Jax City Council tweak street legal golf cart ordinance

By Ryne Turke on February 26, 2016 at 12:11pm

Jacksonville City Council continues to discuss an ordinance which would allow street legal golf carts and utility vehicles on city roads.

Ward 3 Alderman Travis Richardson presented the initial proposal to City Council in August, which required drivers to have a valid license, carry mandatory liability insurance, pay a $75 permit fee and be at least 18 years old.

Richardson says some additions have been made since the original draft ordinance.

“It includes breaks, a rear view mirror, warning devices, taillights, break lights and turn signals.

We went as far to add seat belts. That isn’t a state law, but something we wanted. I think we have kind of set the standards on having the most  stringent ordinance on the books that I have seen.”

Windshields and a horn are being added to the ordinance.

During Monday’s City Council meeting, Richardson noted the golf carts and utility vehicles will benefit a lot of people in the community, but also won’t be cheap.

“But we are talking about high end carts anywhere from $8,000 to $12,000. In order to make something street legal it could cost between $750 to $2,000, depending on what it has. If someone is looking to have something street legal and they already have that item, they are most likely going to have to add quite a few features to make it street legal.”

Not following the ordinance’s regulations will lead to penalties, which could include having your permit revoked.

Richardson says his main concern is the safety of Jacksonville residents. In his research of over 100 communities with golf cart and utility vehicle street access, Richardson found no safety issues.

City Council agreed the golf carts and utility vehicles will not be allowed on heavy traffic streets, like Morton, Main and Walnut.

Richardson expects the ordinance to come up for a vote at the next city council meeting.