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Go-Kart Snapshot

A go-kart is an amusement ride or device, which meets all of the following specifications: the device is a single vehicle, unattached to other vehicles or a common frame system, which is powered without connection to a common energy source, which is driver controlled with respect to acceleration, speed, braking, and steering, which operates within the containment system of a defined track, and which simulates competitive motor sports, which is used by members of the general public for a fee. A concession go-kart has a maximum capacity of two persons and no cargo capacity.

Go-karts are a unique class of amusement rides. One of the primary distinguishing factors separating a go-kart from a typical amusement ride is that the patron can participate and affect the outcome of the ride. The driver finds themselves on an oval (or similar) track without street signs, lane dividers, stop signs, or light signals. It's immediate action. Depress the accelerator pedal and off you go, go, go! Your time elapses and you exit into the pit. Your ride has finished.

Many go-kart tracks allow a mixed age group of drivers on the track at the same time. Some with drivers licenses and others without.

You will find a wide range of driving behaviors on a go-kart track. This factor will not be much different than driving on any public highway. Some drivers will be aggressive and others passive. Go-Kart drivers tailgate, cut drivers off, but unlike the highway, some will even bump and hit other go-karts much like they do when driving "bumper cars." The attention of the go-kart track operator is essential to a safe operation. Experience has taught us that unchecked aggressive driving behavior by a patron is a contributing factor in many accidents.

Accidents can occur from any combination of factors but the more common injuries associated with the go-karting industry are related to on track kart bumping, pit collisions, spin outs where go-karts impact each other, and track rail impacts.

Track layout and design features can enhance safety characteristics of the operation. Operators must be properly trained, they must know when to admonish and/or eject drivers, they should be positioned to observe and respond to on track situations requiring attention immediately, and they must remain attentive to the action on the track and in the pit area. Clear and concise operational instructions, safety messages and directional information are essential to maintaining safety at the operation. Maintenance of the go-karts including properly working and fitted restraint mechanisms and the proper use of interior compartment padding to protect against driver and passenger impact points are essential.

American Society for Testing and Materials - ASTM F-24 Amusement Rides and Devices, Designation: F 2007-00

Copyright © ASTM, 100 Barr Harbor Drive, West Conshohocken, PA 19428-2959, United States. http://www.astm.org

 

Minimum Safety

Go-karts and track operations including the pit should be properly designed, operated and maintained. Manufacturer’s recommendations, operating instructions, safety inspection protocols and maintenance procedures must be followed. The operation must be supervised at all times by properly trained personnel that understand and enforce the required safe practices. Applicable laws, standards and industry safe practices must be followed.