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Golf Carts !!!!

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There has been some excitement recently with one of the neighbors purchasing a golf cart.  If you weren't aware, the Village of Greenhills has been a "golf cart community" since 2015 and now, as of the beginning of this year, so is the entire State of Ohio.  I thought it would be of interest to post a couple of things about this.   First, the Village Regulations:

Greenhills Regulations passed August, 2015

 377.01  DEFINITIONS.

 As used in this chapter

(a)   "Golf cart" is a motor vehicle as that term is defined under Ohio R.C. 4501.01(B).

(b)   "Motor vehicle" has the same meaning as set forth in Ohio R.C. 4501.01(B).

(c)   "Operator" has the same meaning as set forth in Ohio R.C. 4501.01(X).

 (d)   "Vehicle" has the same meaning as set forth in Ohio R.C. 4501.01(A).

(Ord. 2015-06-L&R. Passed 8-25-15.)

377.02  INSPECTION OF GOLF CARTS .

   (a)   No person shall operate a golf cart vehicle on the streets within the Village unless it has been inspected and approved by the Chief of Police, or his designee or by another agent designated and approved by the State of Ohio, for compliance with the applicable safety/equipment requirements of the State of Ohio relative to motor vehicles. For the purposes of this section, "golf cart" means a motor vehicle that has not less than three wheels in contact with the ground, that has an unladen weight of less than 1,800 pounds, that is designed to be and is operated at not more than 25 miles per hours and that is designed to carry not more than four persons, including the driver.

   (b)   If the Chief of Police, or his designee, or another agent designated and approved by the State of Ohio, determines that the golf cart complies with the State of Ohio's statutory requirements that are applicable to motor vehicles, the Chief of Police shall issue the owner or operator a certificate of compliance entitling the owner or operator to operate the golf cart on the streets within the Village. The owner or operator shall also show the Chief of Police or designee proof of liability insurance for the golf cart before a certificate of compliance is issued. The owner or operator of any golf cart shall be required to pay a fee in the amount of twenty-five dollars ($25.00), or as listed in the most recent Fee Schedule for the Village, to the Village through the Police Department before the golf cart may be operated on the streets of the Village. Any certificate issued pursuant to this section by the Chief of Police expires after 365 days and the Chief of Police will designate the issuing date and expiration date on each certificate. The Chief of Police shall keep a copy of each certificate issued pursuant to this section. The owner or operator of any golf cart shall keep a copy of any certificate issued pursuant to this section inside the golf cart to which it pertains. The Chief of Police shall issue a sticker or other similar device to the owner of each golf cart once it is inspected. The sticker shall signify compliance with this section and the expiration of the current inspection period. The owner of each golf cart shall display the sticker in a conspicuous place on the rear of the golf cart .

   (c)   The owner of a golf cart shall also comply with all requirements of Ohio law regarding proper title, registration and license plates prior to operating a golf cart on any street within the Village. Compliance with this section shall be in addition to, rather than in lieu of, any applicable provisions of State law relative to the operation of motor vehicles.

(Ord. 2015-06-L&R. Passed 8-25-15.)

377.03  USAGE AND RESTRICTIONS.

 (a)   No golf carts shall be permitted to travel on any Village street where the speed limit is greater than 25 mph. Golf carts will be permitted to cross intersections with higher speeds, so long as they remain on a street that has a speed limit of 25 mph or less.

 (b)   The operator of a golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and have a valid driver's license.

 (c)   Any child who falls under the child retrain criteria set by Ohio R.C. 4511.81 is prohibited from being a passenger in a golf cart operated on any Village street, right-of-way or public area in the Village. Children who are up to four years old and less than 40 pounds which are required to be in a child safety seat or any child who is eight years old or less and under four feet, nine inches in height who are required to be in a booster seat.

 (d)   Golf carts must be operated in accord with all State of Ohio traffic laws in addition to all applicable sections of the Greenhills Municipal Ordinances.

(Ord. 2015-06-L&R. Passed 8-25-15.)

377.99  PENALTY.

  (a)   Whoever violates this chapter is guilty of a minor misdemeanor on a first offense; on a second offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree; and each subsequent offense within one year after the first offense, the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(Ord. 2015-06-L&R. Passed 8-25-15.)

