Golf cart boondoggle

I’m at a loss to understand what possessed the powers that be to present such an ill-conceived, ludicrous proposal.

Re: your August 12 story entitled ‘Golf carts OK’d for Qualicum Beach streets’ that was accompanied with a photo of smiling Premier Christy Clark, MLA Michelle Stilwell and Qualicum Mayor Teunis Westbroek.

The story went on to outline the project, which was also approved for Chase, B.C., that would require golf carts to meet specific conditions, including the driver have a valid licence, the carts be registered, insured and have seat belts, signals, a horn, lights and rear-view mirror.

At the Sept. 13 Qualicum Beach town council meeting, the issue was brought forth and deferred again which made me wonder: why didn’t council refer to any of the dozen or so well-written comments and concerns over the last month, opposing this boondoggle in The NEWS’ letters to the editor section?

The project would currently only benefit a few who own the $15,000-$20,000 street-legal golf carts, but the conversion of regular golf carts isn’t an option according to local dealers, nor will they be insured. Just how many and what roads were to be designated low speed (30 km/h) and how much would that cost taxpayers? How much time would the RCMP spend on complaints and accidents that would invariably ensue?

I’m at a loss to understand what possessed the four powers that be listed above to present such an ill-conceived, ludicrous proposal, having not consulted with the manufacturer, insurer, council or residents.

Can you imagine the disastrous liability the town and province would face, should a family sue because a loved one was severely injured or killed, driving their cart around town or while crossing a high-speed intersection?

If it’s a truly worthwhile initiative they’re after, why not consider something that’ll serve all of Qualicum’s residents, and lease a few small, energy-efficient buses/minivans that operate during the daylight hours seven days/week, with regular routes around town at a nominal charge.

The buses could also serve the waterfront during the summer months which would be a boon for tourism and local businesses.

Deb McKinleyQualicum Beach

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