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Low-Speed Vehicle Drivers Would Need License in Avondale Estates

Don't call it a golf cart ordinance, because the proposed Avondale Estates law would not allow those things you drive around the country club.

Avondale Estates is moving ahead with a new city law that, in the beginning, was called a "golf cart ordinance."

Don't call it that now. The cart you drive up and down the country club fairways won't be allowed, and a bunch of other restrictions have been added.

The most recent change specifies that only people with valid driver's licenses can drive one of these vehicles.

That differs from other cities; golf cart haven Peachtree City, for example, allows kids as young as 13 to drive a cart with a parent or guardian in the front seat.

Also, the city decided these vehicles cannot be driven across U.S. 278, the busy main drag running through the city that's known as  North Avondale Road and East College Avenue. Previous versions would have allowed that at certain crossings.

The ordinance has been discussed more than a year. The Avondale Estates City Commission gave it a first reading on Oct. 22. After two more readings, it can be voted into law.

Clai Brown, the city manager, said the ordinance was changed to make the streets safer and the air cleaner.

The ordinance will allow you to drive "motorized carts," "personal transportation vehicles" and "low-speed vehicles" in the city, but only if your ride has safety features such as front and rear lamps, a horn, a rearview mirror, hip restraints and hand holds.

Plus, these vehicles must be registered with the city and bear a city-issued sticker.

The prohibition on driving across U.S. 278 may be reconsidered when the planned redevelopment of downtown Avondale Estates takes place, Brown said.

The city commission said educational materials will be circulated when the ordinance goes into effect so the public understands what is allowed.

Ralph Ellis November 21, 2012 at 02:31 PM
What do you think of Avondale Estates requiring drivers of low-speed vehicles to have driver's licenses?
Dante November 21, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The small town charm is diminished and more bureaucratic as it feigns concern for safety and clean air. While pulling over spirited kids with scooters and friendly neighbors visiting neighbors police manpower will miss increasing home break ins. Brilliant
Avon Dale November 21, 2012 at 05:20 PM
Great idea for a community that already thinks it's a country club! It seems a quote from "Caddyshack" is appropriate here: "He's on his final hole. He's about 455 yards away, he's gonna hit about a 2 iron I think. This crowd has gone deadly silent, a Cinderella story outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac... It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!" -Bill Murray as Carl Spackler http://keep-avondale-estates-lame.org/
Ms. November 21, 2012 at 07:06 PM
Is this actually a problem?
Keith December 09, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Agreed - the growing number of rear entry to homes and riffling through poorly secured cars (read unlocked) needs proper attention. To date we've seen no public announcement to citizens to be vigilant and lock their stuff up. I'd rather see them focus on more police presence and an costly mass mailing than a golf cart crusade.

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