GREENFIELD — Residents may drive golf carts with a special permit on city streets where the speed limit doesn’t rise above 30 mph, the Greenfield City Council voted this week.
City officials first began studying the issue over the summer after a resident approached the council to ask its members consider changing the rules prohibiting carts in neighborhoods, on side streets and other areas where people might want to travel without hopping in a car.
Because the carts won’t be allowed on major state roads — like U.S. 40 or State Road 9 — city leaders were receptive to changing local rules. They studied other town and city regulations, surveyed residents and worked with the local police department to draft an ordinance for those living within Greenfield city limits.
State law leaves the issue in the hands of local officials, who can pass an ordinance allowing golf carts on local roads if they choose. Without a special ordinance OKing the practice, driving golf carts on the road is prohibited.
Before hitting the streets, residents must apply for a golf cart permit and post it on the back of their vehicle. The permit will be valid for two years and costs $50, the ordinance states.
The permit will be approved only after the applicant equips the cart with a slow-moving vehicle emblem. The cart also must be equipped with functioning headlights, taillights, mirrors and turn signals.
Drivers must be at least 16½ and carry insurance in case of an accident.
Residents won’t be allowed to drive the golf carts on city streets after sunset, and the ordinance bars them from busy thoroughfares during rush hour, 7 to 9 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. The prohibited roadways are: Apple, Broadway and Franklin streets and McKenzie Road. They cannot be driven on any road with a speed limit over 30.
Carts also are prohibited in any school zone between 7 and 9 a.m. and 2 and 4 p.m.
Council president Gary McDaniel said he’s happy the council approved the ordinance.
Residents have asked county officials to consider establishing rules for golf carts for years, he said.
He’s long felt an ordinance is necessary and expects to see golf carts on the road soon, he said.