Ask the Expert (Campus Fleet Vehicles)

Are golf carts a potential liability on campus?

Golf carts are designed specifically for golf courses, but they are not street legal. Therefore, they can’t be driven on community streets. That means that many college campuses have their golf carts driving down streets illegally. This leaves the only option of driving on sidewalks where they are a liability to distracted students who are rushing from class to class, texting their friends, or using earbuds.

Students belong on sidewalks and motor vehicles belong on streets. With hundreds to thousands of distracted students, golf carts whizzing down the sidewalk in a rush to get to the next job can create a perfect storm for potential accidents and campus liabilities.

Low-speed vehicles (LSVs) are street-legal, motorized vehicles that are limited to 25 mph and have a maximum gross vehicle weight of 3,000 lbs. Being street legal means they have seat belts, automotive-grade windshields, windshield wipers, turn signals, headlights, back-up cameras, rearview mirrors, side-view mirrors, SAE test-certified roofs, all-forward facing seats, etc. A majority of LSVs are also 100-percent electric, making them more environmentally friendly and sustainable for the campus fleet budget.

LSVs can do everything a golf cart can do and much more. Utility fleets have cargo capacities approaching 1,500 lbs. and a wide variety of customizable accessories to fit your maintenance and repair needs. Passenger versions can carry 2 to 6 people, giving you the ability to shuttle your VIPs, students, and parents taking campus tours.

As fleet managers are evaluating their fleet composition and making regular vehicle replacement purchases, think safety first and consider an all-electric LSV option.

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2018 issue of College Planning & Management.

About the Author

Troy Engel is the marketing specialist Polaris Industries – GEM. He can be reached at troy.engel@polaris.com.

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