Recently there have been many questions raised regarding the use and operation of golf carts on the streets in Lyons. Many of these questions have been the result of recent changes in the traffic laws at the State level, while others appear to be from misunderstanding of the Lyons Municipal ordinance. In an effort to help alleviate some of the confusion surrounding this issue I have prepared a quick summary dealing with some of the more common
questions people ask, as well as the more common violations observed involving golf carts. Most of these questions and issues are addressed by Lyons Town Ordinance 849, which is available on the Town website at townoflyons.com.
1) The term “Golf cart” and “low speed electric vehicle” are not synonymous. Low speed electric vehicles are defined under Colorado State Statutes and require registration through the Department of Motor Vehicle. These vehicles can be operated on State highways and all other streets subject to certain regulations and limitations. Golf carts are specifically excluded from this definition, cannot be registered according to the State, and are not allowed on State highways. Here in Lyons State Highways include Hwy 36/Main and Broadway, Hwy 7/5th, Hwy 36 north to Eagle Canyon, and Hwy 66 on the east side of Town. Under the Town ordinance golf carts can be operated on Town Streets and can cross the State Highways at legal cross streets.
2) Golf carts CANNOT be driven on bike paths, pedestrian bridges, sidewalks, or on anything other than a Town street or property that a car is allowed on.
3) You must be a licensed driver to operate a golf cart on a public roadway or property.
4) You have to be SOBER to drive a golf cart on any public street or property.
5) All passengers on a golf cart must be seated in a proper seat, and you cannot operate a golf cart with more passengers than it is designed to hold. This also means that children in a golf cart are required to be in a child safety seat meeting the same standards for size and weight as required in a car.
6) Golf carts operated on Town streets are required to follow all the same traffic rules and regulations as any other motor vehicle as set forth under the Colorado Model Traffic Code, and the Lyons Municipal Code. Failure to do so can lead to the operator of the golf cart receiving a citation to the Lyons Municipal Court. If alcohol is involved in the operation of the golf cart then the driver can plan on spending an evening at the Boulder County Jail.
7) ATV’s are specifically prohibited on the Town streets, sidewalks, and trails as well as the State Highways.
8) The Lyons Municipal ordinance was written to include both electric and gas powered golf carts.
Despite the confusion and the growing pains surrounding the use of these vehicles, we believe that the golf carts in Lyons are an efficient alternative to driving cars around Town, and that they are a step in the right direction in reducing the pollution and energy consumption generated by full size vehicles in Town. The Town and the Sheriff’s Office are committed to working with the citizen’s of Lyons to address the questions and issues surrounding the use of these type of vehicles in Town, and ask only that the operators of these vehicles are follow the rules of the road and use common sense so that we can safely continue to expand this program.
As changes in State law continue to develop we will continue to do our best to keep the public updated, and will work to address these changes through education and interaction with the citizen’s of Lyons. Questions regarding this issue can be directed to:
Sgt. Kevin Parker
Boulder County Sheriff’s Office