More US Drivers Take Swing at Golf Carts

Popularity soars, but safety issues could sideline vehicles
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 2, 2008 5:04 PM CDT
One golf cart devotee praised the vehicles as an alternative to cars. "There's no noise, no checking the oil or how much gas you've got," he said. "You just get on and go."   (Index Stock)
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(Newser) – Faced with high fuel prices, many Americans are leaving the hot rod at home and  zipping around town in golf carts. But the country club staple’s trip from the fairway to Main Street hasn't been entirely smooth, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette reports. Rules governing their use vary from municipality to municipality, and as safety concerns grow, law-enforcement agencies are being forced to rethink the rules of the road.

Many states require golf carts to have horns, turn signals, lights, and safety belts, and operators must have a valid driver’s license. Still, about 1,000 Americans are injured each month on the carts, which can cost as much as $8,000, the AP reports. “They can be quite dangerous, especially when used on public roads,” said one researcher.