Courthouse

Golf Cart Safety

NEWTON, NC (Sept. 26, 2016) – In an effort to promote the safety of golf cart drivers and passengers in the city of Newton, Newton City Council recently approved a new ordinance to allow registered golf carts on public roads.

State law grants municipalities the authority to choose whether to permit the use of golf carts within their jurisdictions. If a municipality has no ordinance regulating golf carts, golf carts are not permitted on public roads.

“Our goal is always to help our residents stay safe,” Newton Police Chief Don Brown said. “This new ordinance will allow golf cart owners to enjoy the use of their vehicles while helping to ensure their safety and the safety of other drivers.”

Golf cart owners may now operate golf carts on Newton streets if the golf carts are registered with and permitted by the city of Newton. The Newton Police Department will issue annual permits for golf carts and provide owners with a unique license plate and annual registration decal which must be displayed on the rear of the golf cart.

In order to register a golf cart and secure an annual permit from the city of Newton, golf cart owners must meet the following requirements:

» The owner must be at least 18 years old and possess a valid driver’s license.
» The owner must possess and maintain liability insurance in an amount not less than required by state law for traditional motor vehicles operated on public streets in the state.
» The golf cart must not have been modified to exceed a speed of 20 mph.
» The golf cart must have an identifiable identification number.

In order to register a golf cart and secure an annual permit from the city of Newton, a golf cart must have the following safety features:

» Two operating front headlights, visible from a distance of at least 250 feet.
» Two operating tail lights, with brake lights, visible from a distance of at least 250 feet.
» A rear vision mirror.
» At least one reflector per side.
» A parking brake.
» A windshield.
» Must be limited to a maximum of three rows of seats.

Newton’s ordinance does not apply to low-speed vehicles, which are defined as vehicles which travel at speeds of 20-25 mph. Low-speed vehicles remain prohibited on public roads.

Golf cart owners may contact the Newton Police Department at 828-465-7430 to schedule an appointment for inspection and registration of their golf carts.