Process established to allow golf carts, utility vehicles on roads in certain areas of New Kent
New Kent supervisors have approved an amendment to an ordinance that may allow golf carts and utility vehicles to be driven on designated roads or areas.
County leaders voted 4-1 during Monday night’s regular meeting establishing a process for neighborhoods and subdivisions to apply the use of golf carts and utility vehicles on streets. District 3 supervisor Patricia Paige casted the lone vote of opposition, citing safety concerns.
Under state law, golf carts and utility vehicles can only operate on roads with a posted speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less in approved areas. With the passing of the amendment, Home Owner Associations (HOA’s) or residents in neighborhoods favoring the use of the aforementioned vehicles (at least 51 percent) may petition the board of supervisors to grant access. All operators must also possess a valid driver’s license.
County Administrator Rodney Hathaway said that criteria must be met by the driver in order to operate the recreation vehicle on the highways. The driver must have insurance on the golf cart/utility vehicle and the vehicle and only operate during the day unless properly equipped with headlights. If a neighborhood or road is approved, that area must purchase the signage to notify other drivers that golf carts/utility vehicles operate in the area. Those modes of transportation are also subject to all vehicle laws, including speeding and Driving Under the Influence (DUI).
The issue of allowing golf carts on roads first appeared in a March 2016 meeting but garnered no additional action from leaders. After the issue resurfaced, it was reevaluated.