WARSAW — Golf carts may be allowed in Warsaw as early as this coming year after the traffic safety commission meeting on Wednesday, September 7. The commissioners continued to vet the ordinance that would allow golf carts in some areas of the city.
Council members Mike Klondaris and Ron Shoemaker presented to the commissioners the third draft of an amended ordinance allowing for golf carts in Warsaw.
Klondaris mentioned they would like to have applications available for owners of golf carts to register the carts. The application will cost $20 for a two-year permit.
New to the ordinance are fines for individuals using golf carts in town without using a permit or without insurance. Fines are to begin with at $25 for the first offense, $50 of the second and thereafter $100 daily until the said individuals procures a golf cart permit. According to the ordinance, golf cart owners must have insurance or they could be fined up to $1,000.
Registered golf carts will be recognized by a sticker to be placed on the rear left side of the golf cart. Drivers must observe the normal traffic laws just as other vehicle drivers, with the exceptions of wearing a seat belt and working brake lights. The commissioners debated whether it should be mandatory for golf carts to have turn signals.
According to the amended ordinance, registered golf carts will be allowed to be driven through Warsaw with the exception of the forbidden areas as follows: West Winona Avenue, North Detroit Street, South Buffalo Street, Lake City Highway, East Center Street, South Fisher, North Parker Street and Argonne Road. Mayor Joe Thallemer mentioned Husky Trail should be added to the list of forbidden roads.
Klondaris mentioned that other towns where golf carts are allowed such as Plymouth, Columbia City, Winona Lake and Nappanee have had no reports of accidents with carts. North Webster has reported some incidents with golf carts outside of city limits.
After discussion, the commissioners decided to table the ordinance until the next meeting so that more research and rewriting of the ordinance can be done. Klondaris mentioned this ordinance will most likely not be in completed until the coming year.
Thallemer mentioned he was glad they were taking their time to do the ordinance right and added, “I think you’re doing it right by vetting it.”
Commission member Dirk Felger brought up an issue with drivers turning right onto Glad Street from Husky Trail. Felger explained that a school bus drops off 25 kids at a daycare on the corner of Husky Trail and Glad Street. He explained that it is dangerous for those turning right onto Glad Street because they might not be able to see the school bus until too late and it causes traffic to become congested in that area. Felger advised the commission to approve a “no right turn” sign in the area.
Thallemer indicated the need for a “no right turn” sign there all the time was not needed, but recommended perhaps not allowing right turns in that area from 3:45 p.m. to 4 p.m., when the kids are being dropped off after school.
The issue was tabled to allow for Felger to gather more information as to how many bus stops are being made at Glad Street.
The next Traffic Safety Commission will meet at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5.