At the most recent SUMA convention, the delegates passed a resolution asking for the province to amend the rules concerning golf carts, allowing for them to be used on municipal roads other than to go from home to a golf course. This was allowed in certain communities after passing a bylaw.
Friday, the provincial government announced the policy from SGI for golf carts would be changed, allowing them to be driven on certain municipal roads, as long as the municipality passes a bylaw with certain limitations, as well as with approval from SGI.
What this will say now is municipalities can, if they choose, expand where you can drive the golf carts,” explained Don Morgan, the Minister Responsible for SGI. “So, if you go sightseeing in it, or go grocery shopping in it, wherever you go, it would be up to the municipalities to decide where you would drive, and a number of other things the province as sort of indicated as some basics that must be met.”
The new policies that would need to be added include language in the bylaw stating the golf cart cannot travel on a provincial highway, as well as identifying the specific road or part of the road within the municipality the operation of a golf cart is permitted. The municipalities must also include in the bylaw that they will monitor and inform SGI of any collisions that occur, and if there were injuries or fatalities.
The rules that were currently in place for the use of golf carts in municipalities that had passed bylaws to allow it include the driver of the golf cart having at least a Class 7 driver’s license, carrying a minimum of $200,000 in liability insurance, not operating on a roadway with a speed over 50 km/h, must display a slow-moving vehicle sign, and can only be operated during daylight hours.
So far, one community has already started the implementation of the rule – the resort village of Shields, near Blackstrap. Morgan expects others to follow suit.
“The next one will likely be the resort village of Candle Lake, and there’s a half-dozen of others that have said show us what we need to do,” Morgan said. “The goal was that we wanted to lift the restrictions so that municipalities could have this in place for the season.”
One other rule concerning golf carts that Morgan pointed out is that only sober drivers can operate a golf cart. Those who are operating a golf cart, be it on a golf course or an approved municipal roadway, can still be charged with impaired driving if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs.