can and your buggy in for operating it on a public road, period.  My understanding, subject to my being plain wrong, is that in AZ, you can register and license your buggy.  The NHTSA has started recognizing the plausibility of operating golf carts for short trips, as they are easier to park, easier on roads, do not run fast so are generally safer and save energy and the environment. 

This begs the question of why do they sell "street legal" golf carts for the big money when there is TECHNICALLY no such thing as a street legal golf cart?  So, after I go to all the trouble and expense of equipping my buggy with "street legal" equipment, and have an operators' license, I am just as much vulnerable to a cop on a mission as a ten-year old out for a joy ride on dad's four wheeler.   ???

Misssouri Revised Statutes 304.034.1 states that one may operate a golf cart or motorized wheel chair on public roads with posted speed limits of less than 35 mph.  The local Highway Patrol has advised me and others to not let them catch us or we get a ticket for operating an illegal motor vehicle with perhaps no proof of financial responsibility and no registration.  Tractors and combines can run wherever they want.  I see their point on one hand.  Kids riding on golf carts and four wheelers with no adult supervision is rampant on weekends.  Parents party and let the kids run loose.  I just want to ride around our little resort area here and be as compliant with safety and personal responsibility as I can.  But, jeez, they make it hard on you just because they can sometimes.
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

Harbourmaster

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2162
  • Long Beach, CA 90808
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2017, 01:33:24 PM »
It's for your own good ya know?


If someone in a pickup or Cadillac hits you while your driving that thing you might as well be on foot for all the "protection" that you might get from the cart.
-- Aloha, Ken

No Console Left Behind!

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2017, 06:44:39 PM »
OK, a dissenting view on "all the safety nonsense of real cars."  My Dad was a physician, a surgeon in the days before they had specialized ER docs, so he was the one who got called in a 3 a.m. to deal with people who hit trees or other cars at 90 m.p.h.--or even those who had accidents that were just accidents.  He saw first-hand what happened to the human body inside a metal and glass box.  He bought the "padded dash" option and had seat belts installed when they were not a standard feature.  He drove very cautiously.  One time he explained to me what happens when your head goes through a windshield.  In those pre-restraint days, the head often went part way through the windshield, which is safety glass with the plastic film sandwiched in.  After hour head is partway through, you sink back and the windshield hole closes up like a Chinese finger trap. The scalp ends up on the outside.

For some reason, we kids listened to this parental line of talk.  We may have ignored other good sense, but we wore our seatbelts all the time, every time.  (At least one of us continued to drive like a bat out of hell until gas prices spiked).

But please, no mocking of the auto safety movement, which has paid big benefits for all of us.

Chris Campbell

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2017, 10:35:59 PM »
Safety equipment on cars is not nonsense.  My intention was to point out the futility of trying to equip a golf cart with the safety equipment found on modern cars.  I certainly apologize for the misunderstanding. 

There is a lot of polarized thinking about golf carts.  One side says they are unsafe nuisances.  One side says they are a cheap, economical way to jitney about, wave at your neighbors without having to actually walk anywhere.  If a person has mobility issues, a golf cart is a good way to get out and see the neighborhood, that might be impossible or very difficult otherwise.  Like anything else, it depends on how they are operated and by whom.  True, a collision between a car and a golf cart does not generally have a good outcome for the golf cart rider.  The only problem we have really had is our ten-year-old neighbor girl put her grandma in the lake one time when she failed to stop for the boat ramp.  And a couple old gals got liquored up and wrapped their Gator around a tree.  Neither survived.  This last incident has the sheriff's department riding herd on the four wheeler operators.  And then warning golf cart owners that they were next if we did not mind our manners.  We have a ball with out old golf cart and my little white mutt companion is always on the seat when he is outside, ready to go. 

My point with this thread is the understanding and discovery that there is not such thing as a street legal golf cart.  A golf cart is federally mandated to run no more than 25 MPH.  The golf cart manufacturing industry and the environmentalists got together and came up with a tax credit scheme that would allow a person to claim a tax credit if they purchased an electric "street legal" golf cart.  They can't be operated on public roads with a speed limit of more than 35 mph.  Having DOT tires is not necessary, because the "Not for highway service" tires on golf carts are good for 25 mph.  DOT tires are good for speeds above 25 mph and possibly greater load ratings.  So a "street legal" golf cart is no more legal and no more practical than a regular old golf cart equipped with safety equipment mandated by the NHTSA.  I'm told that some street legal buggies have four wheel brakes, but I am not sure that is mandated.  Two wheel "operational" brakes with a parking brake is all that is required by the NHTSA as far as I know.

