GALVESTON COUNTY – Galveston city leaders are considering changes to the city’s golf cart ordinance after four people were killed in a crash on Saturday.
The item was not on Thursday’s agenda, but the public had the opportunity to comment on the order.
“We need to consider in this particular case if anything can be done for our golf cart ordinance that could potentially reduce accidents in the future,” Mayor Craig Brown said.
Attorney James Amaro represents the families of the victims and spoke on their behalf at the meeting.
Between June 2021 and August 2022, Galveston police responded to 32 incidents involving golf carts. Nine of the incidents resulted in injuries.
On Thursday, Mayor Craig Brown, city council members and the city attorney talked about making changes to the ordinance.
They suggested banning golf carts at night on public roads, banning golf carts altogether, and changing the speed limit and age requirements.
“I wouldn’t be opposed to banning golf carts at night,” council member Marie Robb said.
“I think we have to look at the speed we allow them. We say you are not a car, but allow the speed limit to be the same as a vehicle that would be on the levee,” council member Sharon Lewis said.
They also talked about possible changes to fines, fees and regulations.
“It’s going to take all of us coming together, not just the city, but the golf cart companies to work together to see what ideas we can come up with,” Mayor Craig Brown said.
“My biggest suggestion for them is to sit down with rental companies,” Tiffany Gibson said.
Tiffany Gibson is co-owner of Beachin’ Rides and Rentals on the Seawall. Gibson says she attended several board meetings to establish standard security procedures.
“I can’t express enough the impotence of the seat belts. A major problem we had last year was getting the seat belts across the board and they threw it away, really at the last minute. “, she said.
Mayor Craig Brown says the city council is also considering other forms of transportation.
“We are a resort community and so because of that we are seeing a proliferation of e-bikes, Segways, scooters and electric skateboards. Many different vehicles are modes of transportation on our streets and we have no laws and ordinances to govern them to protect the safety of those involved,” he said.
Galveston is a major tourist attraction that attracts millions of people each year. Managers want to make sure safety is at the top of the list.
“I think we have to think ahead when we start restricting who can be on the street and what kind of transportation,” Council Member David Collins said.
Mayor Craig Brown said they will continue to gather information on the ordinance and said it will be discussed at the next meeting on August 25, but a possible vote will not take place until September.
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