09/17/08 — Mount Olive officials will push for rules for golf carts

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Mount Olive officials will push for rules for golf carts

By Steve Herring
Published in News on September 17, 2008 1:41 PM

MOUNT OLIVE -- People driving golf carts around town soon could be getting a slip of paper from police. It won't be a ticket, but it could help them avoid a ticket in the future.

The town board Monday night adopted a new ordinance governing golf carts on town streets. Commissioners agreed to give riders a 30-day "grace" period to comply with the ordinance.

Copies of the new ordinance will be available at town hall and Mayor Ray McDonald Sr. asked Chief of Police Ralph Schroeder to place copies in patrol cars. Those copies, McDonald said, could be handed out by police when they see someone operating a golf cart.

Mount Olive was among several municipalities in the state that had asked the General Assembly for authority to regulate the growing population of golf carts on town streets. The bill granting that authority was approved during the recent legislative short session.

The ordinance does not apply to the owners or operators of golf carts that have met all state requirements for the licensing of their golf carts as motor vehicles and who have carts that display a current N.C. license plate.

Before passing the ordinance, the board added a requirement that golf carts have seat belts.

The recommendation was made by town attorney, Carroll Turner who told the board a child had died recently in another town after falling off the back of a golf cart.

The ordinance requires people who operate the carts to have a valid driver's license. They also must have in full force minimum liability insurance on the cart as required for motor vehicles in the state.

Golf carts may be driven only from dawn to dusk unless it is equipped with headlights, turn signals and brake lights that have been approved by the chief of police.

The golf carts may not be driven on Breazeale Avenue, other than crossing the street.

Golf carts must be equipped with a rearview mirror and at least two rear reflectors. The reflectors must be at least three inches in height and width.

People operating golf carts within the town must comply and obey all state laws governing possession and use of alcoholic beverages, illegal drugs and/or controlled substances as well as sate and local traffic laws.

The golf carts may not be driven on any sidewalk and drivers must yield right of way at all times to overtaking vehicles.

Golf carts may not be parked in handicapped spaces unless the driver or passenger has a valid handicap sticker that is displayed on the vehicle.

All golf carts operated on town streets and highways must have a valid permit sticker issued by the town. The sticker must be displayed on the cart's front windshield. Owners must complete an owner registration form that is available at town hall.

The town is charging a permit fee. The cost of the fee has not been decided, Brown said. He said the cost probably would be about $10 and would be based on the amount needed to cover the printing costs associated with the stickers.

Proof of insurance is required before a permit is issued and people will be required to bring the golf cart to town hall to be inspected.

People who violate the ordinance are subject to a $100 civil penalty plus court costs. Repeat offenders may have privileges granted in the ordinance revoked.