This summer, golf carts could be cruising up and down the streets of Saskatchewan.
The Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association (SUMA) recently passed a resolution to lobby the government to give municipalities the choice to allow the small vehicles to be used on roads, rather than just being able to use them to go directly to and from a golf course.
On Friday, SGI announced it has updated its policy to allow municipalities to pass a bylaw, subject to SGI approval, to allow people to drive golf carts on certain municipal roads.
Don Morgan, the minister in charge of SGI, announced the change in the resort village of Shields, Sask., 60 kilometres south of Saskatoon. He said the change will be more cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
"It just makes sense as a convenient way to get around, visit your neighbours, head down to the beach, go pick up your mail. We think this will particularly benefit seniors and people who have mobility challenges," Morgan said.
Shields Mayor Angie Larson said she is excited about the change and is looking forward to driving her golf cart around town.
"I have grandkids, so when they come, I can take the two of them and go around and take them to the beach, take them to the sports court." Larson said. "We're opening a kiosk where we're going to be serving ice cream in the summer, so that'll be very popular for people driving up on their golf carts."
She added that a survey in the community showed many people wanted golf carts to be allowed on the streets.
Carts subject to rules
Even though municipalities will be able to allow golf carts on Saskatchewan streets, there are restrictions. There will be limits on speed, where and when the carts can be driven and who's allowed to get behind the wheel.
While the rules will need to be spelled out in a municipality's bylaw, SGI has laid out some basic rules, which can be expanded on by municipalities.
Golf carts must not be operated on any provincial highway, other than to cross one.
The bylaw must identify the road or part of the road within the municipality where the operation of a golf cart is permitted.
Municipalities must include in their bylaw that they will monitor and inform SGI of any collisions or fatalities.
The driver of the golf cart must be the holder of a valid Class 7 (learner) or higher driver's license.
The owner is required to carry a minimum of $200,000 in liability insurance.
Golf carts cannot operate on any roadway with a posted speed over 50 km/h.
Golf carts will be required to display a slow-moving vehicle sign.
Golf carts can only be operated during daylight hours.
Golf carts cannot be capable of operating at a speed of more than 24 km/h on level ground.
As there are safety concerns surrounding the golf carts, including impaired driving, Morgan said he expects people to be cautious when they use them.
Anyone breaking the rules can be charged under the criminal code, possibly lose their license or go to jail.
AUDIO | SUMA considers golf carts on municipal streets