Ordinance allows ‘low-speed vehicles’ on city streets

Golf carts, mini-trucks, small utility vehicles included in legislation

By Andrew Carter - acarter@aimmediamidwest.com

GALION — Galion City Council has approved an ordinance that allows slow-moving vehicles like golf carts to operate on city streets.

Ordinance No. 2021-60 authorizes “the operation of low-speed vehicles, under-speed vehicles, utility vehicles, and mini-trucks” within the city’s jurisdiction. The local legislation aligns with Ohio Revised Code 4511.215 which was approved by the Ohio General Assembly in 2017.

Mayor Tom O’Leary said the ordinance is the result of questions raised by community residents about the operation of such vehicles on city streets.

Following are the definitions for each classification of vehicle included in the ordinance:

• Low-speed vehicles — a three- or four-wheeled vehicle with an attainable speed in one mile on a paved level surface of more than 20 miles an hour but not more than 25 miles an hour and with a gross vehicle weight rating less than 3,000 pounds.

• Under-speed vehicle — a three- or four-wheeled vehicle, including golf carts, with an attainable speed on a paved level surface of not more than 20 miles per hour and with a gross weight rating less than 3,000 pounds.

• Utility vehicle — a self-propelled vehicle designed with a bed, principally for the purpose of transporting material or cargo in connection with construction, agricultural, forestry, grounds maintenance, lawn and garden, materials handling, or similar activities.

• Mini-truck — a vehicle that has four wheels, is propelled by an electric motor with a rate power of 7,500 watts or less, or an internal combustion engine with a piston displacement capacity of 600 cubic centimeters or less, has a total dry weight of 900 to 2,200 pounds, contains an enclosed cabin and a seat for the vehicle operation, resembled a pickup truck or van with a cargo area or bed located at the rear of the vehicle, and was not originally manufactured to meet federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Per terms of ordinance, the aforementioned vehicles can only operate on city streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or lower.

The owners of said vehicles are required to “submit the vehicle to an inspection that complies with the requirements established by the Ohio Department of Public Safety under Section 4513.02 of the Revised Code. The Galion Police Department will conduct the inspections.

Additionally, according to the ordinance’s language, “each vehicle must have a safety belt installed at each designated seating position and shall be part of the safety inspection.”

Golf carts, mini-trucks, small utility vehicles included in legislation

By Andrew Carter