With spring approaching, O’Fallon residents are reminded of the new City ordinance allowing golf carts on some City streets. The ordinance, which was passed in October, builds on State of Missouri laws, and clarifies the guidelines and better spells out how residents can use golf carts in a manner that is safe for both the cart riders and drivers and those in cars.
According to the new Ordinance, a golf cart is defined as any motor vehicle that is or was originally designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour (MPH). Please note: All-terrain vehicles and off-road vehicle are not “golf carts” within the meaning of these regulations.
Rules of the road
Under the new guidelines, golf carts may be operated on any public street, other than a state or federal highway, having a speed limit of 30 mph or less. Carts may cross federal or state highways or another street with a speed limit over 30 mph; however, no golf cart may cross a street with a posted speed limit that exceeds 45 mph.
Golf carts may be operated on public sidewalks and public pedestrian and bicycle paths which have a travel surface of at least 6 feet wide, unless prohibited by posted signs.
Golf carts may not be driven at any time between ½ hour before sunset and ½ hour before sunrise, unless the golf cart is equipped with a lamp on the front with a white light visible from at least 500 feet to the front and either a solid red taillight visible from 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful low-beam headlights on a motor vehicle or a flashing LED taillight together with a red reflector visible for 600 feet. In addition, all golf carts must have a bicycle safety flag, triangular in shape, with an area at least 30 square inches in a dayglow color and extending at least 7 feet above the ground attached to the rear of the golf cart and must be equipped with a horn or other device capable of emitting an audible warning signal.
Additionally, no person shall operate a golf cart:
- Without a valid driver’s license.
- In a negligent or careless manner so as to endanger any person or property of another.
- While under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substance.
- Who is less than 16 years old.
- With more passengers than the golf cart is specifically designed to carry while seated.
- With any passengers standing in the rear bag storage area or hanging onto the golf cart.
Any person operating a golf cart shall:
- Yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian or bicyclist, and
- Give an audible signal before overtaking or passing a pedestrian or bicyclist, and
- Move the golf cart to the far-right side and yield to faster-moving vehicles, pedestrians, and bicyclists, and
- Maintain proof of financial responsibility or maintain any other insurance policy providing equivalent liability coverage for operation of a golf cart
- Adhere to all applicable state and local laws including, but not limited to the provisions of this code.
- Not operate a golf cart on any private property without permission of the property owner.