EASTERN PALESTINE – The Council convened Monday night for a Security Park Cemetery and Recreation (SPRC) meeting to discuss allowing golf carts on public streets in the village.
Police Chief James Brown III offered insight from a law enforcement perspective. He told the board he was unlikely to grant leniency when inspecting the vehicles.
“I’m not going to say it’s ok for Mr. Walker not to have turn signals, but tell Mr. Cohen he has to have those turn signals,” said Brown.
Brown said the department will work with Highway Patrol for inspection trainings.
Brown and Parks Committee Chairman Alan Cohen studied golf cart ordinances in other municipalities as a layout tool regarding golf cart use for the village.
The board has determined that it is best to renew the registration of golf carts on an annual basis given the presence of used golf carts and the lack of familiarity with the vehicles.
“The wear and tear in a year on a golf cart, or any other vehicle for that matter, can be enormous,” said Councilman Flay Stewart.
Council member Jim Hall thought the registration could be extended at a later date.
“I think we’re opening the floodgates here, that’s what we do,” said Council Member Mark Walker.
Because of Ohio’s revised code limitations regarding law enforcement for low-speed vehicles, Brown suggested specifying vehicle types in the ordinance.
“You’re asking us to enforce the laws specifically for golf carts, but you’re telling other people with these other low-speed vehicles that you’re not allowed to (enforce the laws),” said Brown.
Drafting specific details regarding low-speed vehicles would give the police department an advantage in preventing occurrences such as go-karts on public roads.
“There are two things we can quote them with – operating on a street that has posted a higher speed limit than allowed or simply you are in violation of this revised code because the village of eastern Palestine did not allow them in any street, ” said Brown.
Brown pointed out that the logistics for towing various types of vehicles are complicated.
“I’m glad you included me in the discussion anyway because there’s a lot we need to do until then,” said Brown.
Brown said he believed the village was capable of creating the best ordinance for everyone.
The ordinance is expected to come into effect next spring; however, it is likely to take longer.
“Maybe we’re not quite there yet in terms of other things that need to be discussed,” says Cohen.
Cohen wants council members to continue researching and creating projects regarding the golf cart ordinance.
“I think we are doing more harm than good to this community,” says Walker.
A concerned guest said the golf carts had no safety standards and a high rate of accidents and fatalities.
“There are no crash test standards either,” says Walker. “It’s suicidal.”
The order is filed until a 6 p.m. SPRC meeting on September 13.