City ponders golf cart legislation

By Dean Wright - [email protected]

GALLIPOLIS — Tuesday’s Gallipolis City Commission meeting is gearing up to discuss the nature of golf carts on city streets and potential legislation with the increase of residents’ interest in the vehicles.

“I don’t have a problem with them (golf carts), so long as they don’t start obstructing traffic,” Gallipolis City Manager Gene Greene said.”You get somebody out in a 40 mile per hour zone going 15, it isn’t going to work.”

Greene said he estimated 17 to 18 individuals were registered with golf carts in Gallipolis. He said he believed the trend with individuals buying golf carts would continue until cold weather sets in, then it would “pick back up” as warm weather returns.

“They’re economical and easy to maneuver. You can jump into that thing and go around town with no effort at all,” Greene said. “Then you go back home and plug it into your wall socket and you’re good to go again.”

Greene noted golf carts need to be “street legal” before the city will register them.

“They have to have turn signals, headlights, brake lights, registration and a license plate,” Greene stated. “They have to have a regular license plate just like on your car. They have to be inspected and have rear view mirrors. Anything your car has, they have to have.”

Seat belts, Greene said, are also included on the list of requirements.

“They’re popular and I can see why. If I lived in town, I would own one,” Greene said.

Greene said he did not live directly in town, he does own property, but that he might purchase a golf cart sometime for his own purposes.

Neighborhood electric vehicles is a classification of vehicle (including some golf carts). Some vehicles have been known to clock at a top speed of 45 miles per hour, but depending on the laws of an individual state, most are geared to travel at 25 mph and carry a maximum load of 3,000 pounds. Neighborhood electric vehicles fall under the U.S. Department of Transportation’s view of low-speed vehicles.

Some individuals have been pushing the greater proliferation of NEVs as a means of greenhouse gas control. According to the Pike Research organization, it estimated nearly 500,000 NEVS on the world’s roads in 2011. Many states maintain that NEVs have no business being on highways or high traffic routes as they often do not possess airbag safety devices or some of the more advances features of larger vehicles. In many areas, NEVs without doors are considered a legal option.

Dean Wright can be reached at (740) 446-2134, Ext. 2103.

By Dean Wright

[email protected]