Warrenton city leaders are reviewing potential new rules to allow golf carts to be driven on city streets. The new rules being considered would allow carts and other “low-speed vehicles” (LSVs), …
Warrenton city leaders are reviewing potential new rules to allow golf carts to be driven on city streets.
The new rules being considered would allow carts and other “low-speed vehicles” (LSVs), but drivers would be required to have a special permit from the city.
A draft of the rules was created after a resident complained that city ordinance is confusing and effectively bans golf carts by requiring the same safety features that would be found in a full-size car.
All of the potential rules discussed in the draft are subject to change. Warrenton’s Board of Aldermen discussed the draft at its Dec. 5 regular public meeting, but did not make any final decisions.
The draft states permits for LSVs would be specific to each vehicle, similar to license plates for a car.
To get a permit, owners would have to take their vehicle to a qualified mechanic to verify that the LSV meets a list of safety requirements issued by the city.
The permit would be valid for two years, and a registration fee of $30 and proof of insurance on the vehicle would be required.
Anyone driving an LSV would still be required to have a valid state driver’s license.
On the road, LSV drivers would be expected to obey all traffic laws, including avoiding careless or dangerous driving. They also would be subject to DWI laws.
The proposal includes a provision prohibiting the operation of LSVs on city streets after sunset.
The rules also would ban driving golf carts or other LSVs on any federal highway, or any state highway except to cross at an intersection. That would prevent such vehicles from driving along Interstate 70, Highway 47 and several other roads.
However, it would not keep golf carts off Main Street, which Police Chief Larry Ellard said will probably be excluded from the final version of the rules. Main Street (also known as Booneslick Road) technically is part of State Highway MM.
The new LSV policy would not reverse an existing ban on all-terrain vehicles. Ellard said ATVs are prohibited from city streets by a separate ordinance already in place.
Rules for wheelchairs
A section of the proposed rules lays out new restrictions for motorized wheelchairs operating on city streets.
Warrenton aldermen have said people driving wheelchairs on busy streets are creating dangerous situations.
“I almost struck an individual at about 10 p.m. one night in front of the Imo’s Pizza, who was driving a wheelchair northbound in the southbound lane,” said Ward 1 Alderman Greg Costello.
He said that wasn’t the only time he has witnessed wheelchairs driving in the street.
“When I’ve suggested that might be dangerous, I was told they can drive wherever they want,” he said. “They don’t have to abide by any traffic ordinances.”
Under the new rules, someone operating a wheelchair could be cited for “careless or imprudent” behavior, or any negligence which endangers a person or property, or for obstructing traffic.
Wheelchairs also would be banned from any numbered federal or state highways, except to cross at an intersection with a city street.
The Warrenton Board of Aldermen meets the first and third Tuesday of each month, at 7 p.m. at Warrenton City Hall. Meetings are open to the public and include time for public comment. The next regular meeting is Dec. 19.City of Warrenton logo