Golf Cars In The News

Golf Cars to the Rescue

PHOTOGRAPHY: shutterstock / SevenMaps

County greenlights golf car transportation for Callaway School students.

In a move aimed at enhancing student health and accessibility, the Troup County Board of Commissioners has given the green light for golf cars to be utilized as a means of transport between Callaway Middle School and Callaway Elementary School on Tin Bridge Road. According to The LaGrange Daily News, the decision, made during the board’s recent meeting, comes as part of a broader initiative to provide seamless medical assistance to students in need.

The initiative focuses on facilitating the transportation of students from Callaway Middle School to the WellStar Pediatric Clinic, which is conveniently situated behind Callaway Elementary School. The clinic, established in May 2022, addresses various health requirements of the students and is part of a groundbreaking pilot program jointly funded by the Callaway Foundation, Troup County School System, and WellStar. Collaborative efforts also involve organizations like the United Way.

Safety Director Steve Heaton of the Troup County School System (TCSS) highlighted the challenges of moving students between the two schools for medical assistance. He explained that while the traditional approach involved using cars, it proved cumbersome. The introduction of golf cars is seen as a practical and efficient solution. However, due to the need to cross Tin Bridge Road, county ordinances required amendments to allow this mode of transport.

Dr. Brian Shumate, School Superintendent, detailed the evolution of the idea, which initially considered a dedicated crosswalk. However, the concept of using golf cars gained traction, leading to funding from the Callaway Foundation to procure a golf car for this purpose. The cars will be operated solely by adults and will feature safety measures such as lights and a red flag to alert other motorists. Stop signs will be installed on both sides of the intersection.

The operation of the golf cars will adhere to posted school zone speed limits, and drivers will be expected to comply with all relevant driving regulations at the federal, state, and local levels. The primary objective of this innovative approach is to grant students greater access to the clinic’s medical facilities. This access can potentially alleviate the burden on parents, who previously needed to travel to distant clinics for medical assistance, affecting both their time and their child’s education.

Dr. Shumate emphasized the significance of improving access to the clinic, aiming to elevate the utilization rate. By making medical assistance more readily available, the hope is that more students will benefit. With limited medical options in the vicinity, the initiative is a proactive response to the healthcare needs of the student population.

The clinic’s performance data underscores the importance of this venture. From September to May, the Callaway Elementary clinic served 362 students, averaging around 40.2 students per month. The clinic’s utilization peaked in February with 61 students seeking medical attention, while the lowest utilization was in September with 15 students.

The decision to approve the ordinance amendment was met with unanimity among the commissioners, reflecting the value placed on students’ well-being and accessibility to essential medical care. The outcome demonstrates the power of collaborative efforts between educational institutions, community foundations, and public authorities to create innovative solutions that positively impact students’ lives.