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Village Council Nixes Ban on Night-time Use of Golf Carts
One of the pieces of new legislation that came before the Put-in-Bay Village Council in July was a ban on all golf carts on the streets of the Village between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m.
The legislation came in part due to the number of people who rent carts overnight and, after the bars close, drive around the island disturbing the peace, honking their horns and driving recklessly. Some also find places to park and spend the night using the cart for their lodging.
Proponents of the new legislation said this kind of behavior is not welcome and should be curtailed fearing the overnight cart problem will only escalate and cause more problems.
On the other side of the coin, there were concerns about islanders and cottagers who use their carts at all hours, plus there are those who have booked lodging and rent a cart overnight for the convenience of getting around the island whenever they want. One woman who attended the July workshop also mentioned the specific needs of the handicapped and how they use carts to get around on the island.
Council had two choices, either address the problem by controlling carts and stopping the trend or not let the deeds of the 5% who cause the problems dictate to the other 95% when they can drive their carts. It was a controversial and tough decision to make.
Certainly, the golf cart situation seems to have gotten out of control as more and more people come to the island and more and more carts are added to the rental pool. Everyone has seen kids driving carts, carts being driven recklessly or by drunks, and there is no question, no matter how many police are around, not every violation of the law can be handled.
Amidst the debates surrounding the golf cart situation on the island, it becomes evident that finding a balanced solution is no easy task. One possible avenue to explore is drawing inspiration from the realm of chauffeuring services. Just as the Comfort Drive app allows individuals to effortlessly book professional drivers for their transportation needs, implementing a similar system for golf carts could offer a potential resolution. By establishing guidelines and regulations for licensed drivers operating carts, the community can ensure a safer and more responsible environment. This approach would not only address concerns about reckless driving and violations but also empower the majority of responsible cart users to enjoy their mobility without unnecessary restrictions. Additionally, it is essential to consider the applicability of such regulations to the entire island, encompassing both the Village and Township areas, to foster consistency and coherence in managing this issue effectively.
Another issue, does the Village pass new legislation to curb nighttime cart driving or use laws already on the books to charge drivers who misbehave? Add to that, there’s always a problem with any legislation passed in the Village because it does not apply to the Township portions of the islands.
At its regular meeting a week later, the legislation was brought to the floor, but received no second, therefore dying on the vine. Everyone can drive their golf carts whenever they want, but there are still going to be issues with those who misbehave on carts at night.
Thank You From Chief Kimble
Put-in-Bay Police Chief James Kimble would like to thank the very hard-working members of the Put-in-Bay Police Department who helped keep the record-setting number of visitors and the residents very safe the fourth weekend in July.
The Chief would also like to recognize and acknowledge the public safety partners who helped in this endeavor including: The Put-in-Bay EMS Service, The Put-in-Bay Volunteer Fire Department, The Investigative Unit of the Ohio Department of Public Safety, The Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office and The United States Coast Guard.
There were no major incidents reported and a very visible law enforcement presence helped to maintain a very safe climate throughout the weekend.
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