Golf carts may be allowed on Enon streets soon

Resident concerned not enough data has been considered by the village.

A plan to allow slow-speed vehicles like golf carts and utility vehicles to operate on village streets is expected to move into the legislation stage tonight.

Councilman Rick Hanna, chair of the Streets and Sidewalks and Public Safety committees, will likely introduce the ordinance after months of discussion about the safety and practicality of allowing so-called “underspeed vehicles,” or USVs, on village streets.

Hanna said in May it would be a practical way to get around the village during this era of high gas prices and environmental concern.

But at least one resident feels there should be more exploration on the topic before council passes such a measure.

Resident Lee Earnest at council’s Aug. 14 meeting said she wanted her concerns about lack of facts and data on the record before legislation is introduced.

“I have engaged in some research involving underspeed vehicles, and I am concerned not enough facts and data have been presented or considered before a decision is made to allow the operation of these vehicles in Enon,” Earnest said. “It is preferable to address and discuss these details, which may become legal issues in the case of accidents involving motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles, pedestrians or pets.”

She questioned whether the village filed with the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles an “area of jurisdiction,” which she said must be done before an ordinance can be passed.

Hanna said Monday he feels the ordinance is in compliance with state rules and can be introduced tonight for a vote in September.

“The village solicitor hasn’t said anything about” an area of jurisdiction, he said.

Earnest also questioned whether it would affect other four-wheeled vehicles like lawn mowers, tractors and electric wheelchairs and asked what the rules and regulations are concerning motor vehicle and USV operation on the same roadways.

“I am not against using USVs on the roadways that are marked 35 miles per hour or less, but do have many concerns with liabilities to other motorists, residents and the village of Enon if an ordinance is enacted without comprehensive overview of checks, balances and regulations,” she said.

USVs and their drivers are required to follow state license, registration, equipment and insurance laws. They can operate on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less.

Enon police would conduct equipment compliance inspections before a USV could be registered with the state. An inspection fee would be charged.

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