A new law in Huber Heights will allow residents to drive certain golf carts on city streets with speed limits 25 mph or less.
The ordinance, passed by a majority of council last month after research by Councilman Richard Shaw, will take effect Aug. 22.
Discussions about allowing golf carts on city streets have been ongoing for more than a year, following a change in state law that required cities to adopt ordinances for golf carts to be permitted, city staff said.
“In 2017 … the law changed to state that, within the cities, you would have to adopt an ordinance for them to be permitted,” said Huber Heights Law Director Jerry McDonald. “So on Jan. 1, 2017, golf carts that were previously allowed were not allowed.”
State law classifies a golf cart as an “under speed vehicle,” meaning it cannot be operated on a street with a speed limit over 35 mph. Last year, Huber Heights Police Chief Mark Lightner recommended council adopt a speed limit of 25 mph or less for golf carts, which would permit the carts on most city streets.
Council members also expressed interest in later discussing allowing other modes of transportation.
“I’m definitely open to allowing the citizens of Huber Heights any of these modern options that would work best for them and their families,” said Councilman Glenn Otto.
Drivers and golf carts will need to meet certain conditions under the new ordinance.
Residents who seek to drive carts will need to be age 16 or older. They must hold a valid, current driver’s license. And owners of golf carts will need to display registration tags on the front and rear of the golf cart.
The cart must also be inspected by the Huber Heights police. Valid insurance and a title will be required.
While the carts won’t be allowed on streets with speed limits greater than 25 mph, drivers will still be able to cross intersections with higher speeds, so long as they remain on a street with a posted limit of 25 mph or less.
Golf cart occupants will need to remain seated and buckled. Standing while in motion will be prohibited. Children who require the use of a child restraint under Ohio law will be prohibited from riding in golf carts.
No golf carts will be permitted on sidewalks.
Golf carts in the city will need to include:
• Two working headlights, at least one working taillight and one working brake light;
• Directional signals;
• A rear-view mirror;
• A white light illuminating the rear license plate legible from a distance of 50 feet;
• A working horn;
• Windshield made of glass or safety glass;
• Two license plates — one in the front and one in the rear — bracketed to the cart;
• One seat belt per occupant.