While golf carts have become an increasingly popular mode of transportation among expats at lakeside, traffic authorities warn that the vehicles are not appropriate or safe for circulation on public thoroughfares.
Driving golf carts on the main highway and adjacent ciclovías (cycling lanes) is strictly prohibited. Traveling along interior village streets is only permitted for licensed drivers whose carts bear current motorcycle plates.
Chapala-based officers from the Secretaria de Movildad (SeMov) recently ordered the towing of two unlicensed golf carts spotted in the vicinity of Ajijic. The owners were subject to traffic fines and service fees to recuperate their carts.
Officials at the Chapala branch of the state tax office report that they are no longer issuing license tags for golf carts which are not contemplated in Jalisco’s traffic laws. Owners who have been able to obtain plates elsewhere in Jalisco or out of state may escape the long arm of the law by driving only on back streets.
Meanwhile, authorities at the Jalisco’s Secretaria de Movildad (SeMov) recently named Alondra Magaly Ortiz de la Rosa as the first female to take charge as head officer of the Lake Chapala regional division.
Ortiz has served with the traffic department since 2009, holding posts in Tlajomulco de Zuñiga, Acatlán de Juárez, El Salto and Guadalajara prior to her 2013 assignment to the Chapala force.
She rates highway accidents, growing traffic congestion, and frequent parking violations as the most challenging issues she and the 14 agents under her command deal with in their day-to-day routines.
At the top of her enforcement agenda are crack downs on local inhabitants who have the bad habit of double parking on Chapala’s Avenida Madero, weekend visitors who illegally occupy spaces reserved for the disabled, drivers and passengers riding without fastened seat belts and motorists using cell phone while behind the wheel. She also holds a zero-tolerance policy on officers reported for instigation of mordidas (graft).