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Golf carts, UTVs could become street legal in Keokuk

Cart rules.jpeg
Will Buss
Tri States Public Radio

Keokuk residents might soon be allowed to drive their golf carts and utility terrain vehicles on city streets.

City Council members are considering an ordinance that would make golf carts and utility terrain vehicles, or UTVs, street legal in Keokuk.

City administrator Cole O’Donnell said residents have asked the Council for an ordinance to legalize golf carts and UTVs because Lee County and Ft. Madison already permit these vehicles on some streets.

“This is not something that is not uncommon in other smaller communities,” O’Donnell said. “And so they were wanting to have us institute an ordinance.”

The ordinance before the Council would not allow all-terrain vehicles, or ATVs, on city streets. O’Donnell said the difference between ATVs and UTVs is that ATVs have one seat and are like four-wheel motorcycles, while UTVs are more like a golf cart and have two to four seats contained inside a cab.

The proposed ordinance restricts golf carts and UTVs to travel along city streets where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or slower. Golf cart and UTV drivers would be permitted to cross highways but not drive on them. These vehicles would also be required to have lights, turn signals and seatbelts.

O’Donnell said the proposed ordinance includes Iowa state vehicle code restrictions. The state code includes vehicle weight and engine size requirements.

Residents who want to drive their golf cart and UTV in town would be required to bring their vehicle in for an inspection, and pay for a permit and a sticker to be affixed to the back of the permitted vehicle.

O’Donnell said the City Council could approve the ordinance and put the new law into effect as soon as the end of April.

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