Don't Let Me Stop You

What the heck, you'll do what you want anyway.

None Dare Call Them Golf Carts

Posted by Ryne McClaren on February 22, 2010

LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth (proudly representing my district) has named his priority bill: LB1004.

Nebraskans would be able to drive their golf cars down residential city streets, just like the old folks do in Florida and California, under a bill that carries priority designation.

Golf cars and other slow-moving vehicles would be allowed on streets with speed limits of 35 mph or less and could cross other higher speed roads, under a bill (LB1004), named by Sen. LeRoy Louden of Ellsworth as his priority bill.

That’s golf cars, not carts.

If you’re like me, you were confused at this point.  “Golf car? Wha?”

I’m so very glad you asked, because this is the important part.

And there is a difference between, said Joe Masek, president of the Masek Golf Car Co. in Gering.

A golf cart is that “little two-wheeled thing that you drag around behind you when you are un-American and walk the course,” he told senators on the Legislature’s Transportation and Telecommunications Committee on Monday.

The Legislature is looking at rules for golf cars, which “have a steering wheel and you drive,” Masek said.

Ok.  See?  I told you this was very important.  (And I’m not even going to touch his “un-American” comment).

But now let’s leave the study of motorized golf car lingo alone and get to the wacky.

Under the bill, only licensed drivers could operate a slow-moving vehicle, and owners would have to carry liability insurance.

The bill covers golf cars, which can go about 10 to 16 mph, and slow-moving vehicles, which under federal law can go 20 to 25 mph and must have seat belts, windshields and turn signals.

Around three dozen states allow these very slow moving vehicles on city streets, according to supporters.

Because they can’t be driven very fast, these vehicles are safe, they said.

The law would help a lot of elderly people in small towns who don’t want to or shouldn’t drive, Louden said.

Problem #1: You possess neither the eyesight nor the reflexes to operate one of those high speed cars that are all the rage.

Problem #2: You still possesses a valid drivers license.

Problem #3: Driving fast is unsafe; driving slow in and around fast traffic is much safer.

Solution: Golf cars.

I’m always dumbfounded why we believe that taking a slow moving vehicle and granting it access to the fast lane is a solution for anything at all, but there you go.  This might work if all of us were required to bump around town in our golf cars, but it’s absurd to think that you’re safer moving slow when the roadways are occupied by… texting teen drivers.

The golf car salesman (obviously) thinks this is a stroke of genius.

Village, towns and college campuses could used modified golf carts rather than pickup trucks to move light loads around if it were legal to drive on the streets, Masek said.

Don’t tell Masek, but lots of people are probably already doing these things anyway, and the Legislature hasn’t even said it’s ok yet. But perhaps once all of this is tied up, he can send out some brochures or something.

Ultimately, so long as these vehicles are properly insured (like I am, for when I run over them) and operated by people who are licensed and sane, I have no problem with the bill itself.  The only problem that I have is with swaddling this baby up in phony “public safety” clothes.

The text of this bill is far too long to read, and it could be condensed to its simplest form: We want to drive something besides cars, trucks, and motorcycles on the roads and streets of Nebraska.

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2 Responses to “None Dare Call Them Golf Carts”

  1. It’s stories like these that make you glad the Unicameral sessions are short. Hey, maybe we could get Congress to debate this topic for a few months…

  2. Ryne McClaren said

    I’m glad that the rest of the state is getting to enjoy this.

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