Cart rules: Where’s the common sense?

Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:18pm
By: Letters to the ...

To the City Council: I am all for the safety of the citizens on the cart path system, but I think that you guys are going a little too far and are legislating good, old-fashioned common sense out of driving a golf car. That said, below are some concerns that I have about the new standards for golf cars.

The subject of front braking systems for 6-passenger and larger cars has come up more than once. The ANSI/NGCMA standards dictate that the vehicle should stop within a certain distance when going a certain speed.

To meet these specs, the 6-passenger and larger vehicles will need front braking systems in addition to the rear brakes that come standard on the cars.

The ONLY golf car dealer that I have conversed with who is in favor of the installation of front brakes for stretch cars seems to be the factory authorized dealer for Club Car brand golf cars.

In fact, the only stretch golf car that is manufactured with standard front brakes is Club Car. EZGO, Yamaha, Star, and Fairplay cars do not come with standard front brakes, nor do Melex and Par-Car. EZGO offers hydraulic front disc brakes as an option, but that drives the retail price of the car well over $8,500.

I have conversed with the head of special vehicles at Yamaha and he tells me that their new car doesn’t currently have any option for front braking systems, but the older models can be retrofitted with them for a mere $1,600. (The other brands range from $1,000 to $1,300). What this means is that the ONLY stretch golf car brand that will be able to be legally sold with standard equipment is Club Car. I don’t think that is very fair to the other dealers here in town who sell the other brands of cars.

I have come to understand that it is a very difficult endeavor to install front wheel braking systems which in some cases involves welding on new support brackets or cutting the frames of the vehicles to make the braking systems fit.

I do understand that any of these cars which were built and sold to individuals prior to Jan. 1, 2006, will be “grandfathered,” but I don’t understand what happens when a dealer takes one of these cars in on trade, rebuilds it, and then re-sells the car to a new owner. Will that car then have to be fitted with a braking system for the front wheels before it can be registered in the new owner’s name?

I asked a fellow dealer what they will do if they have to retrofit a stretch trade-in. The answer was that the owner will simply be offered much less for trade to help offset the cost of adding the new braking system. This will allow them to re-sell the car at a reasonable price when it is completed.

I don’t think it is right that an owner will lose thousands of dollars worth of equity in their car because the city council passed this new law.

This brings me to the issue of “lifted” golf cars. According to the last draft of the ordinance changes that I received, there was a limit of 9 inches from the ground to the “lowest part of the frame.” A standard-issue factory golf car generally has a “frame height” of approximately 7.5-9 inches.

There are many different types of lift kits available to owners of golf cars. Each of these kits lifts the car in a different manner and although they lift the car approximately the same height, the “lowest part of the frame” will vary greatly, therefore “frame height” is not a solid number to go by.

Many of the lifted cars in town have similar heights to those found from the major manufacturers (i.e., EZGO Clays Car and Club Car XRT 550) which contain approximately 4-inch lift kits and overall heights of 74-80 inches.

Based on the EZGO Clays Car’s height, I have recommended to the city that the tallest allowable height should be 80 inches.

There are many tunnels in Peachtree City and they all seem to have different heights. The lowest tunnel, according to Peachtree City’s Public Information Officer, has a height of 78 inches. There are three other tunnels in town with heights of 80-82 inches.

My recommended solution for this, because there are many alternate routes around these tunnels, is to put a “low clearance, enter at your own risk” sign at each entrance to the tunnels. Many people have suggested to me that when an individual registers their car, they should sign a release indicating that in the event of an accident in a tunnel, the city holds no liability.

My final suggestion for the ordinances is for you to remove the line at the bottom which states “temporary suspension of all or part of this ordinance may be granted by the City Council for special events.”

If you are going to fly these changes under the banner of “public safety,” then why are you going to make special exceptions for the out-of-towners who participate in the Fourth-of-July parade, thereby “endangering” us all?

These changes are going to set the new standard in Peachtree City, and I think that they need to be reasonable and fair for ALL people. A 20 mph speed limit is a good example. However, legislating the common sense out of driving a golf car, whether lifted, stretched, or stock, is not the answer. We are all accountable for our own actions.

When you start legislating how we express ourselves and fly it under the banner of “public safety,” you start upsetting a lot of people.

John Stern
Owner, John’s Golf Car Service
Peachtree City, Ga.

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Submitted by Greg T. Madison on Sat, 10/29/2005 - 2:36pm.

I agree with you letter, as long as you arn't rigging the engine up to go faster, I see no problem with having a "cool" looking cart. But we as citizens youth and adult need to look at our selfs and see how we are driving SLOW DOWN, it's not the cart it's the driver.

ManofGreatLogic's picture
Submitted by ManofGreatLogic on Fri, 10/28/2005 - 10:05pm.

My only complaint, being a new citizen of PTC, is that teenagers drive like hell, mostly flying around corners.

Other than that, I'm having a blast.

By the way, I bought from Bulldog (PTC Golf Carts was very helpful, however, and extremely professional). Bulldog has been very helpful from the start, and even when the speed sensor went out within a couple months of purchasing a new vehicle, they didn't hesitate to service it well. I was impressed. Two great businesses.

Submitted by petty on Tue, 09/29/2009 - 12:12am.

"Bulldog has been very helpful from the start, and even when the speed sensor went out within a couple months of purchasing a new vehicle, they didn't hesitate to service it well. I was impressed. Two great businesses."

Yeah I agree with him. I used to observe teenagers when it comes to driving with high speed.

mudcat's picture
Submitted by mudcat on Sat, 10/29/2005 - 2:41pm.

Are you sure you picked the right photo out for your symbol? I would think Aristotle or Socrates or Ben Franklin. Maybe you just moved here from New Orleans.


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