A la cart: the city watches golf carts on residential streets | Local

JARED BARTON THE COLUMBUS TELEGRAM

In early July, Judy and Edwin Stankoski filed a petition with the City of Columbus to allow Edwin’s use of a club car on residential streets near his home, as his mobility is somewhat limited without it.

“The reason is that he has heart problems, he has cancer, he has two sleep apnea machines, oxygen. We live around the corner and from our garage to the box letters, he gets in the car because after a few steps he’s out of breath,” Judy said.

Edwin said as he gets older, that’s important because it means he and Judy can get around their neighborhood without having to drive such short distances.

“I’m going to be 85 soon and I can barely walk. That way at night my wife and I can go out. We don’t drive around town or anything,” Edwin said.

At the Columbus City Council meeting on August 15, a report on public safety was passed by the council that will continue discussions on the issue and change the city code to allow golf carts in public areas. residential streets.

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Columbus Police Chief Charles Sherer said when it comes to rules of the road for golf carts, they should follow the same safety rules as all-terrain utility vehicles (UTVs), with a few modifications to the vehicles themselves.

“In order to improve visibility, we recommend the same type of equipment that UTVs must have, headlights, brake lights, taillights, turn signals, horns, seat belts and a flag at the back,” Sherer said.

In the petition, the Stankoskis specifically mentioned that Edwin’s club car has these characteristics and would avoid major streets that become highways. This is a restriction already in place for UTVs.

“They can’t drive on freeways, they can cross freeways, perpendicular to them, and they have to drive them between sunrise and sunset, they can’t run them at night,” Sherer said during the the meeting.

As for costs, Fourth Ward Councilman J. Prent Roth asked at the meeting if there would be any registration fees or additional taxes, as the current UTV fee is $10 per year.

The vehicles would not be registered because the Department of Motor Vehicles does not recognize them as motor vehicles, Sherer said, but an inspection to ensure the vehicles are properly equipped for road use would likely have to take place, which incurs costs.

Sherer added during the meeting that with this system, those who violate laws with vehicles could be denied said permit.

The idea of ​​an overall cost for the two types of vehicles has been floated, but as the order has not yet been drafted, it has been set for further discussion.

Sherer said one thing the police department definitely wants in the order is a clause about drivers having Class O operator’s licenses, regular driver’s licenses, to operate the vehicles.

We want to put that in there. Without it, it would not be possible to prevent underage children from driving them, so they must be at least 16 years old to drive the vehicles,” Sherer said.

The report was adopted unanimously and an order will be drafted and voted on later.