08/05/08 — Mount Olive considering golf cart regulations

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Mount Olive considering golf cart regulations

By Steve Herring
Published in News on August 5, 2008 1:45 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- The golf carts seen zipping along town streets might soon have to meet new guidelines if they are to continue to operate.

Mount Olive was among several towns that sought and won recent state legislation authorizing them to regulate the carts that are becoming an increasingly familiar sight on town streets.

The town board on Monday got its first look at a proposed ordinance setting out a number of conditions that people will have to meet to operate a golf cart on town streets. No action was taken, but the board is expected to revisit the issue next month after it has time to review the proposal by town attorney Carroll Turner.

Under the ordinance:

-- Operators must have a valid driver's license.

-- A minimum of liability insurance would be required. "We will be in better shape as a town if we require this," Turner said. "One day there will be a traffic accident between a golf cart and motor vehicle. If the golf cart does not have insurance there is going to be a problem."

-- Golf carts may be operated only between dusk and dawn unless they have the necessary lights.

-- Golf carts would be prohibited on Breazeale Avenue because of the heavy traffic. They would be allowed to cross the street.

-- A rearview mirror and at least two rear reflectors would be required unless the golf cart has lights.

-- Operators would be required to obey all traffic laws including no drinking and driving.

-- The golf carts would be required to yield right of way to other vehicles.

-- They could not be driven on sidewalks.

-- They could not be parked in handicapped spaces.

-- The golf carts could not be operated until registered with the town. It will be up to the board to decide on the registration fee and whether it will be a one-time or annual requirement.

-- The rules would exclude any carts that have been certified by the Division of Motor Vehicles to operate on the streets.

-- A $100 civil penalty for infractions could be levied by the town and it would have a process to enforce the rules and penalty.

Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. added that the town might also want to consider making seatbelts a requirement.