[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Prescott 3-25-2013 by Ord. No. 04-13. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Purpose. The purpose of this chapter is to provide a means of travel that is not only convenient and safe, but conserves resources and protects the environment. Golf carts, if properly used, are an effective way to travel for short distances within the City. However, to ensure the public safety and welfare, the operation of golf carts must not only comply with normal regulations regarding vehicles, but should comply with special safety regulations intended to protect the operator and passengers in a vehicle that is primarily designed for operation on a golf course or recreational purposes. This chapter establishes the basic, minimum standards of care to be used by the operators of golf carts on public roads, streets and highways. Likewise, the public safety requires that golf carts, used as a means of transportation, must also meet certain minimum safety standards that can only be assured through a system of registration and inspection. The registration and inspection of golf carts is required in order to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
Allowed. The operation of golf carts on the public streets within the City in compliance with the provisions of this chapter shall be permitted; however, it shall be unlawful to operate any golf cart that is not properly registered with the City or to operate any golf cart at any place or in any manner not authorized herein.
Exceptions. The operation of golf carts is not subject to the provisions of this chapter under the following circumstances:
The operation of golf carts at golf courses, private clubs or on private property, with the consent of the owner; or
The use of a golf cart in connection with a parade, a festival or other special event, provided the consent of the sponsor is obtained and provided such vehicle is only used during such event.
No person who is less than 16 years of age or who does not have a valid driver's license issued under or granted by the laws of Wisconsin or some other state may operate a golf cart on any public street within the City. For purposes of this section, a learner's permit shall not be considered as a valid driver's license nor shall any license that has been revoked, temporary or otherwise, or suspended for any reason, be considered as a valid driver's license during the period of suspension or revocation.
Required. No golf cart may be operated on any public street within the City unless the golf cart has first been registered with the Prescott Police Department as required herein. The registration shall be renewed thereafter in accordance with the provisions of this section. To evidence the registration, the owner shall be issued an annual permit which shall be displayed in a prominent, visible place on the rear fender of the golf cart or at such other place as may be approved by the Police Department. The permit may contain a registration number assigned for the particular golf cart and may contain an expiration date.
Registration fee. A registration fee in the amount of $25 annually, or such other amount as may be established and published in the Schedule of Fees adopted by the City Council from time to time, as amended, shall be paid to the City at the time the application for registration is filed with the Prescott Police Department or for any renewal of the application.
Application. The application for registration shall be made to the Prescott Police Chief, or to some other person designated, on forms provided by the City. The application may, among other things, require the owner's name, street address, mailing address, a phone number, the make, model and identification or serial number of the golf cart, proof of insurance and such other information as may be reasonably required as well as a release or disclaimer of liability by the City for accidents involving the registered golf cart.
Procedures. The Chief of Police may establish written procedures, consistent with this chapter, setting out the process and the procedure, including the form of the application, the checklist for items to be inspected and the type of sticker, plate or tag evidencing the issuance of the registration permit.
Inspection. Prior to issuing the initial registration permit, the golf cart shall either be inspected, or in place of inspection, the Prescott Police Department may require photographs submitted of the golf cart, to determine that:
[Amended 8-24-2016 by Ord. No. 11-15]
The golf cart is equipped with a rear vision mirror and at least two red rear reflectors at least three inches in height and width;
The golf cart is equipped with a reflective "slow moving sign" or "flag" on the rear of the cart;
The brakes provided by the manufacturer of the golf cart are in proper working order;
The golf cart has all of the standard safety features provided by the manufacturer and has not been modified to exceed a speed of 20 miles per hour, nor otherwise modified in any way that creates a hazard; and
The golf cart is equipped with all mechanical systems and safety equipment required by this chapter.
Denial and revocation. The initial registration of a golf cart may be denied or subsequently revoked by the Prescott Police Department if it is determined that:
The application contains any material misrepresentation;
Financial responsibility requirements of the State of Wisconsin (liability insurance) have not been met;
The golf cart is not in compliance with the requirements set out above;
The golf cart has been altered or customized and no longer meets the definition of a golf cart;
Equipment supplied by the manufacturer, especially safety equipment, has been removed from the golf cart or the vehicle identification or serial number removed; or
Other good cause shown including repeated violations of this chapter.
Financial responsibility. The owner of a golf cart required to be registered with the City for use on the public streets of the City shall maintain in full force and effect and continuously throughout any period of registration.
Disqualified vehicles. ATVs, four-wheel utility vehicles and other similar utility vehicles which are not manufactured for operation on a golf course and golf carts which have been modified so that it no longer meets the definition of a golf cart may not be registered as a golf cart nor shall such vehicles be operated on the public roads within the City unless such vehicles are otherwise registered with and allowed under the motor vehicle laws of the State of Wisconsin.
Golf carts shall not be operated on the public streets of the City, except in full compliance with the provisions of this section.
Hours of operation. Golf carts may be driven on approved public streets from sunrise until sunset, except that golf carts equipped with at least one operating headlight, having at least a fifty-five-watt halogen, or equal, bulb on the front of the golf cart, and two operating tail lights on either side of the rear of the golf cart, all of which are visible for a distance of not less than 250 feet, may be operated from one half hour before sunrise until one half hour after sunset. Golf carts may not be operated when fog, smog, smoke or other conditions reduce visibility so that the golf cart is not visible for a distance of 250 feet.
Streets. Golf carts may not be operated on any of the following streets or sections of any street except for the sole purpose of crossing such street either at a signalized intersection or at a perpendicular crossing at a through intersection:
Motor vehicle laws. All laws regarding the use of motor vehicles in the State of Wisconsin and all ordinances regarding the use of motor vehicles in the City, not inconsistent therewith, shall be observed, except that no golf cart may be operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour.
Right-of-way. The operator of a golf cart shall yield the right-of-way to overtaking motor vehicles.
City property and sidewalks. Golf carts shall not be operated on any sidewalk, pedestrian walkway, jogging path, greenway, park, trail except for official police business or by City personnel while on City business. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, golf carts shall not be operated on property owned or leased by the City except with the express written consent of the Public Works Director and/or the Chief of Police and upon the terms and conditions as may be set forth in such written permission.
Golf cart capacity. The seating capacity (normally no more than four passengers) shall not be exceeded nor shall the operator or any passenger be permitted to stand while the golf cart is in operation.
Commercial purposes. Golf carts may not be used as a taxicab or bus or for the commercial carrying of passengers or the hauling of freight.
Parking. Golf carts may only be parked in the same manner and at the same places designated for the parking of motor vehicles. The stopping, standing or parking of golf carts in areas where parking is not allowed or in any place that impedes the flow of traffic, pedestrian walkways or a passageway is prohibited.
Disclaimer. Golf carts are not designed for nor manufactured to be used on public streets and the City neither advocates nor endorses the golf cart as a safe means of travel on public streets, roads and highways. The City in no way shall be liable for accidents, injuries or death involving the operation of a golf cart.
Assumption of risk. Any person who owns, operates or rides upon a golf cart on a public street, road or highway within the City does so at his or her own risk and peril and assumes all liability resulting from the operation of the golf cart.
If any person shall violate this chapter, he or she shall be guilty of a forfeiture and shall be fined not more than $100 or such other amount as shall be set forth in the Schedule of Fees adopted by the City Council from time to time, except that the owner or operator of a golf cart who shall violate a provision regulating the parking of vehicles shall be subject to a civil penalty in the amount set forth in the Schedule of Fees adopted by the City Council from time to time, including the imposition of larger civil penalties for multiple or repeat offenses within a specified period of time.