Hamo ditches six-seaters

Whitsunday Times - - LOCAL NEWS - By Lucy Smith

HAMIL­TON Is­land has stopped us­ing six-seater petrol bug­gies, fol­low­ing a crash that left a woman and her baby in a crit­i­cal state and five oth­ers in­jured.

Hamil­ton Is­land En­ter­prises chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Glenn Bourke said he made the de­ci­sion to cease use of the six-seater bug­gies the same af­ter­noon as the ac­ci­dent oc­curred in March.

“I made a de­ci­sion to try and change the prac­tices here,” he said.

Mr Bourke said about 600 two- and four-seater bug­gies re­mained on the is­land.

He said about 90% of those were the safer model of elec­tric bug­gies, which can drive a max­i­mum of 20km/h.

“I feel like a buggy is still the safest kind of ve­hi­cle that we could have around Hamil­ton Is­land,” he said.

“We’ve had quite a ter­ri­ble ac­ci­dent, but if we had nor­mal ve­hi­cles here, I’m sure we’d have more ac­ci­dents than we cur­rently have.”

Mr Bourke said the Depart­ment of Trans­port and Main Roads had re­cently re­newed a li­cence that al­lowed peo­ple to drive bug­gies on the is­lands’ roads.

A spokesman said the depart­ment had not rec­om­mended the is­land stop us­ing golf bug­gies.

“We sup­port the use of golf bug­gies on the is­land, pro­vided they meet the re­quire­ments of the con­di­tional reg­is­tra­tion scheme, and fol­low the Queens­land road rules, as roads on Hamil­ton Is­land are pub­lic roads,” the spokesman said.

In Queens­land, bug­gies may only be reg­is­tered for lim­ited op­er­a­tions on roads or road re­lated ar­eas, in­clud­ing Hamil­ton Is­land, un­der the Con­di­tional Reg­is­tra­tion Scheme.

Golf bug­gies op­er­at­ing on road or road re­lated ar­eas must com­ply with the Queens­land Road Rules and drivers must be li­censed.

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