13 NCAC 15 .0429 GO KARTS
(a) Go Kart Design. All go karts shall comply with the following standards.
(1) Numbering of Go Karts. Each shall be provided an identifying number that can be easily seen by the operator. A corresponding number shall be stamped or attached to the frame of the go kart.
(2) Speed. Go kart speed shall not exceed the maximum speed for which the track is designed. The speed of adult go karts shall be set not to exceed 28 miles per hour unless approved by the Department. Kiddie go karts shall not exceed 10 miles per hour. When a go kart is designed to permit the readjustment of its maximum speed, the means of adjustment shall not be accessible to the driver of the go kart.
(3) Seats, Seat Belts and Shoulder Straps. All go karts shall meet one of the following requirements:
(A) The seat, back rest, and leg area shall be designed to retain the driver/occupants inside the go kart in the event of a rollover or a collision at the front, rear, or side of the go kart; or
(B) The go kart shall be equipped with seat belts and shoulder straps mounted in a manner that will restrain the occupant(s) in the vehicle in case of a collision or rollover. Properly mounted safety harnesses as effective as seat belts and shoulder straps may be substituted for seat belts and shoulder straps.
(4) Occupancy. Go karts shall be occupied by only one person at a time unless the go kart is designed and equipped with a seat and safety belt system that is intended for and is suitable for two persons.
(5) Guarding of Parts. Rotating, moving, hot engine or muffler parts shall be guarded to prevent contact or entanglement of the occupant's hair, clothing, or other body parts.
(6) Brakes. Go karts shall have a braking system designed and adjusted to permit them to be brought to a complete stop within 40 feet from maximum speed with their maximum weight on board.
(7) Brake and Throttle Controls. Go karts shall have brake and throttle controls that are readily recognizable as to their function. The operator shall also instruct each driver on the operation of the brake and throttle controls before each operation. The controls shall return automatically to their non‑operational position when released.
(8) Padding of Exposed Protruding Components. Go karts shall have their steering wheel hub and all other protruding exposed parts within the driving compartment padded to minimize the risk of injury to an occupant in the event of a collision or overturn.
(9) Roll Bars and Head Rests. All adult go karts must be provided with a roll bar of sufficient height and strength to provide the occupant with protection in the event of a roll over. Seats of all go karts must be provided with a padded head rest. The head rest may substitute as a roll bar if it is of sufficient height and strength.
(10) Bumpers. Go karts shall be provided with bumpers or energy absorption body parts.
(11) Wheel Guards. The wheels of every go kart shall be enclosed or guarded in such a manner that the wheels of another go kart cannot interlock with or ride over them.
(12) Fuel Tanks. Go kart fuel tanks shall be designed and mounted so that the tank cannot be ruptured in the event of a collision or a roll over.
(13) Noise Level. Go karts shall be provided with muffler systems capable of limiting sound from the engine to 75 dBA when measured at a distance of 50 feet from the outer edge of the go kart track.
(b) Track Design. Plans for proposed construction of go kart tracks in the State of North Carolina shall be submitted to the North Carolina Department of Labor, Elevator and Amusement Device Division, 1101 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, North Carolina 27699, before construction begins. Buildings on the track site must be submitted to the local building inspection agency for approval. The design of the track shall be consistent with go kart manufacturer's recommendations for the speed of the go kart and be approved by the department. The following requirements for track layout, track surface and track materials contained in Paragraphs (c), (d) and (e), of this Rule, shall be complied with before certificates of operation will be issued.
(c) Track Layout. Go kart tracks may be oval shaped or of road course configurations. They may not be constructed in the shape of a figure eight or have any cross connected points. Straight portions of the track shall be flat except that 2 degrees of banking may be provided for drainage. The width of all tracks shall be a minimum of 16 feet wide. Road courses may continue the same width for their entire length. Oval tracks shall have turns at least five feet wider than the straight portions and the minimum radius of the turns shall be 15 feet. Turns of oval tracks may be banked to a maximum of one inch for each one foot of track width. Any variation from the minimum track width shall be approved in advance, in accordance with 13 NCAC 15 .0107.
(d) Track Surface. A go kart track shall have a hard smooth surface. It shall provide sufficient road grip to be driven throughout the course at maximum speed. It shall be free of obstacles such as holes or bumps, or water or oil.
(e) Track Materials. Materials used in the surfacing of go kart tracks shall be asphalt, concrete, or other solid and binding materials. Proposals to use dirt track surfaces shall be submitted for special consideration and evaluation, in accordance with 13 NCAC 15 .0107.
(f) Track Safety and Guarding.
(1) Barriers. Every go kart track shall provide properly constructed barriers along the entire course on both inside and outside of the track. Barriers shall be so constructed that a go kart colliding with a barrier at maximum speed will come to a safe stop or be guided back to the track. Earthen berms may be used as a barrier provided they will stop a go kart safely. Bales of hay, straw, or other materials capable of being ignited may not be used as a barrier.
(2) Track Lanes. White or yellow lines, at least four inches wide, shall mark all inside and outside edges of the track.