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Posted · Report post

And now an article from WBNS Channel 10 Columbus website about the new State of Ohio law:

What golfers have been using on the course for years, will soon be hitting the road.

Starting January 1, 2017, a new Ohio traffic law will allow golf carts on all Ohio roadways with a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

“Our main road through town in West Jefferson is 35 mph and I don't think it would be the safest road to be driving a golf cart on,” Kory Saddler said.

 "I don't have a problem with it because I live in Dublin and in Dublin some people are doing that now, Bob Hosken said. “They're taking their kids down to football practice and stuff in front of my house. In my neighborhood, it's not a problem for me.”

While a lot of people use golf carts recreationally, this new law will treat them just like any other vehicle.

“They have to go through an inspection to actually get a title so they can get license plates,” Plain City Police Chief Dale McKee said.

In other words, these carts can't just drive off the golf course and onto the road. They must be street legal to do that. Like a car, the cart will need a windshield, headlights, tail lights, turn signals and a horn.

 But unlike the peaceful golf course, cart drivers will be met with a much bigger hazard on the road.

“We still get a lot of semi traffic,” Chief McKee said.

That's because Plain City has a US route and State route that run through town. So it's no surprise that speeds have people worried about safety.

“I just think it needs to be a little bit slower. Probably 25 mph or less would be great,” Saddler said.

 The chief recommends no golf carts on U.S. 42 which is Jefferson Avenue and reducing the speed limit on Main Street from 35 mph to 25 mph.

 According to Chief McKee, any ordinance passed before this new state law goes into effect will trump it, so if communities want to ban golf carts or makes any exceptions that need to be done before 2017.

Once the law goes into effect, those kinds of changes can no longer be made.

 

 

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Posted · Report post

So while operating a golf cart within the Village, it is STILL on streets where the speed limit is 25 mph or less (which is pretty much every street but Winton and Sharon Roads). While for most folks, common sense would tell you that operating a cart on Winton or Sharon would be.......well, stupid, at least within the Village it is not allowed, other than to cross at an intersection (the lights at Farragut/Ingram being the obvious examples).

Winton Woods Park is fine with golf carts.  But here again, if you have ever observed or heard speeders on Park Road, it is best to be aware of traffic at all times.

Where Springfield Township and Forest Park are with golf carts are subject to both State Law and any limitations they may have passed prior to January 1, 2017.

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I haven't found anything specific relative regulations for GOLF CARTS in Forest Park's Ordinances.  This the only thing that came close and appears to follow the new State Law:

§ 72.93  OPERATION RESTRICTED FOR MINI-TRUCKS AND LOW-SPEED, UNDER-SPEED, OR UTILITY VEHICLES.

 (A)   (1)   No person shall operate a low-speed vehicle upon any street or highway having an established speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour.

         (2)   No person shall operate an under-speed or utility vehicle or a mini-truck upon any street or highway except as follows:

         (a)   Upon a street or highway having an established speed limit not greater than 35 miles per hour and only upon such streets or highways where the municipality has granted permission for such operation in accordance with division (E) of this section;

         (b)   A state park or political subdivision employee or volunteer operating a utility vehicle exclusively within the boundaries of state parks or political subdivision parks for the operation or maintenance of state or political subdivision park facilities.

      (3)   No person shall operate a motor-driven cycle or motor scooter upon any street or highway having an established speed limit greater than 45 miles per hour.

   (B)   This section does not prohibit either of the following:

      (1)   A person operating a low-speed, under-speed, or utility vehicle or a mini-truck from proceeding across an intersection of a street or highway having a speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour;

      (2)   A person operating a motor-driven cycle or motor scooter from proceeding across an intersection of a street or highway having a speed limit greater than 45 miles per hour.

   (C)   Nothing in this section shall prevent the municipality from adopting more stringent local ordinances, resolutions, or regulations governing the operation of a low-speed vehicle or a mini-truck, or a motor-driven cycle or motor scooter.

   (D)   Except as otherwise provided in this division, whoever violates division (A) of this section is guilty of a minor misdemeanor. If within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to one predicate motor vehicle or traffic offense, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree. If within one year of the offense, the offender previously has been convicted of two or more predicate motor vehicle or traffic offenses, whoever violates this section is guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree.

