In the summer months driving in Hatteras can be a chore if you get stuck behind ferry traffic, not to mention you are missing so much of the local scenery! With no sidewalks many vehicles have to share the road with pedestrians, bikers, scooters, etc. which can sometimes be hazardous. A large number of people enjoy the laid back atmosphere of Hatteras Village and appreciate the slow pace lifestyle- well it just got even better. Now, thanks to measures approved by Dare County, there is a new way to get around the village without driving, biking, or walking- golf carts! Those wonderful, fun little carts that you use on the golf course are now legal in Hatteras Village. You can rent a cart for the week to get you from your rental home to the market, beach, or local shops.
The Hatteras Village Civic Association, upon the request of Hatteras resident Buddy Swain, presented a measure to regulate the golf carts to the Dare County Board of Commissioners a few months ago, and the ordinance was passed on July 19, with only two commissioners voting no. According to Allen Burrus, vice-chairman of the commission and a Hatteras village resident, the commissioners’ meeting went very well, and the two who voted against the ordinance did so only because they thought the carts should be “street legal.” Burrus says he thinks the carts will be good for Hatteras village, saying that, in his opinion, the carts will add character to the village and will hopefully help boost the economy.
“I think it will be good for everyone,” he said. “Good for the economy, good for the people coming down—it’s a win-win.”
The Hatteras village ordinance allows operation of golf carts only within the village, during daylight hours, and stipulates that carts must not be capable of exceeding 20 mph and that they must be operated by a driver 16 years of age or older. Carts may only be operated between the hours of 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter and 6 a.m. to 9 p.m. when daylight savings time become effective in the spring until Oct. 1. After Oct, 1, they may be operated only during the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. until daylight savings time is over. This new ordinance was set only in Hatteras Village due to the already low speed limit that does not exceed 35mph. This is the only town thus far with this attribute, but could possibly change in the future.
“I think it will be pretty beneficial to the village,” said Dennis Robinson, president of the Hatteras Village Civic Association. Robinson is among a handful of village residents who currently own and use a golf cart, but they hope to see that change quickly. As of right now, however, there is no where to rent a cart in Hatteras, a fact that Robinson attributes to the late-season approval of the ordinance. In the future, though, several local rental-based businesses say they plan to have golf carts available for rent.
The Hatteras Sailing Company said it is currently working with a company to try and get some carts for rent, and Island Cycles plans to eventually be renting carts, though it would most likely be next year before there would be any available. Burrus also said he was looking into getting some carts that he could rent from his store, Burrus Red & White Supermarket. So next time you are visiting consider renting a golf cart to tour Hatteras village. You will not be disappointed once you slow down the pace and really get on island time!