Nov 15, 2011
Golf buggies are a signature feature of Hamilton Island and the main form of transportation around the island. There is a free bus service and a shuttle but buggies are how many guests get around. Driving a golf buggy around the island is such a novelty it is easy to forget that they are a licensed motor vehicle deserving the same respect and care as any other vehicle (with or without doors!).
A few weeks back I saw a buggy rolling along the road then come to a stop off the roadway against a tree. Fortunately no one was injured. In fact no one was in the buggy! Having raced down with my heart in my mouth to offer assistance, I spoke with the couple who had been driving the buggy. It turned out their young daughter had been playing on the buggy and had accidentally knocked the accelerator, thus taking off the park brake. Thankfully she jumped out as the buggy started to move and was not hurt.
Then there were the two buggies I saw driving side by side up the hill, their drivers chatting and making their plans for the evening. As if the blind summit of the hill wasn’t enough, they were right outside the school gates at 3 p.m.! I was glad to see a member of the community have a quiet word with them further up the road.
Perhaps it is the holiday mood that makes drivers less careful when they are driving, or maybe it is the uniqueness of the golf buggies, but I see too many drivers who forget that buggies require the same amount of driver attention as full-size motor vehicles. While golf buggies are safe to drive 99% of the time, the consequences of inattention are the same on the roads of Hamilton Island as on the mainland.
Whether you are here for a relaxation holiday, a golf holiday or a holiday with the kids, please, drive carefully and have a safe vacation on Hamilton Island.