Council to consider regulating golf cart use on public roadways

Published 12:10 am Monday, April 16, 2018

By Jessica Coates

SALISBURY — The Salisbury City Council will decide at its Tuesday meeting whether it wants to follow the lead of neighboring towns and cities by adopting a golf cart regulation ordinance.

The proposed ordinance specifies that golf carts are not “designed or manufactured to be used on public streets.”

“The City of Salisbury, by regulating such operation, is merely trying to address obvious safety issues, and the adoption of this ordinance is not to be relied upon as a determination that operation on roads is safe or advisable,” the ordinance reads.

The ordinance would require that golf carts not be driven on or alongside public roads with speed limits greater than 35 mph.

It would also require that drivers of golf carts be licensed andat least 16 years old. Carts would have to be insured per North Carolina law.

The ordinance defines golf carts as “vehicles designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph.”

Other towns and cities in Rowan County — including Landis, China Grove, Spencer and Granite Quarry — have adopted similar ordinances with similar language in recent years.

Golf cart travel between two towns — Landis and China Grove — was approved by the China Grove Town Council in 2016.

State law gives towns and cities the authority to regulate golf carts.

Other items on the agenda include:

• Council will consider adopting an updated special event permit ordinance.

Councilmembers Brian Miller and David Post have been working with a special committee for more than a year to update the nearly 40-year old ordinance.

Post and Miller presented an updated version of the ordinance to Council at one of its October 2017 meetings but, after several citizens spoke against the update because it still had unedited portions regarding free speech, Council voted to table the update 3-2.

Post and Miller’s committee has now separated the portions of the ordinance dealing with free speech into a separate document. That document is still being updated and will be presented to Council at a later point.

• Council will receive a report from the Suggested Rules of Procedure Committee.

Mayor Al Heggins and Councilmember Karen Alexander are the councilmembers on the committee and will be presenting the report.

Heggins and Alexander met on March 28 to discuss what, if any, changes should be made to the Council’s suggested rules of procedure.

• Police Chief Jerry Stokes will present a first-quarter update on staffing and crime statistics to Council.

Council will meet at 5 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall — 217 South Main Street.

Contact reporter Jessica Coates at 704-797-4222.