May 8, 2024 - News

New Orleans officials are writing new rules for golf cart enforcement

Illustration of a golf cart caught in police spotlights.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The Department of Public Works is in the process of writing an ordinance that would govern golf carts on New Orleans' streets.

Why it matters: More carts are puttering around the city, with some even being used as illegal taxis in the French Quarter.

The big picture: The city is cracking down on golf carts on city streets, as first reported by Axios in March.

  • The proposed ordinance differentiates between golf carts and low speed vehicles, according to Clinton Hathaway, the new public works director.

Zoom in: Standard golf carts don't have seat belts and are not allowed on city streets at any time, he said Tuesday.

  • Low speed vehicles are the tricked-out, street-legal versions of golf carts. They have an open-air appearance, along with seat belts, brake lights, headlights, turn signals and other safety features.
  • Low speed vehicles also require a state-issued license plate and a licensed driver, according to a flyer officials gave Axios on Tuesday.

Yes, but: Neither of these vehicles can be used commercially in Orleans Parish.

State of play: Hathaway said the city is working now to iron out the consequences and how they will be enforced.

  • He mentioned some internal DPW enforcement with the help of New Orleans police, along with fines and towing.
  • Those details are still being worked out, he said, including the monetary amount of the fines.

What's next: The ordinance will be submitted to the City Council for approval, Hathaway said.

  • But, there's no immediate timeline for submitting, city officials told Axios after the press conference.
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