September 11, 2018

MEMO TO:        Mayor Barber and Board of Commissioners

FROM:             Frank A. Rush, Jr., Town Manager

SUBJECT:       Ordinance Amending Chapter 11 – Transportation – of the Code of Ordinances to Eliminate Annual Inspection Requirement for Golf Carts - (Summary & Suggested Motions)

The Board of Commissioners is scheduled to consider the attached ordinance amending the Town’s golf cart ordinance to eliminate the requirement for annual inspections to ensure that required safety features are installed on registered golf carts.

The attached memo from Police Chief Reese includes a thorough explanation of this issue.  The Town’s golf cart ordinance became effective in 2011, and includes a requirement that all registered golf carts be equipped with the following safety features:

  1. two (2) operating front headlights, visible from a distance of at least two hundred fifty (250) feet,
  2. two (2) operating tail lights, with brake lights and turn signals, visible from a distance of at least two hundred fifty (250) feet,
  3. a rear vision mirror,
  4. at least one (1) reflector per side,
  5. a parking brake,
  6. seat belts for all seating positions on the golf cart,
  7. a windshield, and
  8. must be limited to a maximum of three (3) rows of seats.

Emerald Isle Police Department staff process initial registrations and annual renewals for the Town, and EIPD conducts an annual inspection of all registered golf carts to ensure the required safety features are installed and functional.  The Town’s golf cart program continues to grow in popularity, with approximately 900 golf carts now registered, and the annual golf cart inspections require significant staff time and also place a minor burden on our customers.  If approved by the Board, EIPD staff would continue to inspect new registrations (the Town now averages approximately 75 – 100 new initial registrations each year), but would no longer inspect golf carts that are simply renewing their annual registration.  EIPD would continue to enforce any violations whereby the required safety equipment is no longer installed or functioning as golf carts are traveling around the Town.

Chief Reese and I look forward to discussing this issue with the Board at the September 11 meeting.