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Center Identification Number: 415-14

Project Title: Low-Speed Vehicle (LSV) & Golf Cart Safety Training

Principal Investigator:
Jennifer Hardin, Research Associate
USF Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR)

Center for Urban Transportation Research
University of South Florida
Tampa, Florida

External Project Contact:

I. Project Objective

To provide general guidance on applicable regulations and requirements related to the use of golf carts and other low-speed vehicles (LSVs) as a means of alternative transportation.  To develop training materials that provide instructions on when and where such vehicles may be used, vehicle specification requirements, "rules of the road," and instruction related to the safe operation of these vehicles.

II. Project Abstract

Recent national and state legislation throughout the United States permits the operation of LSVs on certain roadways.  This legislation provides confirmation that LSVs (including neighborhood electric vehicles) and golf carts are becoming increasingly popular forms of alternative transportation in a number of specific settings, such as retirement communities and on university campuses, as well as for many population segments throughout the United States, such as suburban residents.  The popularity of LSVs and golf carts can be expected to increase as fuel costs continue to rise.  The use of these vehicles may benefit public safety in many ways, such as making areas more pedestrian-friendly by decreasing the number of vehicles traveling on roadways, reducing emissions, and providing a mobility alternative for individuals who are not able to or are uncomfortable driving a personal vehicle.  However, in many instances, the individuals operating these vehicles do not receive any training related to the safe operation of LSVs or golf carts and do not have knowledge of the safety regulations and requirements governing the use of these vehicles.  As a result, injuries to vehicle operators and/or pedestrians may occur as these vehicles share space with personal vehicles and pedestrians.  This project seeks to close this gap by developing comprehensive training materials that address issues related to the safe operation of LSVs and golf carts in the community transportation context.

III. Task Descriptions

It is anticipated that this project will consist of three primary tasks, including:

Task 1 Review of Literature and Regulations

In this task, the investigators will review all pertinent studies on the use and operation of LSVs and golf carts as a transportation alternative to the personal automobile.  In addition, all applicable national and state legislation related to this topic will be reviewed and summarized for inclusion in the training modules developed in Task 2.

Task 2 Develop Pilot Training Components

Task 2 consists of the development of pilot training materials related to the safe operation of LSVs and golf carts as a form of alternative transportation.  The training materials will cover all pertinent state and federal guidelines on the operation of these vehicles.  In addition, the materials will address the safe operation of these vehicles including "rules of the road," required personal qualifications, vehicle equipment requirements, right-of-way policy, and recommended actions to safeguard personal and vehicle safety.  All training materials developed will be based on the regulations and procedures outlined in Federal and state law.  The training materials will include PowerPoint slides, an associated script, and may also include video clips illustrating primary issues related to the safe operation of LSVs and golf carts.

Task 3 Compile Training Materials

The training materials developed in Task 2 will be compiled for distribution in multiple formats.  A printed version of the safety training PowerPoint slides and an associated script will be developed to assist individuals, organizations, and/or communities in providing training related to the safe operation of LSVs and golf carts.  In addition, the training materials will be compiled on a master CD-ROM that also may include audio narrative and video clips illustrating relevant safety issues and procedures.

Deliverable: One printed copy of safety training PowerPoint slides and an associated narrative script and one master CD-ROM containing safety training materials.

IV. Student Involvement

Students will be used to assist in the literature and regulation review and preparation of training materials.

V. Relationship to Other Research Projects

This project will directly draw on the experience and knowledge gained through previous research conducted by CUTR related to the use of LSVs and golf carts as an alternative means of transportation.

VI. Technology Transfer Activities

The results of this analysis will be provided to the National Transportation Clearinghouses.  Information also will be made available on the NCTR website and through presentations at local and national conferences.

VII. Potential Benefits of the Project 

The benefits of the project include the promotion and provision of a safer environment for individuals who use and/or share the roads with LSVs and golf carts.  In addition, promotion of the safe operation of these vehicles will facilitate greater use of this form of transportation alternative.

VIII. TRB Keywords

Low-speed vehicles, neighborhood electric vehicles, golf carts, safety, training, alternative transportation


National Center for Transit Research at the Center For Urban Transportation Research University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Ave., CUT100 Tampa, FL 33620-5375 (813) 974-3120 (813) 974-5168 Comments: