Council considers golf cart use

GREENFIELD — A Greenfield man bought his senior father a golf cart, hoping he’d be able to drive it around town.

But so far, his dad hasn’t been able to use it.

At the request of a resident, the Greenfield City Council is weighing whether to draft an ordinance allowing people to drive golf carts on city streets.

Across Indiana, several towns and cities, including Fortville, have passed ordinances allowing residents to drive golf carts on their roads. State law permits the vehicles only if a city/town or county has passed such an ordinance.

The ordinances vary, some setting speed limits for golf carts, others requiring a slow-moving vehicle sign to be affixed to the back.

In 2012, the Hancock County Board of Commissioners rejected a request from a resident to allow golf cart use on county roads, citing safety concerns. At the time, the man who requested the ordinance had been stopped by police after picking his grandson up from a Greenfield school. He told county officials he wasn’t aware it wasn’t legal to drive the cart around.

Now, the issue is before officials again.

Greenfield resident Kent Stansifer approached the city council recently, asking members to consider adopting a city rule.

Stansifer said he purchased a golf cart, adding brake lights and turn signals and installing seat belts for safety, only to find out his father can’t legally drive it in city limits. The golf cart would allow his father to be more mobile, he said.

“I wanted him to have something to get out, something to do during the day,” Stansifer said.

Ordinances don’t allow drivers to operate a golf cart on state roads or U.S. highways, Grass said.

Councilman Kerry Grass said Greenfield is unique, having a U.S. highway and a state road dividing the city. If the city were to pass an ordinance, residents driving golf carts would be confined to one corner of the city, unable to cross U.S. 40 or State Road 9, he said.

Other council members expressed concern about resident safety if they’re driving a golf cart on roads.

But council president Gary McDaniel said it’s time to consider an ordinance because the council has rejected golf cart proposals from residents in the past, and he’s been asked about it.

“I think we need to address the issue,” he said. “At least do the research.”

The council can work alongside the city’s traffic safety committee to look into the different ordinances cities have, McDaniel said.

Mayor Chuck Fewell echoed those sentiments, saying the council should research the issue, keeping safety at the forefront of discussions.

Fewell told Stamsifer he’ll ask the safety committee to begin reviewing other ordinances and weigh whether Greenfield should adopt something similar.

Have your say

The Greenfield City Council meets at 7 p.m. on the first and third Wednesdays of the month at city hall. Meetings are open to the public, and residents are invited to petition the council to speak at a meeting about topics of concern.

For more information, contact your city council representative.

Gary McDaniel, District 1: 317-908-6399

Mitch Pendlum, District 2: 317-462-3583

Keely Butrum, District 3: kbutrum@greenfieldin.org

Jeff Lowder, District 4: 317-586-7247

Kerry Grass, District 5: 317-467-4970

Dan Riley, at-large: 317-462-0903

Joe Skvarenina, at-large: 317-518-1467

Author photo
Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.