City writing road law
by Chance Wright
Oct 05, 2012 | 2239 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For the past several years, Cleveland officials have been teetering back and forth on how to combat the growing number of youth illegally driving ATVs, ROVs, OHMs low-speed vehicles and especially golf carts on city streets.

“Around the city, we are having problems with golf carts, gators and four-wheelers being ridden on city streets,” said Alderman Danny Abraham. “There is a law in Cleveland called the slow-moving vehicle law and I have asked the Cleveland Police Department for help with this matter.”

According to Police Chief Charles "Buster" Bingham the slow-moving vehicle law that Abraham was referring to is actual one that covers the entire state of Mississippi.

The state statute reads that anyone operating any form of slow-moving vehicle must be at 16 years of age and hold a valid state drivers license.

“If we were going to get more strict on the law, then we would ultimately have to adopt a city ordinance on the matter," he told the board several meetings ago. "And, we have some questions as to the type of enforcement that we can legally provide."

Two of the questions at the forefront of the matter were: can the CPD take someone under the age of 13 into custody; and, would it be legal to tow a golf cart driven by an underage driver at the owner's expense?

At Tuesday night's monthly board of aldermen meeting, city attorney Jamie Jacks offered an opinion on the matter giving from the state Attorney General's Office.

According to the Attorney General's opinion, the Cleveland Police Department can make stops of underage drivers of slow-moving vehicles.

"What the opinion says basically is that the police department can in fact take a person under the age of 13 in custody," said Jacks. "They can be taken to the department where their parents would be contacted to pick them up.

"The AG's opinion also states that the city's police department could in fact tow golf carts from city streets at the expense of the owner and citations could be written," Jacks added.

After a minute of discussion Jacks said she would draw something up and present it before the board at next month's meeting.