Paddock Lake begins work on golf cart regulations

golf-cart-sxc-Michal-Zacharzewski-webThe Paddock Lake Village Board on Wednesday had its first post-referendum discussion of how to regulate gold cart use on village streets.

Among the restrictions discussed for inclusion in a golf cart ordinance would be requiring a drivers license and limiting cart use on 75th Street, 60th Street, 248th Avenue and 236th Avenue.

In November, the village held a referendum on whether to allow golf carts on village roads. The referendum passed Yes 665 to No 409. The referendum was put on the ballot after the board earlier this year initially considered allowing the carts, then appeared poised to ban them, then heard from a large group of residents that opposed the ban.

Village President Terry Burns said village staff researched golf cart ordinances from other municipalities and came up with an initial 15 restrictions, including:

  • Requiring a drivers license.
  • Following all traffic rules and posted signs.
  • Requiring working head and tail lights.
  • Requiring registration with the village.
  • Requiring a safety inspection by the Kenosha County Sheriff’s Department.
  • Requiring liability insurance.
  • No use in designated bike lanes or on sidewalks.
  • Prohibiting use on 236th Avenue, 248th Avenue, 75th Street (Highway 50) and 60th Street (Highway K), except for crossing.

Trustee Richard Fish suggested adding a requirement for seatbelts, which also was supported by Trustees Barb Brenner and Kathy Christenson.

“I just would like to see those kids a little more secured in those golf carts,” Brenner said.

But others thought such a requirement would be impractical. Burns pointed out that a golf cart likely does not have the structural rigidity to secure a car like safety belt. He also pointed that other legal vehicles, such as motorcycles, do not require seatbelts.

Burns also proposed having cart operation limited to April 1 to Nov. 1, but some cart users in the audience said they would like to see year round use, for activities such as ice fishing. They also opposed a time of day restriction.

Because golf carts are defined as not street legal by the state, violations would not count against an operator’s driving record, but instead be village ordinance violations (Note: This sentence corrected from original version. — DH).

The board is expected to discuss golf cart regulations again at future meetings with the goal to have an ordinance in place by April 1, 2015.






  1. Lets be carefull with the words we use says:

    Quotes from the above story.

    “because golf carts are defined as street legal by the state” Who said this?

    “Burns pointed out that a golf cart likely does not have the structural rigidity to secure a car like safety belt. He also pointed that other legal vehicles, such as motorcycles, do not require seatbelts. “

    How are they (golf carts) legal?

    Paragraph from a story on the Westby Times Web Site dated 9-4-13

    “Published in the August, 2013 Wisconsin Municipal League magazine under legislative updates, the state budget now authorizes municipalities to pass ordinances “allowing” for the operation of golf carts on any highway that has a speed limit of 25 mph or less and is located in each said municipality. ”

    The state authorizing municipalities to draft and pass ordinances for golf cart operations does not make them “legal”! Just “allowed”!

    From the Wisconsin DMV Web Site;

    “A low-speed vehicle (LSV) must meet the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards and must have a certification label stating that the vehicle meets those standards. A golf cart is not considered an LSV.”

    A golf cart is just that, a golf cart. Let’s not be making it out to be anything but a golf cart. It does not have seatbelts or other safety features. It doesn’t have or is designed to have structural integrity to compete with “Legal” vehicles. It is not by definition “Street Legal”

    Golf carts are “allowed” on streets in municipalities that want them and by the recent vote they are wanted in the Kingdom of Paddock Lake. So now that you guys have got this, be prepared for the first crash. The first lawsuit. The first death.
    Just Google ‘golf cart crash’s’ and the first one to come up is from May of this year just south of here in McHenry county. Is this what you want??

    You guys want this, fine. But please, put in a sunset provision of one year from now and make people vote on this year to year.

    1. I meant to type the state says carts are not street legal. My error. Sloppy on my part.

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