The recent announcement of the golf cart program in Qualicum Beach raises several questions which I hope will be answered before the program is implemented.
Firstly, the precise definition of a “municipal road” and the boundaries where golf carts can operate need to be made explicit. Necessary signage may be needed to prevent drivers from invalidating their insurance if they were to cross the wrong road or enter the wrong jurisdiction.
Secondly, how does the roll-out of this program impact staffing and logistics for the Oceanside RCMP, if at all? The interaction between the pilot project and existing provincial legislation, the Motor Vehicle Act in particular, may require the passing of municipal bylaws.
Thirdly, with a maximum operating speed of 30 km/h and no set minimum speed mentioned in the press release, how will golf carts impact traffic congestion in the busier summer months? Could low speeds be an aggravating factor in an accident? What impact, if any, will consistent low speeds in the community have on tourism in particular, but also other local businesses?
Finally, an important consideration for this program is that the speed of the golf cart might not be the only speed to contend with in a collision. How will a golf cart handle a head on collision from a large truck? How will the vehicle fare if it is hit at a right angle by oncoming traffic?
The goal of enhancing the mobility of seniors and improving access to local services is laudable. However, sufficient care must be taken to ensure that the program does not inadvertently place citizens of the community at risk.