Lake Ozark to begin stricter enforcement of golf cart street usage

A seat belt or safety harness is required for all passengers under age 12 in Lake Ozark, among other rules.

The kids are out of school. The grandkids are visiting. The weather is perfect for an outing on the golf cart on some City of Lake Ozark streets.

But there are important rules and regulations to protect not only the golf cart driver and passenger, but also others on Lake Ozark streets.

The Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance a year ago in August that allows golf carts to be operated on some city streets.

“Golf carts are a convenient way to move about in neighborhoods,” Police Chief Gary Launderville said. “But golf carts should be treated just like any other motorized vehicle for everyone’s safety. There are rules of the road, and our officers are authorized to issue tickets to anyone violating the rules.”

He said the LOPD is getting calls from residents who have observed youngsters obviously under the legal age operating a golf cart, and at times have seen as many as six or seven under-age youngsters piled in one golf cart and not restrained by a harness or seatbelt. That’s not only illegal but also unsafe, he pointed out. 

“It’s been a year since the ordinance was enacted, so residents have had time to adjust to the new rules,” Launderville explained. “Since we’ve been getting more calls, our officers will begin stricter enforcement.”

Most complaints have been in the Beacon Point and Osage Hills Resort areas.

The chief emphasized that UTVs, ATVs and side-by-side vehicles are not considered as golf carts and are prohibited on city streets. These types of vehicles are defined as any motorized vehicle manufactured and used exclusively for off-highway use which is 50 inches or less in width and with a dry weight of 1,500 pounds or less traveling on three, four or more non-highway tires. 

The rules

Here are some important rules to know to avoid being issued a ticket by Lake Ozark Police officers:

-Drivers must have a valid driver’s license

-A seat belt or safety harness is required for all passengers under age 12

-Golf carts may not be operated over 20 mph

-All traffic laws apply

-All carts must be operated with headlights and taillights from a half-hour after sunset to a half-hour before sunrise

-Regardless of the time of day, a golf cart must use headlights and taillights, or a florescent flag or slow-moving vehicle safety triangle

-All golf carts must have a rear-view mirror

-All golf carts must be registered with the city ($30 annual fee) and have an attached registration sticker (provided by the Lake Ozark Police Department) to be driven on most city streets. The LOPD is located at 3162 Bagnell Dam Blvd.

Prohibited streets

Golf cart drivers are prohibited from operating on the following:

-Bagnell Dam Blvd.

-Lakeland Rd.

-Welsh Rd. - from Highway W to Bluebird Rd.

-Lighthouse Rd. - from Highway W to Mockingbird Road

-All state-owned highways - although golf carts may cross any state highways as long as the posted speed limit in that area of the highway is less than 45 mph.

The new ordinance went into effect on Nov. 1, 2019. 

For more information, call 573-365-5371.