The Portland City Council will hold a public hearing and vote June 19 on stricter rules for golf cart operators on the Casco Bay islands.

Safety concerns prompted the suggested changes, which are aimed at bringing golf cart regulations in line with typical motor vehicle laws. The proposed ordinance amendments would require all golf cart operators to have driver’s licenses and prohibit anyone from standing in a moving golf cart or riding in the lap of a golf cart driver or passenger, among other new restrictions.

A city ordinance passed in 1997 required all golf carts on Peaks, Cliff, and Great Diamond islands to be registered with the city and display a sticker. City records show 255 golf carts registered on all three islands, but residents said many carts are unregistered. They told stories about drunken wedding guests and tourists driving golf carts recklessly and parents allowing small children to take the wheel.

The council held a first reading on the changes Monday but did not take public comment.


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