Those driving golf carts within the City of Knox may soon have to register them with the city.
Knox Police Chief Harold Smith told the City Council Tuesday that issuing permits for the golf carts would help ensure residents’ safety, “I think we’ve been fortunate this far not to have any problems, but our problem is we see a lot of golf carts out; we don’t know that they’re actually abiding by the rules.”
Currently, golf cart users are required to have liability insurance as well as a valid driver’s license. By requiring residents to register their golf carts, the city hopes to be able to make sure drivers are in compliance with these rules.
Under the proposed changes, golf carts would be subject to yearly inspections and users would have to pay an annual fee. Then, Smith says they would be given a sticker to attach to their vehicle to signify that it’s in compliance, “It’s good for us because now, once we see a golf cart, we see it’s got the sticker on it, we know they’re safe and they’re good to be on the road, whereas right now we have no idea.”
Smith says he modeled the proposed changes after the regulations currently in place in the Town of Culver and with the Starke County Sheriff’s Department. However, Knox Mayor Dennis Estok also suggested changing the requirement currently in place that all golf cart users must have a driver’s license. “I know a few people out there that are disabled and basically have no driver’s license, probably cannot attain one, but they know how to drive,” he said. “They can drive. So actually, to me, I think we ought to put an exception in there but also make sure that they have to pass some type of a skill test or something.” He says for many of these individuals, golf carts are their only transportation option, and since they’re able to use them safely, they should be allowed to continue.
The amendments to the town’s golf cart ordinance will be formally presented at a future city council meting.