(R.C. § 4511.214)

   (E)   By ordinance or resolution, the municipality may authorize the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks on a public street or highway under its jurisdiction. The municipality shall do all of the following:

      (1)   Limit the operation of those vehicles to streets and highways having an established speed limit not greater than 35 miles per hour;

      (2)   Require the vehicle owner who wishes to operate an under-speed or utility vehicle or a mini-truck on the public streets or highways to submit the vehicle to an inspection conducted by a local law enforcement agency that complies with inspection requirements established by the Department of Public Safety under R.C. § 4513.02;

      (3)   Permit the operation on public streets or highways of only those vehicles that successfully pass the required vehicle inspection, are registered in accordance with R.C. Chapter 4503, and are titled in accordance with R.C. Chapter 4505;

 

      (4)   Notify the Director of Public Safety, in a manner the Director determines, of the authorization for the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks.

   (F)   The municipality may establish additional requirements for the operation of under-speed or utility vehicles or mini-trucks on its streets and highways.

(R.C. § 4511.215)

   (G)   (1)   Except as provided in this division (G) and divisions (E) and (F) of this section, no person shall operate a mini-truck within this municipality.

      (2)   A person may operate a mini-truck on a farm for agricultural purposes only when the owner of the farm qualifies for the current agricultural use valuation tax credit. A mini-truck may be operated by or on behalf of such a farm owner on public roads and rights-of-way only when traveling from one farm field to another.

      (3)   A person may operate a mini-truck on property owned or leased by a dealer who sells mini-trucks at retail.

      (4)   Whoever violates this division (G) shall be penalized as provided in division (D) of this section.

(R.C. § 4519.401)

   (H)   This section will take effect on January 1, 2017.

 

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Posted · Report post

Just some comments: I see this ordinance/allowance to drive golf carts on the road as a true safety hazard. I am not one to go overboard on safety issues and I don't even think that it is necessary for kids to wear all the headgear that others think is necessary to ride a bike down a sidewalk (I do think it's necessary if off-road or during competition).

But, I find it very hard to believe that a parent should be driving their children around in golf carts on public roads. I have seen kids "strapped" in on golf carts and with their parents, driving around on the Village streets. I wouldn't go so far as to say it's neglectful for parents to put their kids at risk of severe harm by being a passenger on a golf cart. But, I would say that if a car hits one of these carts with passengers on it it will be catastrophic.

I wonder what any of the parents would say to my comments about this. Is it neat that golf carts are allowed on streets? Yes, I guess. But, is it worth the risk? Well, I guess that's up to the user.

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If a parent buys their child a bicycle or skateboard and the child rides in the street legally, but tragically gets struck by an inattentive car driver, how is that different?  Or even crossing a street as a pedestrian.

I guess the biggest difference is that golf carts are required to be operated safely, as a motor vehicle (because they are), by a licensed driver. They are required to have the necessary safety equipment (even a windshield wiper) including seat belts.

I'm not sure I understand your concern with kids being strapped in being a bad thing.  Can you explain?

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Well, skateboards are not permitted to be operated on roadways. And, of course you could put any other person in risk by getting struck by a vehicle once out of the our house. But, I understand the premise of your concern.

I just think that there is a false sense of security with operating a motor vehicle like a golf cart on the road. Whereas, you state bicycles and skateboards - those come with known risks and they have been a part of the roadways for decades. Parents have a better sense of the safety concerns when it comes to those items vs. golf carts.

I'm just saying that people who are placing their children on these should be aware that impact from a vehicle will be devastating. And, perhaps, more safety precautions should be used when putting children on them (i.e. helmets).

I guess I just don't recognize these passenger vehicles as truly road-worthy. "Passenger" being the key word here.

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Jewel,

I understand your viewpoint and to some degree agree with it.  You hope that everyone does what they are supposed to do and operates vehicles safely.  I kind of reviewed this conversation in my mind yesterday coming back on I-71 from Cleveland yesterday when I saw a motorcyclist going 65 mph or better with a person riding behind the driver.  Helmets at 65 mph on a busy highway vs. kids seat-belted in a golf cart at 25 mph (probably less). 

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