At the last few KICA board meetings, several community members have expressed concerns about low speed electric vehicles.
What is a LSV?
Low speed electric vehicles (LSVs) look like a golf cart, but exceed golf cart speeds, and are therefore treated like an automobile. They must be registered with the DMV, riders must wear seatbelts and drivers are required to abide by all traffic laws, making them subject to citations by police. LSVs are required by law to attain a speed of 20-25 mph within a mile and they are only permitted on roads having speed limits of 35 mph or less. They are not permitted on leisure trails or golf paths.
Low speed electric vehicles (LSVs) are not restricted on Kiawah. Property owners may own them (if they are registered and have a decal) and they are currently available to rent.
What are the issues with LSVs that members have presented?
The issues several property owners have cited are that LSVs can hold up traffic and that rules aren’t always followed, raising safety concerns. Attention has been primarily focused on LSV renters, who may have less familiarity with the laws and rules.
How does KICA’s board plan to address the LSV issues?
Since the issues presented primarily lie with renters, the board contacted the LSV rental company, Lightning Bugz Rentals, who developed a pilot program which will allow KICA to limit the number of rental LSVs on the island and monitor their use. Beginning in May a maximum of 12 rented LSVs will be permitted on Kiawah. All LSVs will be equipped with a GPS to track their use and location, which will be monitored by KICA Security.
To educate renters about the rules, Lightning Bugz Rentals requires sign-off on the rules at registration, again at pick-up and the rules are posted within each LSV.
This pilot program is anticipated to run through the end of the year, after which the board will evaluate the impact of LSVs.
A call for members to act.
If you see a driver in a Lightning Bugz LSV breaking the rules, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-768-5566 to report the violation, so that KICA’s board will have a thorough understanding of LSVs’ effect on community life.