Permitting in effect Jan. 1 for golf carts, ATVs, UTVs

Dave Marner

City Hall staff will issue permits for owners of golf carts, ATVs and UTVs during regular business hours following approval Dec. 18 of an ordinance authorizing transit within the city limits for a $15 annual fee.

When those seeking permits visit City Hall to pay their permitting fee, Owensville police will be contacted to come by and inspect the vehicle. Operators will be required to have  proof of liability insurance on whatever vehicle they are seeking to permit. 

The permitting ordinance, No. 1253, is effective as Jan. 1.

The ordinance as approved was the same language discussed earlier this fall, City Administrator Nathan Schauf told Owensville’s Board of Aldermen.

“This is the same thing as the most recent draft you discussed,” said Schauf.

The ordinance defines a golf cart as “any motorized vehicle powered electrically or by any other means designed and manufactured for operations on a golf course for sporting and recreational purposes” and requires the same liability insurance coverage as a UTV or ATV. The $15 permitting fee also applies to golf carts.

Operators of all these types of vehicles will be required to have a “valid, state-issued motor vehicle operator’s license” and will be required to obey all posted speed limits and traffic control signals.

All seat belt requirements, and use of car seats for children as designated by state law, are applicable under this ordinance.

Operators of these vehicles will not be allowed to travel over 25 miles per hour, according to the ordinance which was approved unanimously on a 4-0 roll-call vote.

Operators of all vehicles covered under this permitting process will be required to wear a helmet if they are under the age of 18. All vehicles must equipped with an reflective safety-colored “equilateral triangular emblem mounted at the rear of the vehicle” which is at least two feet above the roadway and least 10 inches in length on each side. 

The ordinance also requires a safety flag attached to the rear of the vehicle which extends at least 7 feet above ground.

Operation of these vehicles is prohibited in streams within the city limits unless they are adjoining the operator’s own land, have permission from the landowner to cross, or are part of a roadway’s designated crossing of a stream or river.

Hours of operation of these vehicles on city streets is prohibited “earlier than sunrise or later than sunset.”

Operators of these vehicles will not be allowed to carry more passengers than their vehicle is designated to carry.

Once you obtain your permit, you will be required to carry it with you when you operate on city streets in Owensville. A copy will also be kept on file with the city.

The ordinance notes operators are allowed to cross state and county-maintained roadways using their golf carts, ATVs and UTVs, but are prohibited from traveling on these roads. However, noting in the ordinance “shall be interpreted as prohibiting the lawful use of a recreational off-highway vehicle” in accordance with state statutes.

City Hall is closed Monday, Jan. 1, for New Year’s Day but will be open on Friday, Dec. 29.

Schauf said those seeking permits will need to be patient when they first go to City Hall to obtain their permits. Police will need to be contacted to come to City Hall to perform what he calls an “informal safety inspection” of the vehicle being permitted. Depending on what police are doing at that time, those seeking permits may be asked to wait or come back and a mutually agreeable time.

Permit applicants will be required to show proof of insurance and are required to maintain insurance or face ticketing for not having insurance should they be pulled over or are involved in a crash.