Golf carts have been given the green light on Pelee Island. As of Tuesday, they are legal to use on public roads.
The cars are permitted for use with a valid licence and a permit from the Township of Pelee Island. Under a 10-year pilot project from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO), the carts are subject to the same rules of the road as regular vehicles, but don't need to be registered, have a licence plate or insurance.
Mayor Raymond Durocher said that Pelee is the first municipality in Ontario to pass a bylaw allowing use of golf carts on public roads.
"We look forward to the implementation of this pilot program and its support for economic development, tourism and improvement to quality of life in our community as it helps to address alternative transportation options while also supporting Ontario's 'Open for Business' initiative," he said in a press release.
Essex County OPP issued a media release Wednesday saying that golf carts must be operated in a "safe and responsible" manner and impaired driving laws will be enforced.
"Thousands of tourists visit Pelee Island each year to enjoy not only the hospitality, but the rich history that is treasured by the residents of Pelee," Essex County OPP detachment commander Insp. Glenn Miller said. "I encourage everyone to abide by all the laws and help to make this a successful pilot project so others can continue to enjoy this unique opportunity."
In addition to the rules of the road, other restrictions are in place, including that drivers must use the right-hand lane and the vehicles aren't permitted on any road with a speed limit higher than 50 km/h. The vehicles cannot be operated from December to March, and no passengers under the age of eight are permitted.
The Township of Huron-Kinloss in Bruce County is also part of the MTO pilot but the carts aren't street legal there yet.
Council has supported the idea in principle, and a bylaw to allow use of the carts will go to a vote next month.