Jackson County

Golf carts it is. Ocean Springs votes to pursue allowing them on city streets.

Ocean Springs aldermen vote to pursue a state law allowing Ocean Springs to run golf carts on city streets. Alderman Rickey Authement, center, proposed the resolution.
Ocean Springs aldermen vote to pursue a state law allowing Ocean Springs to run golf carts on city streets. Alderman Rickey Authement, center, proposed the resolution. klnelson@sunherald.com

City aldermen voted 6 to 1 Tuesday night to pursue the legislation needed to allow golf carts and low-speed vehicles on city streets.

The resolution mirrors the one most recently passed into law for Pascagoula.

Ocean Springs aldermen balked twice Tuesday night when the city attorney and an alderman suggested they get the resolution just like they want it and customize it to thoroughly fit Ocean Springs. It was pointed out that the state will use the resolution to create the law.

But finally, Mayor Shea Dobson asked the board if there were any concerns other than increasing the speed limit from 30 to 35 mph in the resolution.

They voted, with Alderman Mike Impey as the lone no vote. It was pointed out that his ward was one of two that would be restricted somewhat in where the carts could go because of busy connector roads, but he did not give a reason for the no vote. Tuesday was the first time this resolution was before the board.

Alderman Rickey Authement proposed the resolution. He based it on Pascagoula’s because it’s more “wide ranging.”

Authement urged his fellow aldermen to vote Tuesday, because he said he had Rep. Hank Zuber on board to champion the legislation for the city starting early next year.

If it passes, Ocean Springs will join Pascagoula, Diamondhead and Pass Christian.

According to the resolution that is now headed to the state Legislature:

▪ Low-speed vehicles and golf carts will be allowed on all city streets and roads where the speed limit doesn’t exceed 35 mph.

▪ All drivers must have a valid state driver’s license and proof of financial responsibility.

▪ Drivers of carts may cross public roads with speed limits higher than 35 mph if they are going to a street marked 35 mph or less and they use the shortest route.

▪ Drivers must run the carts in the outside lane (or slow lane) of streets with more than one lane.

▪ Unless stated otherwise in the law, they will be permitted on a city sanctioned parade route during the parade.

▪ The vehicles must be registered with the city. They will pay a fee and be issued a decal by the county tax collector that must be displayed on the rear fender. Fees are one-time but can’t be transferred to a new owner.

▪ Operating without a valid registration will be a misdemeanor.

Edmond Meyer and Wild Bill tell why golf carts are a way of life in Old Town Bay St. Louis.

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