New Haven City Council Considers Whether to Allow Golf Carts On City Streets(VIDEO)

By Benecia Brown - 21Alive
By Jeff Neumeyer

October 23, 2013 Updated Oct 23, 2013 at 5:46 PM EDT

NEW HAVEN, Ind. (21Alive) -- Have golf cart, will travel.

An ordinance was introduced Tuesday night, seeking to permit residents to drive golf carts on the streets of New Haven.

It’s an idea that has its supporters and detractors.

We spoke to a couple of New Haven council members who are pushing for passage, but at least a couple of other council members are putting up the stop sign.

The carts would actually have to be modified to fit rules set out in the ordinance.

The carts would have to be outfitted with head and taillights, brake lights, rearview mirrors, plus turn signals.

Operators would have to get insurance and could not drive on highways, only cross those major thoroughfares.

People who get a golf cart permit would have to police others who take their cart out for a spin.

" Anyone that drives a golf cart other than the person that owns it, the person that owns it is responsible. Within one year, if there's more than one infraction, the permit would be revoked," said Terry Werling, the council member who authored the ordinance.

Werling claims public safety agencies in New Haven are on board.

Police, firefighters and EMS personnel in New Haven opposed a similar ordinance some time ago, citing safety concerns.

We placed calls to New Haven police headquarters, but the messages at the time of this report were not returned.

Other council members are taking a stand against the measure.

Two council members voted Tuesday to try and block introduction.

Bob Byrd cited a recent study claiming 15,000 people die every year in golf cart accidents, including a lot of children.

There's talk about making it illegal for any kids younger than five years of age to ride on the carts.

It's a subject that figures to get more attention at upcoming meetings before any final votes could be taken.

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