Golf cart ordinance in the works
Wesson golfers and others may soon be able to drive their golf carts on public streets to the Wolf Hollow course at Co-Lin or to other town venues.
In the weeks ahead, Mayor Alton Shaw reports that town Aldermen will be considering an ordinance to drafted in accordance with a new state law to allow local drivers to use golf carts and other low-speed vehicles on town streets.
During the 2021 legislative session, lawmakers approved and the Governor signed an act to authorize the governing of authorities of municipalities to allow the operation of golf carts and low-speed vehicles on certain public roads and streets within the municipality. The act requires individuals operating a golf cart of low-speed vehicle to have a valid driver's license or temporary driver's permit and proof of financial responsibility. It also requires registration of golf carts and low-speed vehicles used on public roads. The act does not pertain to ATVs, Mayor Shaw emphasized.
Over the years, several Mississippi municipalities have passed ordinances friendly to golf carts in the absence of any concrete state laws. Among them are Bay St. Louis, Clinton, Diamondhead, Long Beach, Ocean Springs, Pass Christian, Pascagoula and Waveland.
The Ocean Springs ordinance allows golf carts to drive on public roads alongside cars, provided the carts include a variety of safety features and stick to roads with a maximum speed limit of 30 MPH. The required safety features include headlights, taillights, brake lights, rear-view mirror, seat belts, turn signals, windshield, parking brake, and side reflectors.
The Clinton ordinance specifies where the golf carts may be driven, prohibiting them on freeways, limited access roads, principal arterial streets and some minor arterial streets. Drivers must operate the vehicles on the outside lanes of multilane streets and roads and they must have a valid driver's license and insurance. Vehicles on the roads from dusk to dawn must have working headlights and tail lights.
"We have been approached by owners of golf carts and low-speed vehicles who want to use them on Wesson's public roads," Mayor Shaw explained. "We are responding."