(3) Fencing. The outside perimeter of a go kart track shall be protected by a fence at least 48 inches in height. The fence shall be set back at least 36 inches from the inside face of the track barrier. Gates shall be located for easy supervision by track attendants when the facility is open and they shall be kept locked when it is closed. The fence may be omitted where natural barriers provide the same degree of protection as the fence. Where two separate tracks are operated inside a single perimeter fence all go karts on both tracks shall start and stop at the same time.
(4) Fire Extinguishers. Every go kart track shall be equipped with ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers. The extinguishers shall have a minimum capacity of five pounds, in accordance with NFPA 10 – Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers. At least one extinguisher shall be located in the following locations:
(A) Within seventy feet of every track section;
(B) In each pit area;
(C) In each refueling stop;
(D) In each go kart storage area; and
(E) In the maintenance shop.
Each fire extinguisher location shall be prominently marked and the extinguisher shall be easily accessible.
(5) Refueling Area. Refueling of go karts shall be carried out at a designated area remote from any area accessible to the public. Refueling areas shall comply with the requirements of the NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code, Sections 510, 511, and 514.
(6) Track Lighting. Go kart tracks equipped for night operation shall have sufficient illumination at all sections of the track for drivers to be able to negotiate the entire course safely. It shall also be sufficient for operators to monitor the go karts on each section of the course. Lighting shall comply with the NFPA 70 - National Electrical Code and all other state and local requirements.
(7) Pits or Pit Areas. Where provided, pits must be fenced or provided with a sufficient barrier to prohibit the entry of spectators. Pits shall have separate entrance and exit lanes.
(8) Spectator Areas. Spectator areas shall be separated from the track and pit areas by a fence or barrier sufficient to withstand the impact of a go kart traveling at full speed. It shall be approximately level and free of holes or debris.
(f) Track Operation. The following standards of operation shall apply to electric or fuel powered go karts, dune buggies, auto racers, and all terrain vehicles.
(1) All go karts must start and stop operation at the same time or a separate pit area shall be provided for loading and unloading purposes.
(2) Drivers of adult go karts must be at least 48 inches (4 feet) tall and have a leg length sufficient to reach the brake and throttle controls when seated.
(3) Drivers of kiddie go karts shall not exceed 54 inches (4 feet 6 inches) tall and must have a leg length sufficient to reach the brake and throttle controls when seated.
(4) Adult go karts and kiddie go karts shall not be operated simultaneously on the same track.
(5) No go kart may be operated when weather conditions are such that it may affect the safe operation of the go kart or when visibility on the track is less than 150 feet.
(6) Each section of a go kart track shall be monitored during the time that any go kart is in operation. Monitoring shall be by direct visual contact by the operator or track attendants or by electronic visual surveillance.
(7) A go kart that is losing oil or fuel shall be immediately removed from the track.
(8) When the noise level of any go kart exceeds the requirements of Subparagraph (a)(13) of this Rule, it shall be immediately removed from the track until it has been repaired.
(9) Safety equipment such as helmets (when used) and seat restraints shall be utilized in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations for the type of use or operation and be of correct size for the person using it.
(10) Persons with hair longer than shoulder length or wearing loose clothing that could obstruct the vision of the driver or become entangled in any moving part shall not be permitted to drive or ride a go kart. Hair that is longer than shoulder length may be tied up to reduce its length.
(11) Persons whose behavior appears to be impaired by such as the use of drugs or alcohol shall not be permitted to drive a go kart.
(12) Smoking shall not be permitted within 30 feet of a go kart.
(13) Track regulations shall not permit persons to leave their go karts while any go kart is in operation on the track.
(14) Signs containing the following information and other track regulations shall be posted at the track entrance or ticket window and conspicuously in the pit area.
(A) To drive or ride an adult go kart you must be at least 48 inches tall.
(B) To drive a kiddie go kart you may not be taller than 54 inches.
(C) Keep both hands on the wheel at all times.
(D) Keep both feet inside the go kart.
(E) Hair longer than shoulder length must be tied up.
(F) All loose clothing must be tucked in.
(G) No smoking within 30 feet of a go kart.
(H) Do not leave the go kart while on the track.
(15) Signs that indicate the direction of travel for go karts shall be posted intermittently around the track perimeter.
(g) Inspections and Maintenance. Tracks and go karts shall be inspected and maintained for a safe operation at all times. The following inspections shall be made:
(1) The track shall be inspected daily for potholes, bumps or loose material. Necessary repairs shall be made before opening the track.
(2) Daily inspections shall be made on each go kart prior to operation. The inspection shall include:
(A) Wheel and tires;
(B) Steering mechanism;
(C) Frame welds;
(D) Axles and spindles;
(E) Safety belts, roll bars, and seat padding;
(F) Gasoline tank, lines and valves;
(G) Brake and throttle operation; and
(H) Exhaust systems.
(3) Go kart maintenance shall be performed as recommended by the go kart manufacturer.
History Note: Authority G.S. 95‑111.4;
Eff. May 1, 1992;
Amended Eff. February 1, 2005.