Town Takes Advantage of Golf Cart Enabling Legislation

EAGLEVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — When state lawmakers passed an ordinance creating a pilot program for eight communities to write golf-cart-friendly ordinances, the response was less than enthusiastic.
Waverly City Manager Buddy Frazier called it “one of the sillier things the legislature’s ever done.”
In Soddy-Daisy — the only community to register any carts, with three — the person who recorded registrations wrote, “I couldn’t find anyone at the Department of Safety to send this information to.”
And then came Eagleville.
The farm town of about 600 located an hour south of Nashville was added to the pilot program in the spring and officials there have embraced the idea, according to The Tennessean..
They already have held the Highway 99 Golf Cart Rally, and they are trying to fast-track an ordinance to allow the carts on city streets.
That last initiative has prompted the local police department to issue a warning on its website: “Carts are not yet legal to drive on roadways or sides of roadways.”
Planning Commission Chairman Nick Duke said Eagleville officials want to use golf carts to put the city on the map.
“We’re gonna make a good push at it and do everything the way the state wants us to do it and hopefully attract some people to Eagleville,” Duke said.
(Peachtree City, Ga., for example, claims 9,000 cart-owning residences and touts about 90 miles of cart trails.)

Without a similar network of trails, Eagleville needs to approve use of the carts on public roadways before the town can make its mark in the world of golf cart enthusiasts.
The City Council could vote on the ordinance in the fall.
Councilman Andy Soapes said he already rides his cart to the fishing pond, the mailbox and — despite the police warning — the farm co-op three doors down.
“They’re just as convenient as the dickens,” Soapes said.
For the carts to travel on public roadways, state code requires a driver’s license, liability insurance, local registration and about $300 in safety features, such as seatbelts and mirrors,
Even then, the carts are not allowed to travel on, or even across, roads with speed limits faster than 30 mph.
The state also requires monthly reports on cart registrations, citations and crashes.
If the ordinance passes, Duke is ready to go with a souped-up six-seater cart nicknamed “The Limo.”
So is Darrell Turnage, who over seven years invested more than $2,500 in his cart, equipping it with mud tires, a utility rack and a tape deck radio.
Explaining his investment, Turnage said, “They ride good, they’re quiet, they’re easy to work off of, and they’re really handy.”

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