Brookhaven, GA, May 19, 2017 – by Anna Williams for The Post – The installation of bollards on a newly repaired/renewed bridge in Brookhaven’s Ashford Park Community, has once again stirred up a conversation on whether the City should finally adopt a golf cart or Personal Transportation Vehicle (PTV) ordinance. City Leaders have decided to punt on this topic several times – the first time in 2013, again in 2014 and again in 2015.
While the new Ashford Park bridge will be restricted to pedestrian traffic only, and would need to be reconstructed to accommodate a PTV, there are numerous residents who own them and they’ve grown accustomed to popping up to the store or a local establishment by way of their “E-Z-GO“.
But currently, PTV’s are not allowed on City streets – regardless of whether Brookhaven decides to enforce the lack of having an ordinance or not.
A PTV by the Georgia Department of Public Safety as having a minimum of four wheels, an unloaded weight of 1,375 pounds or less, a top speed of no more than 20 MPH, and can carry no more than eight people. PTV’s that are allowed on streets in other jurisdictions must meet certain “equipment” requirements.
Specifically, they must have:
- A braking system sufficient for the weight and passenger capacity of the vehicle, including a parking brake;
- A reverse warning device functional at all times when the directional control is in the reverse position;
- A main power switch. When the switch is in the “off” position, or the key or other device that activates the switch is removed, the motive power circuit shall be inoperative. If the switch uses a key, it shall be removable only in the “off” position;
- Head lamps;
- Reflex reflectors;
- Tail lamps;
- A horn;
- A rearview mirror;
- Safety warning labels; and
- Hip restraints and hand holds.
PTV’s also may only be operated by those that possess a valid Georgia Driver’s License. The confusion in the newest law is partly due to the fact that a PTV is described as a “motor vehicle.” “Motor Vehicles” are required by law to be registered with the Department of Transportation. In order to register a vehicle you must have a title. Titles do not routinely come with golf carts making this requirement almost impossible to meet.
Georgia law allows local cities and counties to adopt ordinances that would allow PTV’s on certain designated roadways or PTV paths. The law restricts and defines which streets may be designated for PTV use. The local ordinance could allow the use of PTV’s without the requirement of registering the PTV with the Department of Transportation. Brookhaven does not have an ordinance allowing the use of PTV’s on any city roadway.
Since most PTV’s or Golf Carts don’t come with Titles, they cannot be registered by the state and therefore are illegal to operate on the public streets in Brookhaven until an ordinance is passed allowing such operation.
If an ordinance is passed, it’s likely Golf Carts will only be allowed on streets posted with a maximum speed of 25 mph. These streets must be posted as designated Golf Cart Routes. In addition, the drivers of Golf Carts must be licensed and follow all current traffic laws in addition to having the equipment as outlined above.
So, is it time? Should Brookhaven pass a PTV ordinance? And where do you think they should or should not be allowed?