Pekin Permits Golf Carts on City Streets

Apr 27, 2020

The city of Pekin will let golfers drive their privately-owned carts on the streets to hit the links.

Pekin Police Chief John Dossey said the ordinance allows golf carts on most city streets with a speed limit of 30 miles per hour or under. 

"So in essence, it's going to be limited into the neighborhoods, where the golf carts are at, where the golf courses are at, and they can drive in the street in that area," Dossey said.

It was requested particularly by people living near Sunset Hills Golf Course after police ticketed several people driving golf carts on the roads in the past year.

Councilmember Michael Garrison introduced an amendment requiring golf cart drivers to attach an eight-foot caution flag to the vehicles when they hit the streets.

"Them golf carts are going to be driving 30 miles an hour, which is actually 44 feet per second, so, to stop the crashes, the people in the big vehicle need to know them low-profiles are coming," Garrison said.

Pekin Mayor Mark Luft said that suggestion sparked some negative feedback from local golfers.

"Having an eight-foot flag bolted to their bumper is going to cause some issues some major issues on the golf course with driving under protective areas under the trees," he said. "They went down a whole list of where the potential of ripping that flag off or not being able to go to certain areas of the golf course because of that flag."

But councilmembers appeared to disagree.

"I don't think it's anything that's going to be cumbersome," said councilwoman Karen Hohimer. "If you can afford a golf cart, you can afford a $12 flag."

Luft and councilman Rick Hilst voted against the amendment which ultimately passed requiring an eight-foot flag to be mounted on golf carts while on the roadways for safety purposes.

A one-time $15 registration fee will be required starting next year. The city will require golf cart drivers to purchase insurance. Drivers are subject to DUI laws. Those are two requirements motorized bicycle riders were exempted from in a recent ordinance regulating those vehicles due to state law.

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