Police Chief: Golf Carts On City Streets Could Be Dangerous

The Clayton Town Council heard a presentation this week from Police Chief Wayne Bridges on the dangers of golf carts on city streets.  The presentation followed a request by developers of the East Village Walk community being built on Front Street. James Lipscomb of Hometowne Realty asked city leaders to examine the feasibility of allowing golf carts in Downtown Clayton.  It would be convenient for the residents of the new development designed for adults 55 and above.

Chief Bridges told council members golf carts may be fun but they are dangerous on roads and don’t hold up in a crash.  Bridges said he spoke with police chiefs in a dozen North Carolina communities that have adopted rules. Most of the towns are all smaller than Clayton.

In reality, Clayton Public Information Officer Stacy Beard says the State gives anyone the right to drive a golf cart on any roadway with a speed limit under 35 – as long as they are street legal carts and the driver has a license.

The Council had considered – like the 12 other communities – to enact special registration requirements, fees, and specifics on who could drive the cars, what equipment they must carry, and hours they can operation, but took no action.

At this week’s meeting, Lipscomb said he did not realize he could already have a golf cart and that the East Village Walk development might want to have one street legal golf cart so that the sales staff can ride around potential buyers and possibly even bring them downtown, which would be possible since the Front Street extension where the development is being built is a 35mph zone.