Unsafe golf carts on Holmes Beach main roads soon will be a thing of the past.
Holmes Beach commissioners voted Feb. 26 to approve the first reading of an amended ordinance requiring seat belts and age-appropriate child restraint devices — such as car seats — for golf carts.
Additionally, golf carts will be prohibited on roads with a speed limit higher than 25 mph, including East Bay, Gulf, Marina and Palm drives and Manatee Avenue.
Currently, golf carts are not permitted on city streets with speed limits of 35 mph or higher and must be operated by a licensed driver.
There are no proposed changes for low-speed vehicles, which also only can be driven by a licensed driver and can go faster than golf carts. LSVs must be titled, registered and insured.
The speed limit requirement remains the same as the current ordinance, but the wording of the proposed ordinance removed specific streets names.
Previously, Police Chief Bill Tokajer recommended the wording change that golf carts be restricted from roadways with a 35-mph or higher speed limit, but at the Feb. 26 meeting, Commissioner Rick Hurst suggested changing it to “anything above 25 mph.” He said changing the verbiage now would prevent having to amend the ordinance if speed limits are reduced to 30 mph on roads with a 35-mph speed limit.
Tokajer and other commissioners agreed to the wording change.
According to the ordinance, neither golf carts nor LSVs are allowed on beach accesses, boardwalks, bike lanes or multiuse paths.
“Those are things that are law now, but we’re just making it clearer to people that you cannot be on those areas,” Tokajer said.
Commissioner Carol Soustek said the wording includes prohibition on “other city-owned property,” which to her implied golf carts would be off-limits at city hall.
Tokajer said the clause was meant to include recreational areas, such as parks, and suggested the city attorney make the language more specific before the final reading and vote, set for the next commission meeting.
The next city commission meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, with a work session to follow.