Tryon to draft golf cart ordinance

Published 5:37 pm Monday, September 23, 2013

Area residents could see golf carts travelling on most Tryon roads as early as the end of November after council directed its town manager to draft an ordinance.

Council met Sept. 17 and continued a discussion on a possible golf cart ordinance that began in August.

The town has had a few requests to adopt a golf cart ordinance, particularly from White Oak Manor that asked so residents could travel from apartment building to apartment building.

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Tryon Police Chief Jeff Arrowood said he’s been in contact with the City of Saluda, which adopted its own golf cart ordinance in 2007. Arrowood said Saluda allows golf carts on any street with a speed limit under 35 mph, which is state law.

Commissioner George Baker asked about liability insurance.

Arrowood said the golf cart driver has their own insurance, just like a vehicle.

Tryon council has agreed they do not want golf carts on Trade Street during the day because of heavy traffic and speeding problems downtown. Council is considering allowing golf carts to cross Trade Street during the day as well as allow golf carts on Trade Street after 5 p.m.

Saluda’s regulations regarding golf carts include that the driver must be at least 18 years old, must possess a valid drivers license, can only carry the number of passengers intended, not exceed 20 mph, must be operated to the extreme right and yield to vehicle and pedestrian traffic, have proper lighting if operated at night, abide by state and local laws — including for use of alcohol, must have safety equipment (rearview mirror, reflective signs, lap belts and child restraints), show proof of ownership and liability insurance and must be registered and sign a waiver with the town.

Saluda has 24 golf cart permits. In order to operate a golf cart in Saluda, a person must apply and pay a $50 annual permit and $25 annual inspection if they live inside city limits and a $100 permit and $25 inspection if they live outside city limits. Golf cart operators must also sign a waiver of liability.

State law says golf carts cannot be operated on state roads with speed limits of 35 mph per hour or above.

Tryon Town Manager Joey Davis said council is planning to review the draft ordinance during its October meeting and can adopt it as early as November. Tryon’s next monthly meetings are scheduled for Oct. 17 and Nov. 21.