Golf Carts Legal on Ohio Streets Beginning Sunday

Golf carts will be par for the course on many Ohio streets and alleys in the new year.

On Sunday, a new state law goes into effect permitting golf cart owners to putter down Ohio roadways where there is a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less — except in areas where local governments already have taken action to prohibit or control golf cart travel.

Carts being driven on the streets must be “street legal,” meaning they must have a windshield, seat belts, headlights, tail lights, turn signals and a horn. They must be capable of traveling at least 20 mph, but no more than 25 mph. The carts also are required be registered with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, according to the new law.

Municipalities had the option of enacting their own laws pertaining to golf cart use on their streets before the state law takes effect Jan. 1, and some local governments took advantage.

Bellaire was among those not passing anti-golf cart ordinances. Mayor Vince DiFabrizio told council members in November he believed there were at least three residents in the village who planned to contest any law prohibiting golf cart use if it were enacted.

St. Clairsville leaders, meanwhile, chose to approve an ordinance banning the vehicles from the city’s streets. They believed the layout of the city made it unsafe for golf cart travel.

“The city is so chopped up — you could not drive them on (U.S.) 40 and (Ohio) 9,” said Kathy Kaluger, council clerk and mayor’s secretary. “You couldn’t much get anywhere.”

But in Shadyside, golf cart driving already has become commonplace, according to mayor’s secretary Marsha Sous. Thinking ahead, the village has had legislation pertaining to golf carts on the street in place for more than a year.

Shadyside requires its golf cart drivers to have a valid driver’s license, and pay $25 for a golf cart inspection by its assistant police chief.

“We have at least 50 people in town that drive them,” Sous said. “They are allowed anywhere except to drive up and down on Central Avenue. People bring them to football games, and we have teachers taking them to school.”

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