Editorial: Council To Discuss Golf Cart Regulations, Safety

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 02 August 2017 04:00

Managing Editor

Recently I've received 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. 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.
This issue becomes much more relevant now that our state leaders have decided moped and scooter owners must register their vehicles and are required to have insurance. If our state requires moped owners to adhere to those strict requirements, golf cart owners should also be held to the same standards.
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 and horn
• DOT Approved Tires
• DOT Approved Windshield
• Windshield Wiper
• Amber reflectors on all corners of the vehicle
• 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.
The Council will discuss golf cart regulations and safety at their upcoming August 22nd, workshop meeting at 6PM at Town Hall.


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