Lincoln, Ill., golf cart ordinance goes into effect November 1

Driving golf carts in the City of Lincoln was approved in Monday’s voting session, with Mayor Tracy Welch breaking a tie to allow citizens to drive golf carts on certain streets in Lincoln. After a lengthy discussion at the all-meeting committee last Tuesday, city leaders made some concessions to the ordinance.

Ward 3 Alderman Kevin Bateman asked council to amend the ordinance to include the registration sticker to have the permit displayed at the bottom of the required slow sign.

“It just makes it easier for our officers to see. Just like a license plate, they can visually see the license sticker,” Bateman said.

Ward 4 Alderman Rick Hoefle asked if the dates of the permit which was drafted to run from May 1 to April 30 of the year can be pro-rated with the current year starting November 1, 2021.

“What worries me is that our city clerk’s office will be bombarded with requests and will want to wait for the stickers to be ready,” Hoefle said.

City Attorney John Hoblit told council there were many paragraphs in the order, but he could add another to include Alderman Bateman’s request.

After the vote, Ward 3 Alderman Wanda Rohlfs shared her thoughts on the perception of council not following the rules of procedure.

“We are a maniacal form of government and sometimes we seem to forget how the process should work,” Rohlfs said.

Rohlfs went on to say that she did not believe it was appropriate for outside third parties to intervene in the conversation and that she feared a conflict of interest.

Mayor Welch asked Rohlfs if she was still talking about the golf cart ordinance they had just passed.

“I have a hard time understanding your escape,” Welch questioned.

Rohlfs quoted City Clerk Peggy Bateman at last Tuesday’s meeting as saying “it starts here and ends here” statement she felt did not comply with established rules.

After a lengthy discussion of policy and procedures and several aldermen sharing their thoughts on contributing to the meetings, Welch thanked Rohlfs for raising the topic for conversation.

Here’s what the public should know about driving a golf cart through the streets of Lincoln:

Who can drive a golf cart through the streets of Lincoln?

Anyone driving an off-road vehicle must be 18 years old and have a valid driver’s license. The golf cart can only be used between sunrise and sunset. All operators must complete a signed liability waiver releasing the city to defend, indemnify and hold the city harmless from any future claims while driving the golf cart.

What should the golf cart be equipped with to drive on the road?

The following equipment must be installed: seat belts, horn, brakes, steering gear, tires, rear view mirror, front and rear red reflection ionized warning devices, slow moving vehicle emblem, headlight visible from 500 feet in daylight, a taillight that can be seen 100 feet from the rear in daylight, brake lights and turn signals, windshield and muffler or exhaust system exhaust to prevent excessive or unusual noise for gas-powered golf carts.

Is there a special license to be able to drive a golf cart on the street?

Yes, permits cost $100 and the application is available at the Lincoln City Clerks office. Anyone considering paying for a permit must pay the City of Lincoln. Insurance coverage should be checked before the police issue or renew a license. Permits will be issued for a period of one year and valid from May 1 to April 30 of the year. All golf carts must be inspected prior to licensing. The inspection will be performed at the Lincoln Police Department. Vehicle inspection will not be required after the first year of registration unless the Chief of Police determines that an inspection is necessary.

What if I drive a golf cart without a license?

Anyone caught violating this order will be subject to a fine of at least $250 or more than $1,000. For the first offense a fine will be issued, the second time the individual will have a one month license suspension and the third time the individual will be banned from driving the golf cart for two years. Those whose golf cart license is revoked must reapply, have their golf cart re-inspected, and pay a $250 fee.

On which streets are golf carts prohibited?

Keokuk, Fifth, Logan, Union and Limit Streets as well as Woodlawn Road and portions of Kickapoo Street where business 55 begins to the intersection of Keokuk and Kickapoo.

Is there a limit to how many people can ride the golf cart?

Yes, there is one person per bucket seat and no more than two people for a bench seat. Any child under the age of 8 can be a passenger in the golf cart.