Buckle up! Hundreds of seat belts installed in Sun City golf carts

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SUN CITY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

You've heard of putting seat belts in school buses. Well, how about in golf carts?

On Tuesday morning in Sun City, The Retirement Community Association installed some 500 seat belts on Sun City golf carts.

Association members teamed up with the Sheriff's Posse of Sun City and MCSO Deputies to install the belts. Deputies also offered free safety inspections on all golf carts.

Seat belts were installed free on the driver's side, and there was a $10 charge for a second seat belt. Folks in golf carts lined up for blocks to take advantage of the program.

Organizers of the program stress that seat belts can save lives and help people avoid serious injuries. Hitting a curb even at 5-10 miles per hour, without a seat belt, can throw the driver and passenger onto the pavement head first.

With the smaller but very popular vehicles often sharing a road with conventional private passenger cars and commercial vehicles in Sun City, an accident could well leave an elderly golf-cart driver with severe, if not fatal injuries.

Lucky Marr, a spokesman for the Community Retirement Association, is among those who have added seat belts to golf carts. "Hopefully it's going to keep you in the cart, providing you wear them,” he says.

There have been several golf cart accidents involving serious injuries and even deaths in Sun City in past years. But Marr says that federal law does not mandate a vehicle under 1,000 pounds be equipped with seat belts. And new golf carts are not necessarily sold with them. But he says that more and more new owners are asking for them.