Johnsburg weighs allowing golf carts on certain streets

JOHNSBURG – Golf carts, all-terrain vehicles and other recreational vehicles may join cars and trucks on Johnsburg roads.

The village’s Ordinance Committee discussed allowing these types of nonhighway vehicles on village roads with posted speed limits of 35 mph or less.

“It’s more intended for subdivision use,” said Trustee Rich Janusz, who serves as the committee’s chairman.

The idea was brought to the committee by the village’s police chief because under Illinois law, municipalities can decide whether they want to allow it.

Before a change in the law took effect Jan. 1, 2010, the legality was up for debate.

The legislation clarified the issue, specifying that golf carts, four-wheeled ATVs and other similar nonhighway vehicles may operate only on streets with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.

The drivers of the vehicles must hold a valid Illinois driver’s license, and the vehicles must have brakes, steering, a rearview mirror, headlights, taillights, brake lights, turn signals, reflectors on the front and back, and a slow-moving vehicle sign in the rear.

The committee is looking into the costs that would be associated with installing about 60 signs around the village indicating areas where they are allowed and the police department inspecting and certifying the vehicles, Janusz said.

It also is investigating how other communities handle the recreational vehicles and what other provisions are included in their ordinances.

“A lot is to be considered before we would draft an ordinance,” he said. “[I’m] hesitant especially with the four-wheelers because they flip easier.”

The committee will return to the issue at its October meeting.

“We’re very cautious,” Janusz said. “It’s a touchy subject [because they’re] not the type of vehicle that people are accustomed to seeing on the roads.”

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