The NXT golf cart is the newest product from Vernon-based SC Carts. Sicamous councillor Gord Bushell said similar carts that are fitted with safety features that make them street legal might be allowed on Sicamous streets if an upcoming bylaw is approved. (File photo)

The NXT golf cart is the newest product from Vernon-based SC Carts. Sicamous councillor Gord Bushell said similar carts that are fitted with safety features that make them street legal might be allowed on Sicamous streets if an upcoming bylaw is approved. (File photo)

Sicamous plans bylaw to allow electric carts on district streets

Councillor says the carts could be a zero-emission alternative for short trips around town

The District of Sicamous is looking into allowing low-speed electric vehicles on its streets.

District council passed a motion at its March 24 meeting asking staff to create a bylaw permitting the use of low-speed zero emission vehicles.

Coun. Gord Bushell said the vehicles in question are similar to golf carts, but he expects the ones allowed on Sicamous’ streets will have to have safety features such as turn signals. He said the carts are well suited to parts of Sicamous because the district is largely built on flat ground and there are areas where the speed limits are low. He said the electric carts could be a zero-emission alternative to residents’ other vehicles for short trips around town.

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Bushell a company called SC Carts based in Vernon produces carts that would likely be allowed under the bylaw Sicamous is developing.

Vernon has had a bylaw allowing the carts on the road since early 2013. The bylaw was attached to the agenda package at the March 24 meeting for council to consider. Also attached was a record of correspondence between RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and ICBC seeking clarification on the licensing of the vehicles and the legality of their crossing a highway to get back on municipal streets.

ICBC representatives replied to McNeil’s questions stating that the vehicles would be licensed with regular passenger vehicle plates. The insurance corporation rep said the vehicles would also be allowed to cross highways but only to proceed on roads they are allowed on.

Bushell has also been working on bringing an off-road vehicle bylaw to the district. Previous discussions of the bylaw envisioned rules which would allow snowmobiles and ATVs to access trails in the area using some municipal streets. Bushell said the low-speed electric vehicle bylaw could be a stepping stone to opening up Sicamous’ streets to different kinds of vehicles in the future.

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