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Oxford leaders look to allow golf carts on certain roads

Driving golf carts on public roads may soon be allowed in certain Oxford neighborhoods.

The Oxford Board of Aldermen voted on Wednesday to gain local and private legislation allowing the use of golf carts on certain roads and heard the first reading of an ordinance change that would set forth the rules of such use if the Mississippi Legislature approves the city’s request.

A local and private bill is a proposal for a law that would apply to a particular individual or group of individuals, or corporate entity – in this case, Oxford, which is unlike public bills which apply to everyone in the state.

Public Works Director Bart Robinson read the proposed resolution asking for the local and private bill and the proposed ordinance, which would require golf cart owners to have a valid driver’s license and insurance on the cart. Carts would have to remain on the shoulder of the roads, or within painted cart path or bike lanes, which would be painted at the expense of the developer.

Attached to the ordinance is a listing of street names – all within Grand Oaks – where the carts would be allowed on public streets; however, Robinson suggested changing the ordinance to add verbiage that riding golf carts on public streets would only be allowed in developments where there are golf facilities.

Currently, only the Grand Oaks planned unit development has public roads with access to golf facilities. Others, like The Links, are only private roads.

The ordinance states that golf carts will be operated according to traffic rules and regulations adopted by the state of Mississippi and the city of Oxford. Only carts with headlamps and tail lights would be allowed to operate after dusk. Golf carts would not be allowed to operate at a speed greater than 20 miles per hour.

There are already some state laws to allow golf carts on city streets; however, they currently have to be registered as a motor vehicle with a tag, turning signals and headlights. Vehicles for hire, like Flying Tuk, are held under the taxi regulations and require security cameras, $1 million in insurance and other requirements.

The local ordinance would allow regular golf carts on certain streets only in preapproved neighborhoods.

A second reading and public hearing will be held at 5 p.m. on Feb. 6 during the aldermen’s regular meeting.