By Tammy Schneider
On Sept. 7, the Township of Huron-Kinloss announced it is now a golf car friendly community.
The Township is allowing golf cars with the mandatory registration permit to operate on roadways under the jurisdiction of the Township, as part of the 10-year golf car pilot project with the Ministry of Transportation.
“We look forward to the implementation of this pilot project and its support for economic development, climate change, tourism, and improvement to quality of life in our community as it helps to address accessible and alternative transportation options,” said mayor Mitch Twolan. “Safety is the number one priority; please operate your golf car with care and courtesy at all times for the safety of our residents and visitors.”
Golf cars, under this pilot project are considered to be motor vehicles under the Highway Traffic Act, said a release from the South Bruce attachment of the OPP and operators will be expected to follow the rules of the road. In addition, specific requirements have been added to the HTA for golf cars:
The driver must have a valid Ontario driver’s license.
Golf cars can only be operated where permitted by the Township of Huron-Kinloss.
They can only be operated on roads with a maximum speed of 50 km/h and can’t be capable of travelling 32 km/h or faster on a level surface.
They are prohibited from being driven on the road in December, January, February or March.
A slow moving vehicle sign must be mounted on the rear of the golf car.
Golf cars must not carry passengers under eight years of age.
Golf cars must be equipped with adequate night time lighting if operated between half an hour before sunset and half an hour after sunrise. Daytime running lights are required to be on at all times.
The golf cars can’t carry any combustible fuel, except in the fuel tank (if equipped).
Drivers must stay in the far-right lane of the roadway.
Drivers are subject to all HTA rules of the road and penalties. Section 228 of the HTA creates an offence for violating the requirements of a pilot project. This section carries a maximum fine of $2,500 upon conviction.
Regulations are also in place regarding golf cars being equipped with safety apparatus. Each golf car must have a steering wheel, service brakes, parking or emergency brakes, a rear view mirror and horn. Other necessary equipment includes good quality tires, daytime running lights, turn signals, brake lights and reflectors.
While seatbelts are not a requirement, Constable Kevin Martin said “If the golf car is manufactured with seat belts, the golf car shall not be driven unless the seat belts are worn by the driver and passengers.”
Golf cars are not required to display license plates or have proof of automobile insurance at this time. According to the www.huronkinloss.com website, car insurance, license plates and provincial vehicle registration are not required under the pilot project. It is recommended that operators speak with their insurance representative with respect to coverage (physical and liability) with participation in this project.
The South Bruce OPP says a golf car is a motor vehicle under the criminal code. Operators can expect that the South Bruce OPP will have a zero tolerance for anyone operating a golf car while impaired.
The public is encouraged to review the Golf Car Pilot Project regulations and requirements carefully. Detailed information along with enforcement, frequently asked questions, how to register and to provide feedback please visit www.huronkinloss.com or contact the Township Office at 519-395-3735 or email firstname.lastname@example.org