House Bill 404, known as the “Golf Cart” Bill, was introduced into the Transportation Committee today in Frankfort.
For those who are not aware, this bill is custom tailored for UPS to allow the company to deliver packages via golf carts in residential areas, most notably during peak season. A representative from UPS was present at the committee hearing to testify in favor of this legislation.
Teamsters Local 89 strongly opposes HB 404 due to the increased safety risk it poses to our members, and the financial harm it will do to our UPS package car driver members. While language is in the National Master Agreement that allows for the delivery of packages via golf carts, that language was intended for use in small communities where golf carts are a normal form of transportation. Florida, for instance, has golf cart use during peak season in gated communities where it is common for home owners to use such vehicles for travel. Such personal vehicles may be safe to use in small communities such as these, but they are certainly not common or expected by motorists in Kentucky. Golf carts used for package delivery in major cities like Louisville or Lexington, even in small neighborhoods, would still be traveling on the same roads as cars and trucks, which could result in serious injury or even death if a wreck were to occur. We have attached a YouTube link below to a video showing a crash test featuring a golf cart very similar to the type UPS uses. As you will see from the video, a wreck involving a car or truck and one of these golf carts would be catastrophic.
Further, most areas where these golf carts are used during peak season are in much warmer areas of the country. In Florida it is common for temperatures to remain in the 60’s during December, whereas here in Kentucky we face severely cold temperatures, rain, snow, and sleet. These are conditions which no one driving a golf cart should be required to work in, as these personal vehicles are not built for such weather.
Finally, the use of golf carts would be a financial burden upon our members. UPS hires part-time “helpers” during peak season to drive these golf carts, allowing them to pay package delivery members at a rate of $15 per hour as opposed to the much higher rates that full-time, professional package car drivers make.
In short, the use of golf carts to deliver packages in Kentucky is unsafe due to traffic and weather conditions, and would allow the company to avoid utilizing full-time package car drivers who would make significantly more money.
Teamsters Local 89 Business Agent Jay Dennis testified against this legislation; however it still passed out of committee. It will soon go to the House floor for a vote, possibly as early as tomorrow. While we do have several friends in Frankfort attempting to amend the bill to make it far safer than it currently is, the best possible scenario for our members would be for HB 404 to be defeated in its entirety.
Please take the time to call 1-800-372-7181 between the hours of 8AM-4PM and ask to speak to your State Representative and tell them to VOTE NO to House Bill 404!