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Golf Cart Information PDF Print E-mail

The below information was put together to help persons interested in operating a golf cart in the Village of Bluffton.  Simply put, golf cart operators must comply with all of the standard motor vehicle laws established for automobiles.  This includes having the necessary equipment, having the cart inspected by a local law enforcement agency, obtaining a title from the title office, obtaining a license, and operating in accordance with Ohio laws. Currently, the Pandora Police Department offers golf cart inspection.

The police department is fully aware that some carts being operated in the Village passed inspection without meeting all of the requirements set forth.  In an attempt to accommodate those owner/operators who need to bring their cart into equipment compliance, the police department will be giving a grace period for those owner/operators who act responsibly.  However, all owner/operators should be aware these rules and regulations are in effect at this time.  In the event of an incident involving a golf cart, the owner/operator may be cited as would be the operator of any other motor vehicle.

The most immediate update most cart owners should be concerned with is equipping the cart with safety belts and ensure they are used by all occupants at all times.  There is no requirement to have a cart re-inspected once the updates are made. 

Below is the local ordinance, as adopted by council on August 8, 2011:

ORDINANCE NO. 09-11

 

AN ORDINANCE ENACTING SECTION 72.199 OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCES OF THE VILLAGE OF BLUFFTON, OHIO TO PERMIT AND REGULATE THE OPERATION OF CERTAIN GOLF CARTS, UTILITY VEHICLES, AND OTHER UNDER SPEED VEHICLES IN THE VILLAGE OF BLUFFTON, OHIO, AND DECLARING AND EMERGENCY.

 

WHERE AS, The Village of Bluffton Council recognizes the growing popularity and trend of using golf carts adapted for street use as an acceptable mode of transportation in the Village of Bluffton; and

 

WHEREAS, The Village of Bluffton Council recognizes and accepts that existing Ohio Revised Code and Ohio Administrative Code addresses various aspects of golf cart inspection, titling, registration, and use; and

 

WHEREAS, The Village of Bluffton Council desires to permit and regulate the operation of golf carts, utility, and under speed vehicles in the Village of Bluffton; and 

 

WHEREAS, the Village of Bluffton Council desires to establish rules regulating the operation, insurance, inspection, and registration of golf carts, utility, and under speed vehicles, and providing for a penalty for violating the said rules and regulations, as relating to the Ohio Revised Code and Bureau of Motor Vehicles requirements.

 

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE VILLAGE OF BLUFFTON, OHIO:

 

SECTION 1:  That Section 72.199 of the Codified Ordinances is hereby enacted to read as follows:

 

72.199 (A) DEFINITIONS

 

             (1)        “Golf cart” is defined as a vehicle powered by gas or electricity and is the type of vehicle typically operated on a golf course and includes under speed vehicles, with an attainable speed in one mile on a paved level surface of not more than twenty miles per hour and with a gross vehicle weight rating less than three thousand pounds.

             (2)        “Low Speed Vehicle” means a three or four wheeled motor vehicle with an attainable speed in one mile on a paved level surface of more than twenty miles per hour but not more than twenty-five miles per hour and with a gross vehicle weight rating less than three thousand pounds.

             (3)        “Utility Vehicle” means a self-propelled vehicle designed with a bed, principally for the purpose of transporting material or cargo in connection with construction, agricultural, forestry, grounds maintenance, lawn and garden, materials handling, or similar activity.

             (4)        “Operator” means any person who operates or is in actual physical control of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle.

             (5)        “Owner” means any person or entity, other than a lien holder or dealer having title to a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle  or legal rights to possession thereof.

 

            72.199 (B) EQUIPMENT

 

            (1)        Golf carts, utility vehicles, or other low speed vehicles operated on the streets, highways, and public property within the Village of Bluffton, Ohio, shall have a minimum of the following  functional equipment there on:

(a) At least one working rear red colored tail light 

(b) License plates in the front and rear of the golf cart, bracketed to the cart 

(c) A light to illuminate the rear license plate and make the plate legible from a distance of 50 feet 

(d) At least one working brake light 

(e) Two headlights, white or clear in color 

(f) A horn 

(g) A rearview mirror 

(h) A windshield 

(i) Windshield wiper 

(j) Turn signals 

(k) Brakes sufficient to stop within 40 feet 

(l) An emergency brake sufficient to hold the vehicle on any grade 

(m) Working exhaust system if the unit has an internal combustion engine 

(n) One seat belt per occupant of the cart 

(o) A child safety seat installed to manufacturer specifications for any occupant under the age of four or under 40 pounds in weight 

(p) A child booster safety seat installed to manufacturer specifications for any occupant between the ages of four and eight or under 4’9” in height

           

            (2)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined not more than $100.

 

            72.199 (C) LICENSING REQUIREMENTS OF OPERATOR

            (1)        The operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton shall have a valid driver’s license.

            (2)        The operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton shall be no less than 16 years of age.

 

            (3)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor, and

                        subject to a fine of not more than $100.

 

            72.199 (D) INSURANCE REQUIREMENTS OF OWNER AND OPERATOR

            (1)        The owner of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle that is driven on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton shall carry liability insurance thereon as required by the Ohio Revised Code 4509.101 (A)(1).

            (2)        The operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle that is driven on public roadways or on public property shall have in his possession proof of insurance while operating the golf cart.

