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STOCK_Griffith Town Hall

Griffith Town Hall

GRIFFITH — Some Griffith residents want to cruise more than just the fairways with their golf carts.

They'd like to use them to run errands in town, so they've asked the Town Council to consider allowing the carts to be driven on town streets.

To that end, the council has introduced an ordinance that would regulate the use of golf carts in town. It took no action on the proposal.

"We get a lot of requests from people who want to drive their golf carts around town," said Council Vice President Larry Ballah. "It came to our attention several times."

The council is trying to accommodate their requests while keeping safety in mind, he said.

The new law, if enacted, defines a golf cart as a four-wheeled vehicle originally made for use on a golf course.

"It's allowed on certain streets," Ballah said of the proposed new law.

It would restrict them to town streets with speed limits of 30 mph or less.

They would not be driven on sidewalks or any state roads in town including Broad Street, Main Street, Cline Avenue, 45th Avenue, Arbogast Street, Ridge Road and Colfax Avenue.

Golf carts would be allowed to cross those streets in crosswalk areas.

They also would be prohibited from parking on public streets not designated for such parking and would have to be stored on private property outside of public view from the sidewalks.

The driver must be at least 16, have a driver's license and keep written proof of financial responsibility in the cart.

Golf carts could not be operated between 1-5 a.m.

The ordinance is eligible for adoption at any upcoming council business meeting, said Council President Rick Ryfa, R-3rd.

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If the ordinance becomes law, golf cart operators would be required to obey the rules of the road and display a "slow moving vehicle" sign, as required by state law.

Operators also would have to be registered with the town with an initial inspection fee of $50 and an annual renewal of $30.

The ordinance also provides special exemptions by the Griffith Safety Committee for special events.

Violators of the new law would be subject to a $50 fine for the first infraction and up to $2,500, plus court fees, for subsequent violations.

Two or more infractions could result in permit revocation for up to one year.

The new law also would stipulate the use of recreational off-road vehicles is strictly prohibited anywhere on public property within the town.

"We certainly encourage any feedback on the town's website," Ryfa said. "Believe it or not there are quite a few people who drive golf carts."

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