MOUNT VERNON — Golf carts are traveling the streets of Mount Vernon, but as of Monday, not one of them is doing so legally.
Approved golf carts became street legal in the city in mid-September, after an inspection checklist and map of restricted streets were approved. Golf carts can now be operated on the streets, but they must be licensed and inspected first; and, so far, no one has come in for an inspection, MVPD Sgt. Troy Glazier said.
“There was this really big push to get (the inspection protocol completed) and there were these rolling deadlines to have it ready,” Glazier said. “We’ve been ready for a few weeks now, and we haven’t had anybody come in. No one is legal to have a golf cart on the road in Mount Vernon at this time.”
Glazier said there have been reports of golf carts being used as transportation in the city. One was spotted on Coshocton Avenue, which is prohibited to golf carts because of its speed limit and the fact it is a state route. Police saw one on a city street, but were in a detective vehicle that was not equipped to make traffic stops.
The golf carts are restricted to roads that have a speed limit of 25 miles per hour and under, and cannot travel on streets that are state routes or US highways. They may cross the restricted streets at an intersection.
The golf cart must have license plates obtained through the BMV, as with any other motorized vehicle, and have insurance. The driver must have a valid driver’s license.
The inspection protocols are based on safety for the most part; the golf carts must have turn signals, brake lights, a taillight, headlights, full windshield, seatbelts and a slow-moving vehicle placard, as well as other amenities. A full list is available from the police department or on the city’s website, and Glazier recommends getting the list before coming in for inspection.
City law director Rob Broeren said the traffic laws for all motorized vehicles also apply to golf carts, as are the penalties. There are specific ordinances regarding operating a golf cart that has not passed inspection by the police department and traveling on restricted roadways or above the restricted speed limit of 25 miles per hour.
Any offense in a motor vehicle that can result in suspension or revocation of a driver’s license also applies to golf carts, including driving under a suspended license.
In drawing up the inspection, MVPD officers visited two local dealers and found that most models of golf carts available carry all the required equipment from the factory, except for one that did not come with seatbelts, Glazier said.
Appointments for inspection can be made by calling Glazier at 740-393-9539. Inspections will be held at the MVPD impound lot on North Elm Street.
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