Randy and Deb Bartlett enjoy the open air ride and low cost of driving their UTV on city streets. (Johnson Publications photo)

City officials: New UTV/golf car ordinance off to smooth start

■ Editor’s note: The correct terminology for purposes of the city ordinance is golf “cars” not carts.

    On July 2, the newly passed ordinance allowing UTVs and golf cars to be driven on city streets went into effect.
    The procedure for getting a permit to drive these vehicles legally on the streets begins with an inspection at the Imperial Police Department.
    The inspection will confirm that the vehicle has a brake system in good operating condition, an exhaust system in good working order with an arc arrestor to prevent electrical fires and lights on UTVs, said Imperial Police Chief Ryan Wisnieski.
    “Basically, the UTV/golf car must be road worthy and safe,” he said.
    The operator must have at least liability insurance and a current driver’s license.
    Once inspection is passed, the owner will receive a signed paper to take to the city office.
    City office personnel will issue a numbered flag to be prominently displayed on the vehicle, said Jo Leyland, city clerk/administrator.
    The flags will be a different color each year, and all permits will expire April 1. A new permit must be issued in April of every year.
    The paperwork will have three copies that will be distributed to the owner, police department and one kept at the city office.
    The fee for the permit is $50 per year, said Leyland.
    “There has been some confusion on the order of the process to get a permit. First contact must be with the Imperial Police Department before coming to the city office,” she said.
    There have been about 30 flags issued so far.
    “There haven’t been any problems. Everything has been going smoothly,” said both Leyland and Wisnieski.

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