Cart users risk injury to kids in car seats

Tue, 07/10/2007 - 3:49pm
By: Letters to the ...

Over the past (approximately) one month period, the Peachtree City Fire Department has had the sad responsibility of airlifting four patients ejected from golf carts due to varying degrees of inattention, reckless behavior and lack of familiarity with the law.

Please know that there are no golf cart or children’s car seat manufacturers who advocate the use of or installation of child automobile safety seats in a golf cart and, be assured, your experts, the fire department, agree whole-heartedly with the industry stated position.

Please note the fact that golf carts are not designed with rollover protection or with the necessary hard points to safely and adequately secure a car seat. You place yourself and your passengers in serious, potential danger, if you disregard these factors. A cart in any position other than upright, due to speed, collision or other operator errors, offers little or no safe haven to an occupant.

Please don’t ask our state-certified car seat technicians to imperil your loved ones with assistance installing inadequate and inappropriately rigged bungee cords and cargo straps.

Would you purchase a 50-inch big screen television from our local Best Buy, hastily fasten it to the rear of your cart and then drive it to your home at high speed? We routinely witness the equivalent with the far, far more precious human cargo.

Please think about the possible consequences of your actions.

Les Dyer, firefighter/EMT

President, Peachtree City Volunteer Firefighters Association

Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Tue, 07/17/2007 - 5:12pm.

The article above doesn't say if seat belts caused the above injuries, or if no seat belts caused the above injuries!
No one seems to want any restraints on a golf cart, but also they want kids to ride them.
Also, they don't want one to hold their kid, saying you would fall out with him!
What do you want? Other than the standard "be careful" advice?
I still say put kids between adults, have a safety bar to hold, and hold the small ones.
If you can't or won't do that, then you will pay dearly.

Mixer's picture
Submitted by Mixer on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 5:32pm.

Submitted by timlong on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 2:44pm.

I must say it is quite sad that Peachtree still hasn't adopted belts for golf car occupants, especially for children. Tell me how is a 6 year old supposed to jump from a golf car when their legs can't even reach the floor? NHTSA referred to the theory that your better off jumping from a moving golf car than being belted in as "speculation".
Are your "experts" reviewing the recent papers published on hip restraint effectiveness? Have they read mine? Mine was published at ESV conference in Washington D.C.presented by NHTSA?. Or Mr. Seluga's paper concerning the effectiveness of the hip restraints? Have your "experts" seen my testng of a 6 year dummy being ejected from a golf car with little difficulty? I would like to know exactly what research are your experts relying on?

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 2:53pm.

I'm curious; do golf cart manufacturers provide attached points in the golf cart’s structure to attach seat belts?

Submitted by dollaradayandfound on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 3:25pm.

Golf carts aren't designed for children, period.
You must either hold them or sit on each side of them or don't take them!
People drive cars stupidly also.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 3:35pm.

but my question is, are seat belt attached points provided?

Submitted by timlong on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 3:44pm.

Belts can be installed at different attachment points depending on the golf car. The belts have to meet FMVSS 209 which doesn't require a specific anchorage point it requires a certain belt strength. There are plenty of dealers who will install them around the country and in fact are very common. The comment from the person who suggests using a child as an airbag is absolutely frightening and indicates Peachtree isn't providing their citizens with all the information.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 3:54pm.

Read FMVSS 210 for anchorage details and design requirements. This standard is only for passenger cars and above. I wonder if cart manufacturers are required to observe this.

Submitted by timlong on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 4:48pm.

The standard followed when attaching restraints is under FMVSS 500 for Low Speed Vehicles. It requires only that the belts meet 209 not 210. One of the biggest reasons to have belts in golf cars is to prevent ejection injuries, which usually translate into a severe head injury. Preventing ejection would eliminate most golf car related injuries. Palm Desert has required belts on all golf cars for 13 years have they have virtually no safety problems. Peachtree Medivac'd four people in one month!

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 5:58pm.

I'm aware of the reasons why.

I might be wrong be it appears that the subject standard is for vehicles that have a top speed of above 20 MPH. Those vehicles which are manufactured with those standards in mind will state so on the vehicle’s data plate or other informational material. Are you advocating retrofitting all existing carts to meet this standard?

Submitted by timlong on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 6:46pm.

Yes, the minimum speed is 20 mph, but if you use the golf car on a public roadway you should (actually by state law in some states) meet FMVSS 500. If your on a public roadway what difference does it make if you're top speed is 20 mph or 15? NHSTA is very clear on this that this standard is NOT meant to indicate that safety equipment is not necessary for vehicles that don't go over 20 mph. They simply wanted to avoid regulating golf cars which are meant for the golf course. But if you are using the cars on public roads, which they were not designed for (read the warnings), you better have the safety equipment. It's up to the state or local communities to set forth the minimum standards and prudent communities are requiring at least belts. It costs $50 to install belts.

Cyclist's picture
Submitted by Cyclist on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 11:09pm.

Well heck, this is a slam dunk for you as PTC code Sec. 78-91. already acknowledges 49 CFR Section 571.500 which requires seatbelts among other safety features much like the subject. Get them to enforce what's already in the book. I sure hope PTC is prepared to deal with a lot upset citizens that find their carts are no longer allowed to operate in the city. Good Luck!!!

zoes's picture
Submitted by zoes on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 8:33am.

I don't understand this. Are you saying not to put car seats in golf carts? I guess I can see why with a roll over; however, just riding along would throw a small child out in an instant. I insisted my neice ride in one (1 yr old) when they came to visit and am glad I did. What is a good and safe alternative to little ones riding in a cart? Sit on someone's lap? Age limit for cart riders? I really do want to know......

Submitted by petty on Thu, 03/26/2009 - 3:45am.

then what supposedly should children seat in golf carts? I'm a bit confused here, since safety is a factor, I think putting seat belt is a great idea. (chilton manual)

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