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Golf Carts and ADA Approval: Factors Determining Coverage

Updated: Apr 19, 2023

In part one of this two-part series, we discussed the realm of ADA approval and related concepts when it comes to golf carts. The US Department of Justice's changes to regulations within the ADA just over 10 years ago spoke to several motorized vehicle types, including golf carts, and understanding how these changes may impact you is important if you're someone with a disability who's looking into a motorized movement assist.

At Cricket Cars Direct, we're proud to offer a wide selection of golf carts and mini golf carts, and our clients are diverse -- including not just golfers, but often those looking for a convenient, comfortable transportation assist device, for which a golf cart might serve an ideal role. In part two of our series today, we'll go over some specific rules about which areas or buildings must accommodate the devices approved by the ADA, and the factors used to arrive at these decisions.

golf carts ADA approval factors

Covered Entities

As part of the ADA changes we linked to above, all "covered entities" must allow people with disabilities who use any OPDMD device to enter their premises -- unless the device cannot be accommodated due to legitimate safety concerns, which must be based on tangible risks and not simple assumptions. Covered entities typically include not only hospitals and other medical facilities, but also shopping malls, parks, and any other places the public might visit. The definition of "covered entities" is quite broad and likely includes most public places you can think of.

Here are a few types of coverage entities may fall under:

  • Full coverage: Most public entities, including all hospitals, parks and recreation areas, zoos, and schools, must fully accommodate golf carts and other OPDMD devices.

  • Partial coverage: If legitimate safety concerns cannot be accommodated, entities may be allowed to allow partial accommodations rather than full.

  • No coverage: In certain smaller public entities, certain OPDMD classes cannot be accommodated at all. This is typically due to lack of space. In these cases, the entity is still required to attempt alternative ways of serving those with disabilities, such as curbside service.

Factors Used to Assess OPDMD Accommodation

When determining which types of OPDMD devices will be allowed in a facility and which level of coverage will be permitted, a few factors will be considered:

  • Type, size, weight and dimensions of the device

  • Nature of the terrain or surface where it will be used

  • The facility's volume of pedestrian traffic, plus how it varies between peak and off-peak hours

  • The facility's design and layout

  • Any legitimate safety concerns, such as whether speed limitations or steering mechanisms will be necessary

Even after all of these factors have been considered, it's important to note that each situation is unique, and the final decision on what devices are allowed will always be made on a case-by-case basis. This is why it's so important for those who might use an OPDMD device to consult with the appropriate entity BEFORE purchasing or using a device, to ensure that they will be able to do so without issue.

For more on this, or to learn about the quality uses of our golf carts as mobility assists among many people, speak to the team at Cricket Carts Direct today.

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