In early June, the Moberly City Council passed an ordinance that allows residents of Moberly to drive golf carts and other utility vehicles on city roads.

The ordinance stated that those wanting to drive their golf carts and utility vehicles on the roads would need to purchase a permit from the city clerk, insure the vehicle and ensure all safety standards were met on the vehicle.

Recently the Randolph County commission authorized a nearly identical ordinance on the countywide level. An amended ordinance was presented at the Moberly City Council meeting Monday night, which will allow Moberly residents to only purchase a permit from Randolph County. According to City Manager Brian Crane, this will cut down on unnecessary bureaucracy and costs for those in Moberly wishing to drive golf carts and utility vehicles in the city and county.

The city’s original ordinance outlines the requirements to drive one of these vehicles on the roads. The driver must be at least 16 years old and have a valid operator’s or chauffeur's license. The vehicles must have a fully-functional roll over bar and seat belts for the driver and all passengers. Each vehicle is also require to have a bicycle safety flag and a slow-moving vehicle sign on the rear. Unless the vehicles have functioning headlights, taillights, brake lights and turn signals, then they cannot be operated between sunset and sunrise.

According to Randolph County Presiding Commissioner John Truesdell, golf carts and UTVs will only be operable on county roads, although they will be able to intersect state and federal roads.

Truesdell said that the next step for the county commission is convincing other towns throughout the county to adopt the ordinance. He said that the long-term plan for the county is to hopefully have neighboring counties adopt similar ordinances.

Truesdell said that one of the commission’s goals is to eventually have it where Randolph County residents can drive a golf cart or UTV to Mark Twain Lake. He said that there are roughly 8,000 golf carts and UTVs in the county and that the commission wanted to make it to where Randolph County residents and visitors could use these vehicles for recreation. According to Truesdell, this ordinance will help increase tourism in Randolph County and possibly stimulate smaller businesses.

While golf carts and UTVs are fair game, once all requirements have been met, other vehicles like ATVs are purposely excluded from both the city’s and the county’s ordinances.

“We expressly said no to four-wheelers,” Crane said. “We talked to other towns, and there just hasn’t been a lot of good luck allowing four-wheelers on the road. They’re loud, noisy and can be very fast. It’s just not a good situation.”

Truesdell mentioned that the county commission was grateful of Moberly for writing up and passing the original ordinance. He said that it should be easy to convince other towns in the county to adopt this ordinance since the largest city, Moberly, is on board with it.

ecliburn@moberlymonitor.com