The following is a summary of some of the road use regulations for golf cars, LSVs, ATVs and UTVs that have been passed or are being considered at the state, county and city levels since May 2016.
Some trends in this latest regulation roundup:
- The ordinances were roughly split half and half between those dealing with golf cars and LSVs and those related to ATVs and UTVs.
- ATV/UTV ordinances allow for higher vehicle speeds compared to golf car and LSV ordinances.
- Regulatory activity is happening primarily at the town or city level, but there is some action at the county level as well.
- Most of the regulations are in favor of allowing golf car, LSV, UTV or ATV access. Those towns restricting or prohibiting use tend to be concerned about vehicle congestion on particularly high use roads.
Georgia Tech University, Atlanta, GA – A new low speed vehicle and golf car policy was passed requiring that any Georgia Tech unit owning or purchasing LSVs or golf carts must ensure these vehicles are street legal and register each of them with Georgia Tech Fleet Services. LSVs must not be driven on high-speed streets (above 35 mph), and golf carts must not be driven on streets with speed limits above 25 mph.
Grayson County, TX – Grayson County Commissioners approved a resolution Tuesday to allow golf carts or similar utility vehicles to operate on some roadways in unincorporated areas of the county. Licensed drivers will be allowed to operate the carts on public roadways with speed limits of 35 mph or less. The resolution is only for unincorporated areas of the county, not inside city limits. Utility vehicles are defined as being designed for off-highway utility work, not for recreation.
Poth, TX – The City Council is considering adopting an ordinance currently being used in Rockport, which requires annual inspections of neighborhood electric vehicles at a cost of $10, and insurance coverage. Each vehicle must have headlamps, tail lamps, reflectors, parking brakes, rear view mirrors, turn signals, seat belts, and a flag, mounted on a 6-foot pole, attached to the rear.
Panama City Beach, FL – A regulation was passed in May preventing the registration of LSVs unless they can prove they had ordered them before May 12. The city is concerned that the increasing number of LSVs, which grew from 93 to 194 in the past year, will become a road hazard on Front Beach Road. Many of the LSVs are from LSV rental businesses.
Canton, IL – A new ordinance allowing golf cars and UTVs generated more interest than expected as the city quickly went through the original 20 permit stickers they purchased in the first month. Utility vehicles must be issued a $50 annual permit by the city, renewable mid-year, and provide proof of liability insurance that has at least the same limits of coverage required by law for regular cars. Operators must also be at least 16 years old and licensed drivers.
Landis, NC – The town board passed ordinances that would allow low-speed vehicles on public roadways. Lowering the speed limit on a key roads for LSV travel was required. The Police Chief supported the ordinance.
China Grove, NC – The town passed an ordinance that would allow golf cars and low speed vehicles to travel between China Grove and nearby Landis. Insurance, drivers license and permit are required to the drive the vehicles on local streets but an operator would not need a permit from both towns. Lights are needed to drive the vehicles at night.
Wake Forest, NC – Town leaders are considering allowing golf cars on some city streets at the urging of local residents. The local police department is against the ordinance for safety reasons.
Red River, NM – The town repealed an ordinance allowing ATVs and UTVs to access certain roads because of concerns over safely operating ATVs at high speeds on road rather than off-road. Manufacturers state that ATVs shouldn’t be operated on paved roads. The town expects to pass a new ordinance that will prohibit ATVs but allow UTVs on certain roads and at speeds up to 45 mph.
Ames, IA – The town started issuing ATV and UTV licenses in August. ATVs/UTVs are able to travel on gravel roads during daylight hours but cannot exceed 45 mph. The vehicles must have front and rear lights and the owner/operators must be insured, over 16 and have a valid driver’s license.
Peosta, IA – The City Council shelved an ordinance regarding the use of golf cars, ATVs and UTVs on city streets . There is concern over vehicle congestion on the already highly trafficked streets that the vehicles would most likely use.
Girard City, KS – The City Council voted down a ordinance that would have allowed the use of golf cars, ATVs and UTVs on city streets.
Squamish, British Columbia, CA – District of Squamish staff is drafting a bylaw, which, if passed by council, would see low-speed, zero-emissions vehicles allowed on Squamish neighborhood streets. Staff is also investigating the possibility of a future bylaw to allow medium-speed vehicles. A low-speed bylaw would allow the vehicles to travel as slow as 40 kilometers per hour, while a medium-speed bylaw would cover vehicles that travel 60 kilometers per hour.
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia, CA – Premier Christy Clark has announced a pilot project that will allow golf carts on local roads (but not major highways) in the Township of Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island and the Village of Chase in the southern Interior. The move, which starts in September, is intended to give senior citizens another method of transportation around town to run errands.