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Rising gas prices prompt golf cart debate

June 23, 2008 at 7:49 PM

LEBANON, Ind., June 23 (UPI) -- Indiana cities are debating whether to create regulations for golf carts as residents drive them to conserve gas amid rising fuel costs, officials say.

As the number of people driving golf carts in town increases, city officials are trying to figure out how to handle the lack of safety laws covering the vehicles, The Indianapolis Star reported Monday.

About 1,000 Americans each month seek urgent medical care because of golf cart injuries, said Gerald McGwin, a professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Once you use them in a setting they aren't designed for -- or where they come in contact with other vehicles -- the potential for serious injuries really increases," McGwin said.

Golf carts are not considered on-road vehicles by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, meaning they are not required to meet the same safety standards as cars, the newspaper noted.

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