            (3)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor, and  subject to a fine of not more than $100.

 

            72.199 (E) INSPECTION AND TITLE REQUIREMENTS

             (1)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton without first obtaining an inspection by the Chief of Police, the County Sheriff, or the law enforcement official of another jurisdiction within the State of Ohio to ensure compliance with State laws and this ordinance.

             (2)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on the public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton without a Certificate of Inspection in his possession.

             (3)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on public roadways or on public property without first obtaining a Certificate of Title from the Clerk of Courts.

             (4)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined  not more than $100.

 

            72.199 (F) PROHIBITED ACTS

            (1)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton without first ensuring all occupants are securely seated in a fixed seat and wearing all available elements of a properly adjusted safety belt that is fixed to the vehicle.

            (2)        No person, being an operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle operated on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton, shall fail to wear all available elements of a properly adjusted safety belt that is fixed to the vehicle.

            (3)        No person, being a passenger of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle operated on public roadways or on public property in the Village of Bluffton, shall fail to wear all available elements of a properly adjusted safety belt that is fixed to the vehicle.

            (4)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle on restricted areas of the public bicycle path, except municipal employees operating municipal vehicles in accordance with their duties.

            (5)        No person shall operate a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle that has an attainable top speed in excess of 25 mph on a public roadway or on public property.

            (6)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined  accordingly:

                          (a) A violation of sections F (1), F (4), and F (5) of this ordinance shall be guilty of a  minor misdemeanor and fined not more than $100

                          (b) A violation of section F (2) of this ordinance shall be guilty of a minor misdemeanor and fined not more than $30.

                          (c) A violation of section F (3) of this ordinance shall be guilty of a minor  misdemeanor and fined not more than $20.

 

            72.199 (G) ACCIDENT REPORTS

 

            (1)        The owner or operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle involved in any accident resulting in injury or death to any person shall immediately report the accident to the police department.

            (2)        The owner or operator of a golf cart, utility vehicle, or other low speed vehicle involved in any accident resulting in damage to the property of any person in excess of $100 shall report the accident within 24 hours to the police department.

            (3)        Whoever violates this section shall be guilty of a first degree misdemeanor and subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 and imprisonment of not more than 6 months.

                       

SECTION 2:   That an emergency exists in the operations of the Village of Bluffton whereby failure to act will be detrimental to the public health, welfare and safety of the inhabitants thereof.

SECTION 3:  That it is found and determined that all formal actions of this Council concerning and relating to the adoption of this Ordinance were adopted in an open meeting of this Council and that all deliberations of this Council and any of its committees that resulted in such formal action were in meetings open to the public, in compliance with all legal requirements including Section 121.22 of the Ohio Revised Code. 

 
First Responder PDF Print E-mail

Police officers working for the Village of Bluffton undergo additional training to obtain and maintain certification as emergency medical first responders.  Police units respond to dispatched calls related to medical emergencies within the community and initiate immediate medical care while waiting for our volunteer EMS to arrive.  The police officer's first responsibility is to ensure scene safety and security, which must be done in order to provide a safe environment for responding EMS units to perform their tasks. 

 

 
Vehicle Unlock PDF Print E-mail

The Bluffton police department will, to the extent possible, attempt to unlock vehicles where the keys have been lost or inadvertently locked inside the vehicle.  This is a community service provided at no cost to the public.  To request assistance with this service call our dispatch at 419-358-2961. 

The police department will not accept responsibility for damage as the result of providing this free service.

 
Towing Services PDF Print E-mail

Bluffton police department rotates tow truck services between two primary companies operating out of Bluffton.  If your vehicle was towed by a police officer, please contact the below for information on costs and recovery of your vehicle:

John's Towing  419-889-5400

Keebler's Towing  419-358-4471

 

The Bluffton police department does not tow vehicles off of private property unless a crime or traffic violation has been committed.  Please contact the property owner if your vehicle was left on someone else's property and it is no longer there to see if they had the vehicle towed.

 
Home & Business Check PDF Print E-mail

Home & Business Check Program
The Bluffton Police Department offers house/business checks of your home/business while you are out of town for an extended period of time. Officers will routinely check your property for unauthorized persons and any signs of criminal activity while you are away. Please fill out the form and use the link to submit it directly to us, or feel free to print it out and drop it off in person to the department prior to your departure. Upon returning home please contact the department, and we will take you off of our list.  It is important that all fields be filled in, so officers know what to look for when checking your property.

Click on link below to download and view the form.

Residence/BusinessCheckForm

Adobe Acrobat reader must be installed on your computer to read this file. The reader can be downloaded for FREE by using the link below.

adobe reader link

 
Tip Line PDF Print E-mail

419-369-2970


The Bluffton Police Department encourages you to use our tip-line if you have any information that you feel may assist us in helping make this a safe community in which to live and work. If you have information regarding but not limited to:

  • Any current investigation on which we are working
  • Any criminal activity of which you have witnessed or heard
  • Any suspicious activity that you feel needs our attention
  • Any information leading us to the use and/or  sales of illicit drugs


Please use our tip-line to provide this type of information so we can look into your concerns and/or complaints. You can leave your contact information so we can get back to you if we are in need of further assistance, or you can remain anonymous. 

 
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