During the discussion, city officials said PTVs would not be allowed on national roads, such as freeways. 9 and 20, and would create new rules for vehicles, including the requirement for registration with the Cumming Police Department, insurance, seat belts and headlights.
“Right now, if you’re driving a golf cart through your neighborhood, you may be hit with about five or six traffic violations,” Mayor Troy Brumbalow said. “If you’re driving through Adair Park going to your friend’s house down the street, in a neighborhood, you might have five or six violations.”
Brumbalow said most of the city’s 25mph roads are in neighborhoods and some that are not, such as West Courthouse Square, cannot be reached by other roads that meet the requirements.
Signs would also be placed on roads where vehicles would be allowed, and drivers who register the vehicle would receive a list of roads they are allowed to drive on from the city’s police department.
During the discussion, Councilwoman Linda Ledbetter raised several concerns about the proposal, saying she feared it would be dangerous to residents and open the city to lawsuits.
Ledbetter said she thinks “golf carts would be really dangerous” and “I think the city will get pretty sued when people get into accidents, and I think we’ll get into a lot of accidents.”
Although the ordinance would mean cars could not legally pass PTVs, Ledbetter doubted drivers were following the rules.
“I mean really, we’ve got a lot of traffic here, and I think you’ll have a lot of people going, ‘I’m going to pass this person. [driving a golf cart], they go 25 mph,” she said. “They will pass them, then get injured. I think you expose yourself to all kinds of accidents in the city.
Howell said he thinks the city having an ordinance on golf carts, which are already being driven in some neighborhoods, would give the city a better legal case if someone is injured in an accident.
“For example, if you’re driving your golf cart right now and you get a citation or have an accident, you violated state law but there was nothing in town you could argue , I guess, who says, “Listen, did you go to the [Cumming Police Department] and registered your vehicle and got the card, things of that nature, you could have found a way to comply and drive your golf cart to a safe place,” he said.
“By laying that out and being as specific as we try to be, having safety measures on golf carts, having a licensing system, having insurance and things like that, we’re actually taking measures at least to limit the liability of the city. .”
The current discussion on the ordinance is not the first time that it has been possible to establish rules for golf carts.
In 2018, city leaders discussed a similar proposal for vehicles before plans bogged down.