Lawmakers debate golf cart bill

DIAMONDHEAD, MS (WLOX) - Leaders of the newly created city of Diamondhead are hoping the third time will be the charm for a bill being debated by state lawmakers, that would make golf carts and other low speed vehicles legal on city streets.

Right now, golf carts are only allowed on privately owned roads in Mississippi.

That means when Diamondhead officially takes over the private roads in that city next year, that would bring a drastic change to some of the residents.

Ilene Pool enjoys what she calls running errands and tooling around Diamondhead in her golf cart.

Neither she nor her husband play golf, but she says their cart gets more use than most golfers they know.

"Seven days a week," said Pool.

She says their golf cart has become their second car.

"There have been several occasions when my spouse and I would go to things at the Country Club at night. They were black tie affairs, and we would go in the golf cart."

Diamondhead Mayor Chuck Ingraham, said "We find that the golf carts are a very effective means of transportation in and about our community."

The mayor said passage of the bill is vital to the community, so residents can continue to use their golf carts for leisure on city streets.

"We're looking ahead right now. Mississippi is one of only four states in the nation that do not have a law pertaining to the use of golf carts and low speed vehicles on public streets. We've tried for three years to get that through, and we haven't been successful."

He thinks the there is a likely reason.

"It's hard for individuals to conceive of an area quite this large that would have that many streets that are compatible with golf carts."

Ingraham said the speed limit on most of the streets in Diamondhead is 25 miles per hour.

He said residents like Ilene Pool hope state lawmakers see how important the golf carts are to their way of life.

Right now, golf carts are not allowed on the roads leading to Diamondhead's business District.

Ingraham said if the law passes, the city would have to provide a safe golf cart passage into the shopping areas before carts would be allowed.

If legalized city's around the state could designate areas of town where low speed vehicles could operate on city streets.

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