QUALICUM BEACH – A new pilot project will now allow golf carts to operate on certain local roads in Chase and in Qualicum Beach, providing drivers with more transportation options, Premier Christy Clark announced recently.
“This change makes it easier for people, particularly seniors, to stay engaged in their community and access the services that make their lives better,” said Premier Clark. “By allowing these lower emission vehicles on local streets, we are connecting British Columbians with their families and friends and improving not only their health but the quality of their lives.”
The Province has received a number of requests to allow golf carts on roads in smaller communities and is piloting the program in two communities, Qualicum Beach and Chase. The pilot project will run for a period of one to two years, which will provide the ministry and the participating municipalities with information about how and where it can be rolled out in other parts of the province.
“This project will improve the daily lives of British Columbians,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Todd Stone. “This is not for everyone and not for every community but for communities like Qualicum Beach and Chase, it makes good sense for their citizens. I look forward to the increased use of low-emission vehicles as we work towards our greenhouse-gas reduction goals and aim to increase accessibility in the Province.”
The golf carts will need to meet detailed operating conditions and vehicle specifications such as only driving on municipal roads with a maximum speed of 30 km/h during daylight hours. The golf cart must be registered and insured and be equipped with seat belts, a horn, lights, signals, and a rear-view mirror. Drivers will need to have a valid driver’s license.
The change comes into effect in September, when the communities of Chase and Qualicum will be able to purchase golf cart insurance and obtain a permit from their local government.
“This innovative pilot project will provide British Columbians with more transportation choices.” said MLA for Parksville-Qualicum Michelle Stillwell. “Qualicum Beach is a great location to trial the program, keeping people, especially seniors connected with their family, friends and community.”
“We have heard from residents that they would like additional options to use alternative and environmentally friendly vehicles,” said Qualicum Beach Mayor Teunis Westbroek.
“Golf carts will give our town more ways to get around and we are thrilled to be part of this pilot project as I believe it is appropriate in our community.”
In B.C. on the Move, the B.C. government’s 10-year transportation plan, the Province has committed to explore opportunities to allow drivers more choices to use slow-moving vehicles in smaller communities. A key goal is for B.C. communities to have the most accessible transportation options in Canada by 2024 and this pilot project supports that goal.