[HISTORY: Adopted by the Village Board of the Village of Brandon 5-14-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-01. 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 Village. 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 Village 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 Village 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:
Any person wishing to drive a golf cart must have a valid driver's license issued under or granted by the laws of Wisconsin or some other state to operate them on a public street within the Village. 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of this section, a learner's permit shall not be considered as a valid driver's license nor shall any license that has been revoked, temporary or otherwise, or suspended for any reason, be considered as a valid driver's license during the period of suspension or revocation.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 Village unless the golf cart has first been registered with the Brandon-Fairwater 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 place as designated 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. An initial registration fee shall be $50 with an annual registration fee thereafter of $30. Said fee shall become part of the Village of Brandon Fee Schedule and may be amended at such time as deemed appropriate. Fee shall be paid to the Village Clerk upon approval of the inspection of the vehicle as set forth by the Brandon-Fairwater Police Department.
Application. The application for registration shall be provided by the Village Clerk and will require information such as 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 Village for accidents involving the registered golf cart.
Procedures. The completed application will be provided to the Chief of Police who will provide an inspection of the cart. Upon the approval of the inspection, the vehicle registration will be completed by the applicant paying the applicable fee to the Village Clerk.
Inspection. Prior to issuing the initial registration permit or any renewal thereof, the golf cart shall be inspected by Brandon-Fairwater Police Department to determine that:
The golf cart is equipped with working signal lights, at least two red rear reflectors at least three inches in height and width on front and rear bumpers, and reliable steering apparatus;
The golf cart is equipped with a reflective "slow moving" sign on the rear of the cart;
The brakes provided by the manufacturer of the golf cart are in proper working order, along with safe and proper tires;
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; and
Golf cart lights must have at least one operating headlight.
Denial and revocation.
The initial registration of a golf cart may be denied or subsequently revoked by the Brandon-Fairwater 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 may cause the permit to be revoked or not renewed.
Any individual has the right to appeal a denial or revocation.
Financial responsibility. The owner of a golf cart required to be registered with the Village for use on the public streets of the Village 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 Village unless such vehicles are otherwise registered with and allowed under the motor vehicle laws of the State of Wisconsin and the Village of Brandon.
Golf carts shall not be operated on the public streets of the Village, except in full compliance with the provisions of this section.
Hours of operation.
Golf carts may be driven on the streets in the Village of Brandon from one-half hour after sunrise and up to one-half hour prior to sunset.
Golf carts may not be operated when fog, smog, smoke or other conditions that reduce visibility so that the golf cart is not visible for a distance of 250 feet.
Dates of operation: Golf cart use may be limited to use by snow or other precipitation.
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 Village, not inconsistent therewith, shall be observed, except that no golf cart may be operated at a speed in excess of 20 miles per hour. Carts must travel single file on the roadways.
Right-of-way. The operator of a golf cart shall yield the right-of-way to overtaking motor vehicles.
Village property and sidewalks. Golf carts shall not be operated on any sidewalk, pedestrian walkway, jogging path, greenway, park except on roadway surface, trail except for official police business or by Village personnel while on Village business. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, golf carts shall not be operated on property owned or leased by the Village 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 shall be no more than the cart was designated for but in no case shall be more than two front and two rear passengers. The operator and/or passenger shall not 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. Keys shall not be left in the golf cart when not in being driven.
Towing. Golf carts may not be used for the purpose of towing another cart, trailer or vehicle of any kind including a person on roller skates, skateboard or bicycle.
Cemeteries. Golf carts shall only be operated on any roadway or vehicle path within the cemeteries.
Disclaimer. Golf carts are not designed for nor manufactured to be used on public streets and the Village neither advocates nor endorses the golf cart as a safe means of travel on public streets, roads and highways. The Village 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 Village does so at his or her own risk and peril and assumes all liability resulting from the operation of the golf cart.
Any person who violates this chapter shall be subject to a forfeiture of not less that $25 and not more than $100 for the first violation and not less than $50 and not more than $200 for subsequent violations. Violators may also have their permit revoked for the remainder of the registration year or indefinitely revoked dependent on the violation.