Golf carts not safe on city streets

Published 12:26 pm 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.

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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.