Welsh couple wants to drive golf cart on street

By Crystal Price - bio | email

WELSH, LA (KPLC) - A Welsh couple wants to drive their golf cart on the street, but a state law could keep their low speed vehicle off the roadways.

Arnold and Ruth Onken are wanting the City of Welsh to consider their request to allow them to ride their golf cart on local streets.

"We originally bought it to take with us on camping trips," said Arnold Onken.

But after saving quite a bit on fuel costs, they started driving the vehicle on the city streets.

"There's never any bad traffic in Welsh," said Ruth Onken.

The couple says they don't understand why it would be considered a danger.

"If we were in a larger city I could see where it would be a problem," said A. Onken. "But as long as you're careful, I wouldn't consider it a danger."

Sgt. James Anderson of Louisiana State Police, Troop D is helping the town research the matter.

Anderson said this is not the first time motorists have inquired about "low speed vehicles," which include vehicles driven between 20 to 25 miles per hour.

"A lot of interest came about in "low speed vehicle" use in 2008 when gasoline prices went to $4.00 a gallon," said Anderson.

In 2008, Louisiana passed a state law allowing slow moving vehicles to be driven on city streets in speed zones of 35 miles per hour or less.

But Anderson said there are guidelines the slow moving vehicles must abide by.

"The golf cart has to have prescribed safety equipment," said Anderson. "That means it has to have seatbelts, certain lighting equipment, mirrors, reflectors and certain turn signals."

The Onkens have installed a rear view mirror, lights, and windshield, but they are waiting on the city's approval before they make any further installations.

"Until that time, we'll continue taking it around town," said A. Onken.

The City of Welsh will make the final decision on whether or not golf carts can be driven on city streets.

If you would like more information on vehicle safety guidelines, click on Federal Motor Vehicle Standards to the right.

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