The bottom line is that as long as a golf cart is operated on streets with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less and they are equipped as stated above and driven by a licensed driver in a prudent manner, there is really little law enforcement can do to stop their use.  Four wheelers can be used the same way for "agricultural" use.  As long as you are out to slop your hogs you can ride a four wheeler all you want around here.  The problem the sheriff has with four wheelers is that many of them travel faster than 25 mph.  These are considered motor vehicles which need to be licensed, registered and insured.  Therein lies the rub.  Nobody does that around here.
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

19and41

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 251
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #4 on: June 17, 2017, 09:21:45 PM »
It appears insurance or bonding might be the ticket to road use as opposed to making your cart DOT compliant.  It makes me wonder what measures the Amish have to undertake to get street legal.
"Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke

electra225

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1482
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2017, 06:29:50 PM »
Around here at least Amish buggies are considered "farm vehicles" like a tractor or combine.  They have a "slow moving vehicle" triangle on the back of their horse-drawn vehicles.  Federal rules classify an electric wheelchair, scooter or golf cart as an "LSV" or low speed vehicle.  I never see anyone on a wheelchair or scooter on the road, so I can't speak to those.  Folks riding four-wheelers and golf carts on the roads around here have gotten considerable local press and discussion.  The "anti" folks want them all banned pronto, period.  The "pro" crowd intends to enforce their "rights".  The problem is, nobody knows what the law is.  The law is very clear and will eliminate any misunderstandings if people will only get off their soapboxes long enough to listen and learn a little.  Just equip your buggy with safety equipment including lights, and keep your damned kids from driving them without a license and nobody will be put out.   The "street legal golf cart" moniker is both true and untrue.  True from the standpoint that any golf cart, properly equipped, can be driven on public roads with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.  Untrue from the standpoint that even spending over ten grand on an "alternate fueled" vehicle will still not allow you to drive your "street legal" golf cart on roads with a posted speed limit greater than 35 mph.  This reflects our local ordinances and state laws.  Other parts of the country may be different.
If it ain't broke, call me.  I can break it....

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2017, 11:13:54 PM »
As in much of life, it's the jerks and fools who make things hard for the rest of us.  I commute to work on a bicycle year round.  I can do that because it's not very far, and because studded tires are legal for bikes in MI (nyaa, nyaa, car drivers!). I mostly comply with the laws.  Ride in the street.  Stop for lights and stop signs [OK, I'll roll through a stop sign from time to time]. Use arm turn signals [except that when I want to turn right, I point right--technically, I have to use the left arm, but that's so dumb on a bicycle]. Use lights.  Wear helmet. 

And now it's tourist season, and all the tourists are pedaling around, riding the wrong way, riding on sidewalks, riding without helmets.  Some of their maneuvers are so incredibly dumb that they enrage car drivers, and the rest of us pay the price.

Chris Campbell

Motorola Minion

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 499
  • Southern Pennsylvania
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2017, 04:14:05 PM »
It appears insurance or bonding might be the ticket to road use as opposed to making your cart DOT compliant.  It makes me wonder what measures the Amish have to undertake to get street legal.

After moving 20 years ago, we are surrounded by Amish. Those buggies, while having minimal safety equipment, must have the triangle reflector. if they're out at night, head and marker lights comparable to a motorized vehicle. Improvements are ongoing with LED lights on almost all carriages anymore. Believe it or not, the gray buggies seen in our area go for $5000 or more. Going to a horse auction is amusing as it sounds like the announcer is talking about a car. Nice family horse, ran him/her up to (place 30 miles away) with no hair-raising moments and only gentle pulls on reins kept it straight. Not excitable when there is lots of pedestrians, bikes or obnoxiously noisy motorcyclists...

Many times, I will be in the garage and hear the thump-thump of a sub-woofer go by, slowly, and when I look I can see the buggy lights dim to the beat. Rumspringa is in high season here ya know.
Tubes - Magical - Tubes

Dave

TC Chris

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 714
    • View Profile
Re: No such thing....
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2017, 07:59:31 PM »
I regularly pass through an Amish area here in northern lower Michigan, usually after dark.  Most of the buggies are pretty well lighted.  But then, I'm sober, and it seems to be the drunks who collide with them.  What's interesting is that my first reaction is always "what on earth is that... it's something odd."  There are lights, but they are moving slowly. 

Chris Campbell