In 2019, City Council passed legislation concerning under speed vehicles, including golf carts. As a result, these vehicles must meet various Ohio Department of Public Safety standards – such as having working lights, seatbelts, adequate brakes, windshields, and rear-view mirrors. The vehicles must be titled and registered in compliance with Ohio Revised Code, must be inspected and approved for use on public streets by an authorized law enforcement agency (UA Police can provide this service), and can only be used on streets with speed limits of 25 mph or under.
A five-day exemption period was included in the legislation to accommodate golf cart rentals over the Fourth of July holiday. This exemption waived the title and inspection requirements, and loosened some safety equipment requirements, while making clear that responsible operation of these vehicles should still be a priority, and that certain traffic and safety violations would be acted upon by police officers if witnessed over the holiday period.
Fast forward to 2023 and the City Administration felt it was appropriate to revisit the exemption now that the Police Division had been monitoring the legislation in action for several years. From the data and anecdotal evidence, it was clear that an increased safety risk to the public exists by allowing rented golf carts on public streets. As a result, the City Attorney recently recommended some amendments to Ordinance 41-2019 – repealing the five-day exemption period to address these safety concerns.
The resulting legislation, Ordinance 49-2023, was passed by Council at its October 9 meeting.
With this change about to take effect, here’s a summary of the Police Division’s planned approach to golf cart enforcement moving forward:
- Licensed and inspected golf carts are always legal on UA streets, consistent with City Code.
- Golf carts or any other under speed vehicles are not allowed on paths in public parks or on park fields.
Families and organizations that choose to rent non-street legal golf carts over the Fourth of July holiday period should be aware that any non-street legal golf cart is subject to being stopped, impounded and the driver ticketed if it is being driven on an open public road. This excludes the use of golf carts in the Fourth of July Parade and on any streets that are closed for a block party.