Salem Lakes golf cart ordinance gains momentum | Local News


SALEM LAKES — Village officials are due to vote in March on an ordinance that would allow golf carts to operate on designated village roads from sunrise to sunset, April 1 through October 31.

The stated purpose of the proposed ordinance is to ensure “the safety and welfare of persons and property relating to the use of golf carts on public roads in the Village of Salem Lakes.”

Rules for the use of golf carts on village roads, discussed at a Salem Lakes plenary committee meeting on Monday evening, are based on an ordinance approved in nearby Lake Paddock, where 105 golf cart permits were issued in 2021.

“They’ve had two incidents in four years,” Salem Lakes administrator Ron Gandt said of Paddock Lake. “I think we’re on the right track with what we have.”

Administrator Dan Campion called for golf carts to be required to include additional safety equipment, especially since young children may be among the passengers.

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“I still hold to that opinion,” Campion said. “I ask that we add to this order that there should be a seat belt for each passenger.”

Other officials said that if a manufacturer does not provide a seat belt, the village should not require it and the operator is ultimately responsible for the safe use of the golf cart.

“I just think it’s not safe enough,” Campion said. “We have to make it safer and if we don’t I can’t support it.”

The draft ordinance will go to a vote in March with no seat belt requirement.

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Under the proposed ordinance, licensed drivers would be allowed to drive golf carts on “paved roads built and maintained by the village with a posted speed limit of 25 mph or less.” The ordinance is not intended to change current subdivision covenants which in some cases prohibit the use of golf carts.

A permit issued by the village must be displayed on the golf cart. Under the plan, no permit would be issued if the owner of the golf cart owes the village overdue utility bills, special assessments, property taxes or forfeitures.

Permits would be valid from the date of issue until November 1 of the year following the year of issue. Anyone applying for a license would be required to: sign a liability waiver form; provide proof of liability insurance in the amount of $100,000 per incident; and provide proof of satisfactory inspection of the golf cart by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department that the golf cart is equipped with working brakes, an approved slow moving vehicle sign; front and rear reflectors; and a working horn.

In addition to complying with all applicable local and state traffic laws and regulations, the draft ordinance further requires:

All golf cart operators and passengers must remain seated at all times when the golf cart is in motion on village roads.

The number of occupants of the golf cart on the roads of the village will be limited to the number of adults for whom individual seats are installed and provided on the cart.

No golf carts are to be used on county or state highways in the Village.

No golf cart should be driven on public sidewalks, walkways, bike paths or multi-use paths.

No golf cart may be used in a village park, except on driveways and parking areas.

No person shall use a golf cart in a reckless or negligent manner in such a way as to endanger the person or property of others or to cause injury or damage.

No item should be towed by golf cart.

Golf carts should not be operated on private property without the permission and written consent of the owners.

Golf carts must yield to pedestrians, cyclists and other motorized vehicles.