Columbia Township is considering permitting the use of golf carts on some public roads.  Currently the law does not permit their operation on public roads.  That discussion took center stage at last night’s board meeting.  Police Chief Jay Niles described why he thought the unrestricted use of golf carts on the road presented a hazard.  He also outlined what permitting would look like, and the restrictions on use and equipment that could be required.  Watch the video for more, and for a sampling of board reactions.

Township Treasurer John Calhoun, who allowed the Spirit Trail to cut-through his property between Oakwood and Woodland, expressed concern about golf cart damage and potential liability.

The Township has composed a draft of the ordinance.  Here it is.

To ensure that a golf cart has proper equipment, an inspection would take place. A draft of the checklist is below.  Once inspected, the owner would take document to the Secretary of State’s office to be licensed.

The use of golf carts would be allowed only on roads where the speed limit is under 30 mph.  In this map, you can see Clark Lake roads that could qualify for golf cart use as these sections have 25 mph limits.  To expand the map for the entire Township, please click here.

It’s not possible to circle Clark Lake in a golf cart without using over 25 mph roads.  To stay on 25 mph roads would mean using non-motorized sections of the Spirit Trail.

Use of golf carts on public roads is not currently permitted.  In the video, Chief Niles was asked about the consequences of violation.  He said the driver will get a warning on the first occasion.  If caught again, the driver will be ticketed.   A third offense would lead to the cart being towed away.  If the person is underaged (not licensed to drive), parents would be called.

This topic is still in its formative stages.  The consensus of the board was to continue discussing it at the June meeting.