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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UAEureka: March 20, 2012

Q: Do you need a driver’s license to drive a golf cart on campus?

A: It depends, but typically yes. If you want to drive a golf cart owned by and registered with the UA, then you have to have a driver’s license — it’s UA policy, according to John Murphy, fleet safety officer with Risk Management Services. This is because UA golf carts can operate on roads in addition to sidewalks and various campus areas. People who drive privately owned golf carts do not need a driver’s license to operate their vehicle if they are not driving it on the road, making it very hard to get on or around campus, Murphy said.

Those who do could get a ticket for driving a non-registered vehicle.

“That would be like if you’re operating a quad or something similar without a license plate,” he said. “It’s not supposed to be on the road.”

As far as UA golf carts are concerned, Risk Management requires that all of them be “street legal,” meaning they must be equipped with all the things a normal vehicle has, said David Heineking, director of Parking and Transportation Services. This includes having things like turn signals, brake lights and windshields.

Typically, UA golf carts are for department use only, said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, public information officer with the University of Arizona Police Department. However, if a UA community member needs to use a golf cart on campus, they can register as a driver on Risk Management’s website. From there, Risk Management will check the applicant’s license record and check to see if the individual meets Risk Management’s standards and requirements, Murphy said.

Although drivers do not currently need to take a university golf cart training course in order to operate their carts on campus, they will need to do so in the coming weeks. Risk Management is in the process of implementing a Utility Cart Training Program at the UA, and the program aims to help ensure a safer campus by educating drivers on the potential hazards posed by operating these vehicles. This training will be required for all persons operating both electric and gas-powered vehicles, including golf carts, Murphy said.

But why exactly would one want to use a golf cart to get around campus?

It’s simple, Murphy said — it helps people get around campus and go to places that vehicles cannot. Golf carts are allowed to operate on both roads and sidewalks, giving them a greater flexibility, Murphy said. The UA also uses them for landscaping purposes.

“Basically, we use them everywhere,” Murphy added. “It just makes it easier for people to get around.”

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