By / Editorials / Wednesday, 31 May 2017 04:00

Managing Editor

Each summer I receive complaints from people about golf carts and safety in Carolina Beach.
Golf carts are an excellent way to get around on the Island throughout the year. The most common complaint we hear on a regular basis is extremely slow moving golf carts driving along Lake Park Blvd (Highway 421) causing frustration resulting in motorists making swift decisions to change lanes in busy traffic. Not a good mix considering a car will fair much better in an accident than a golf cart.
Not to mention children - even infants - sitting in a seat or driver's lap without safety restraints. If it were a car the driver would get a ticket. Even worse, when irresponsible parents allow their children to take a cart for a wild spin around Town with no supervision.
The Town of Carolina Beach requires people to have liability insurance when obtaining a golf cart permit. Yet the carts are not required to be inspected and licensed by the North Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles. Short of stopping every single cart every month, there's no way for police to be sure a cart owner still has an active insurance policy. Requiring an inspection by the North Carolina Department of Transportation with a license plate would go a long way to ensuring that golf carts do in fact have continuous insurance coverage. In Kure Beach golf carts must be tagged and licensed, just like any other vehicle, to be legal in Kure Beach. Carts must also be driven by a licensed, legally of age individual. That means there are higher standards for safety. They are required to be street legal and must have:
• Headlights and tail lights with turn signals and brake lights
• Third brake light
• License plate light
• Four sets of seat belts
• Speedometer
• DOT Approved tires and windshield, windshield wiper
• Amber reflectors on all corners of the vehicle and a horn.
• Minimum speed of at least 21 mph, maximum speed of 25 mph
• One drivers side external mirror and one internal mirror.
• 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number, V.I.N.
There are many permitted carts in Kure Beach and many in Carolina Beach that travel to Kure Beach and must adhere to their rules over Carolina Beach's less strict requirements.
Carolina Beach should tighten up the rules.


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