Carolina Beach Police Enforcing Golf Cart Regulations

The Town of Carolina Beach adopted new regulations governing the use of golf carts on roads with a speed limit of 35mph or less during their September 2017 meeting. Those new rules took affect in January of 2018. The Carolina Beach Police Department says they are enforcing the rules. The Town of Carolina Beach adopted new regulations governing the use of golf carts on roads with a speed limit of 35mph or less during their September 2017 meeting. Those new rules took affect in January of 2018. The Carolina Beach Police Department says they are enforcing the rules.

Carolina Beach Police Enforcing Golf Cart Regulations Featured

By / Local News / الأربعاء, 16 أيار 2018 16:25

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

CAROLINA BEACH - The Carolina Beach Police Department said Tuesday they are enforcing new golf cart regulations adopted by the Town Council in the fall of 2017.

On Monday a local resident posted a question on Facebook stating, "FYI... driving in a golf cart with your small child on the drivers lap is extremely dangerous and irresponsible. Seeing this more and more and in the car line at CBES (Carolina Beach Elementary School). It is all fun and cute until there is an accident and your child is seriously injured because of lack of responsibility. You do have officers out at CBES, so can they address this situation? The new ordinance requires all riding in a golf cart to be secured. I'm guessing a child in a lap doesn't meet that requirement."

An email was sent to Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey by the Island Gazette on Monday night, May 14th.

Chief Spivey responded stating, "Thank you for notifying us of the social media post. I make attempts to spend one or two days a week at the CBES morning “drop off”. I must admit, I have not seen this violation in this specific area. I had a conversation with our School Resource Officer (SRO) Cpl. Henderson regarding this matter. He advises he has not witnessed this type of activity at CBES. I suspect as warmer weather continues, more golf carts will be utilized on Carolina Beach roadways."

He explained, "We recently had a departmental wide meeting which addressed the golf cart rules and regulations. It may be worth noting the new rules and regulation were adopted late last fall. After a cold winter, we are just entering into the summer season. For this reason, I suspect our interactions with golf cart operators may increase. Our police department is genuinely concerned for our public’s safety. We are hopeful that those operating golf carts will adhere to the rules and regulations for a fun, safer and more memorable CB summer season. Our officers will be observing golf cart operation for possible violations. Officers will be enforcing the golf cart rules and regulations. Our staff will keep an eye out for violations in the area of CBES."

The Town's ordinance governing golf carts states that carts may only be operated within the town in accordance with the following rules and regulations. An individual who operates a cart in violation of these rules and regulations shall be subject to the penalty provisions of section 16-78 or other criminal charges as allowed by law.

The following rules and regulations apply to the operation of carts:
(1) Carts shall only be driven on roads posted 35 miles per hour or less. This does not prohibit a cart from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street being crossed has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.
(2) Carts must have liability insurance coverage.
(3) Drivers of carts shall stay to the far right of the traveled portion of the road and yield the right-of-way to overtaking motor vehicles.
(4) Carts must be equipped with headlights, tail lights and turn signal lamps.
(5) Carts shall be equipped with at least one fixed operational mirror allowing the operator to see behind the cart.
(6) No one is allowed to stand on a golf cart while it is in operation and may only have the appropriate amount of people that the golf cart is designed to carry.
(7) The operator of the golf cart must be at least 16 years of age and possess a valid driver's license.
(8) Any person who operates a golf cart on public streets and roads must adhere to all applicable state and local laws, regulations and ordinances, including but not limited to those banning the possession and use of alcoholic beverages, and all other illegal drugs. In addition, no golf cart containing any open container of alcohol shall be operated on public roads.
(9) Seat belts are required for every person seated on the golf cart. Seat belts must be worn by all passengers including children.
(10) All required safety equipment must be installed to NCDOT Specifications and in place before the golf cart is registered with the town.
(11) The operator of the golf cart shall comply with all traffic rules and regulations adopted by the State of North Carolina and the Town of Carolina Beach which governs the operation of motor vehicles.

The fine for violating the rules is $50.00 and must be paid within 15 days.

Approval of New Regulations
The Town Council voted to require safety features on golf carts during their September 12th, 2017, meeting. The Town permits the use of golf carts on public streets with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less after obtaining a Town issued permit.

Carolina Beach originally adopted their own regulations years ago. A golf cart permit must be attached to the front, lower corner of the passenger side of the windshield of the golf cart.  Currently the price for a permit is $15 per year.

The Council voted four to one in September to approve a more strict ordinance allowing golf carts as long as they have headlights, taillights, turn signals a mirror and seat belts. Golf carts don't need to be registered with the state.  Low Speed Vehicles (LSV) have additional safety features and must be registered with the state. All new registrations take effect January 1st, 2018.

Carts shall only be driven on roads posted 35 miles per hour or less. This does not prohibit a cart from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street being crossed has a posted speed limit of more than 35 miles per hour.

Carts will still be required to have liability insurance coverage and "Drivers of carts shall stay to the far right of the traveled portion of the road and yield the right-of-way to overtaking motor vehicles" and be at least 16 years old with a valid drivers license.

There was lengthy discussion regarding seat belts and whether or not to require the use of child safety seats that are designed for motor vehicles and not golf carts.

Ultimately the Council followed the advice of Town Attorney Noel Fox. She explained, "While this public comment period has been going on I've reviewed the ordinances of at least three other municipalities. It's split as to how they address the child seat or child restraint issue. Hearing all of the comments from these folks, what the Town could do is say seat belts are required for every person seated on the golf cart including children. If a parent straps their three year old child into a seat belt then that parent is the person that assumes responsibility."

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