You’re not likely to see golf carts on the streets of Streator any time soon.
At least, you shouldn’t be seeing them.
The City Council reviewed the possibility of allowing nonhighway vehicles such as golf carts, utility task vehicles and all-terrain vehicles on roads in Streator during a study session.
One resident spoke up during the discussion stating he would like to drive his UTV for personal reasons. He’s also seen Streator Public Works and construction crews driving theirs on roads. He argued it’s quickly becoming commonplace for those who have them and is safer than riding a motorcycle.
Councilwoman Tara Bedei said right now it’s illegal and they should not be on the street.
“We’re allowing it by not ticketing them. At least (by enacting a law) we know they are insured and have safety regulations,” Bedei said.
Police Chief Kurt Pastirik found a number of requirements would need to be met even if the council allowed them, meaning commonplace golf carts would not be street legal. Vehicles would be inspected by the police department and drivers would need a license and insurance.
Regardless, nonhighway vehicles would not be allowed to drive on state highways unless crossing at a 90-degree angle.
Route 23 and Route 18 cross Streator, but the vehicles still would not be allowed on the inner portions of town where they are known as Main, Bridge, Bloomington and Park streets.
Pastirik asked the council to consider if these should be used as alternative modes of transportation or just socializing in certain neighborhoods, such as for transportation between senior living residences and accessing shopping centers by crossing Route 23.
He also noted a number of communities smaller than Streator with similar laws including Pontiac.
Councilman Brian Crouch expressed concern over the vehicles’ safety.
“I think it’s a high risk and liability,” Crouch said. “I mean, safety wise for a golf cart, getting hit by a car I don’t think somebody would stand a good chance of walking away from it.”
Councilman Ed Brozak expressed disinterest due to the increased regulations and inspections that would fall to the police department.
Bedei and Councilman Joe Scarbeary supported the idea with Bedei stating it should be investigated if more residents are interested in this for other uses.
The council could not take a vote during the study session, but Mayor Jimmie Lansford ended the unofficial tie stating “not at this time.”