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Golf carts not safe on city streets

Published 12:26pm Wednesday, August 14, 2013

When it comes to allowing golf carts on city streets in Ironton, it is an idea that brings far too many tangible risks to justify the unknown rewards.

The Ironton City Council is considering legislation that would fall under state laws to allow street-ready golf carts to be driven throughout town. The same rules that apply to motor vehicles would be in force for golf carts.

The problem is golf carts are not nearly as safe or visible as vehicles.

Supporters of the legislation contend that it would create a unique niche for Ironton in southern Ohio and the Tri-State. That may be true, but at what cost?

The enforcement of traffic laws within the city is almost nonexistent as it is and this could open the door to a tragic accident or loss of life.

Until the existing laws are enforced for motor vehicles, it would be difficult to justify complicating traffic flow and travel by allowing golf carts on the streets.

Council should table this until more research can be done to determine how this works elsewhere, how it would benefit the city and what challenges it would create.

If anything, council could consider implementing a test for a very short amount of time — maybe a weekend or a week — to better gauge the interest as well as the safety implications.

For now, the rewards are far too unknown while the dangers are all too apparent.


  • Ohno

    I agree on the golf carts, but there is a MUCH BIGGER PICTURE HERE. MOTORIZED WHEEL CHAIRS!! These are much smaller than golf carts, they are already running the city streets, and somebody is going to get hurt or an innocent driver could be guilty of manslaughter! No, it is not alright for them to cruise in the middle of the street or go the wrong way on a one way street, or or just go meandering where ever. Some just come out from behind a parked car and how do you know they are coming??? If some one were pushing them, they would be on the sidewalk and crossing at a cross walk so being self propelled should not make a difference. I also need to comment that where I see all of the motorized chairs in the street is in commercial areas of Ironton where there are wheelchair ramps, MANDATORY, at all intersections. They should get a ticket if cruising in the street. At the very least they need a 5-6 foot flag and horn, big bright reflective vests and the chair needs reflectors as well. Maybe they should also be required to wear a helmet so they don’t get hurt in a collision. Also, if they cause the wreck they should be required to have insurance. Car drivers on the city streets have to have insurance. Finally, no more than one person to a chair. I had to chuckle when I saw an able bodied man and women (in their 20′s) using her grandmothers chair to go to the store so they wouldn’t have to walk. Yes, I knew them and I knew who the chair belonged to, or the fellow that regularly wheels thru the carry out on Park Avenue, that was a picture worth a thousand words. It may not have happened yet, but it is just a matter of time and Southern Ohio Legal Aid or some other personal injury lawyer, will flat drain the driver of the car that hits one of these uninsured, free wheeling, wheel chair motorists. But hey, maybe Ironton won’t be a golf cart community but we can be the free wheeling, wheel chair city of southern Ohio.

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    • tiggeroo

      I totally agree with the original editorial. Existing laws for motor vehicles are not enforced and allowing golf carts could be a disaster. Could police enforce carts to see that they are licensed, and have the correct equipment? Having local garages equipped to go over carts and certify that they pass the regulations, put a sticker on the cart,etc., would add just another layer of beauracy to the mix. And then, if the police do not enforce laws, this would just be bad!
      I agree with Ohno about motorized wheel chairs. I see them on the street each time I go downtown from the south side of town. The city has improved the curbs to allow bike, wheel chairs, motorized wheel chairs, etc, to get from one block to another. Why are they allowed to roam the streets? NOT SAFE for all concerned!

      (Report comment)

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