City: No golf carts on sidewalks
Published 4:25 pm Wednesday, May 2, 2007
By By Kerry Whipple Bean – publisher
Got a golf cart? Keep it on the links for now.
That was the basic message Tuesday from the Brewton City Council, which agreed to obey the state law that mandates golf carts may not be on sidewalks.
But council members also agreed that the law is a bit murky when it comes to city streets, and city attorney Ed Hines will seek an attorney general's opinion on that issue.
In the meantime, Mayor Ted Jennings directed Police Chief Monte McGougin to have officers stop anyone from riding a golf cart on the sidewalks or on the streets.
Because Brewton has a municipal court, it obeys all acts classified as misdemeanors by the state, Hines told council members. State law clearly prohibits vehicles - including golf carts - from sidewalks.
Council members could modify city ordinances, but that could open the city up to liability issues, Hines said.
When he researched whether licensed drivers could use golf carts on city streets if they are properly equipped with lights and safety features, Hines found some confusion.
Councilwoman Ann Marie Sasser pointed out that in any case a child would not be allowed to operate a golf cart or other vehicle.
The council has debated the issue at least once in open session, and a city committee has been investigating the issue for several weeks.
When Jennings asked the council members if they would like to follow state law or pursue a city ordinance, all agreed to follow state law. But Sasser asked for some clarification about golf carts on city streets.
McGougin said his department would begin to enforce the law as it relates to golf carts. Jennings said most people driving them - especially juveniles - would likely be told simply to take them home rather than taking them to court.
If any attorney general's opinion holds that golf carts are allowed on city streets, Hines said the city would not have to take any action on the issue.