Acadia police jurors OK golf carts in subdivisions

It will soon be legal to drive golf carts on parish-maintained roads, but only if those roads are in a “recognized subdivision.”
By a 4-3 vote Tuesday night, with one member absent, the Acadia Parish Police Jury adopted a revised version of the ordinance recommended by the Legislative Committee.
That ordinance would have allowed the electric-powered carts on all parish roads, providing certain requirements — including lights, turn signals, rear-view mirror, brakes, insurance and state inspection — were met.
“I’m not particularly in favor of this,” said A.J. “Jay” Credeur when the matter came up for vote. “I would support it if it was in a recognized subdivision, but not on parish roads where the speed limit is 45 mph.”
Maximum speed for the carts, according to ordinance, is 25 mph.
“I’m not necessarily in favor of it either, but no one came to speak against it,” said Steve Comeaux, referring to the public hearing on the proposed ordinance held prior to the meeting.
At that hearing, Tracy Young presented a petition signed by “about 15” residents of Atwood Acres asking that the ordinance be adopted.
Credeur blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the absence of citizens for the public hearing.
Various suggestions were thrown out, including:
— Allowing the carts only in recognized subdivisions;
— Allowing the carts only on parish roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or lower;
— Designating specific roads in the parish upon which carts will be allowed.
Concerning the latter, Comeaux said, “We can’t expect deputies to check a list of parish roads every time he sees a golf cart.”
Jeff “Red Dog” Morgan said restricting the carts to only recognized subdivisions would leave out such amenities as campgrounds and RV parks, where many travelers use the vehicles.
Parish attorney Glen Howie added another roadblock when he pointed out that state statute requires signage on roadways upon which the carts are allowed.
Quoting the clause — RS 32:299.4(B)(1) — Howie read:
“A golf cart may be operated only upon a parish road that has been designated by a parish or a municipal street that has been designated by a municipality for use by a golf cart. Upon a designation that a golf cart may be operated on a designated road or street, the responsible governmental entity shall post appropriate signage indicating that such operation is authorized.”
Jurors balked at the idea of having to put signs on all parish-maintained roads.
Young offered to reimburse the jury for the signage for Atwood Acres if the ordinance was adopted for recognized subdivisions.
With those amendments — that golf carts are allowed on parish roads only in recognized subdivisions and only if residents of said subdivision provide and maintain the required signage — the ordinance was adopted.
Opposing votes were cast by Morgan, Jimmie Pellerin and Pat Daigle.
Voting in favor were Credeur, Comeaux, Chance Henry and Walter Andrus.
Gordon “G-Ray” Morgan was absent.
Comeaux, who cast the final and deciding vote, said he was voting for the ordinance “only because no one was here to speak against it.”

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