Chapter 5.28


5.28.010    Definitions.

5.28.020    License – Required – Fee.

5.28.030    License – Suspension or revocation.

5.28.040    Compliance with land use restrictions.

5.28.050    Liability insurance required.

5.28.060    Safety standards and specifications.

5.28.070    Accidents – Reports and records.

5.28.080    Telephone facilities.

5.28.090    First aid kit maintained and available.

5.28.100    Maintenance and inspection.

5.28.110    Safety helmets required.

5.28.120    Violation – Penalty.

5.28.010 Definitions.

For the purposes of this chapter, the words and phrases shall have the following meanings:

A. “Go-kart” means a miniature self-propelled vehicle designed to be independently operated by the person riding therein and includes the terms “cart,” “go-cart,” or “kart.”

B. “Go-kart track” means any place of business, either open to the public or operated on a private or semipublic basis, whether or not operated for a profit, wherein the use of karts for rides, rentals, demonstrations and/or testing is the principal use of such business. It is intended in this section to exclude from its provisions any go-kart track maintained for purposes of competitive racing, time trials or other similar activities reasonably connected therewith, and to only include herein those operations commonly referred to as concession tracks.

C. “Person” includes firms, partnerships, corporations, and associations. (Prior code § 4.28.010).

5.28.020 License – Required – Fee.

It is unlawful to open, operate, conduct, manage, maintain or control, or in any way be connected with the opening, operation, or conduction, management, maintenance or control of any go-kart track without a valid and subsisting license for each location. The license shall be known as a go-kart track license, and the fee for the license is as set forth in the Whatcom County Unified Fee Schedule. (Ord. 93-080 Exh. H; prior code § 4.28.020).

5.28.030 License – Suspension or revocation.

Failure to comply with the provisions of this chapter or any resolution of Whatcom County applicable to such business shall be grounds for suspension or revocation of go-kart track licenses. (Prior code § 4.28.110).

5.28.040 Compliance with land use restrictions.

It is unlawful for any person to manage, conduct, carry on or own the business of operating a go-kart track unless the location and establishment of such business shall be subject to Whatcom County land use regulations now or hereafter to be in effect and shall comply therewith in all respects, or said business is considered a nonconforming use thereunder. (Prior code 4.28.030).

5.28.050 Liability insurance required.

It is unlawful for any person to manage, conduct, carry on or own the business of operating a go-kart track unless such person shall, prior to the conducting, managing, carrying on or establishing of the go-kart track, obtain and maintain during the period of operation of said business public liability insurance covering personal injuries, property damages and medical expenses in limits of at least $100,000 per occurrence, with at least $50,000 for any one person per occurrence. Compliance with this provision shall be deemed complete when said person furnishes the Whatcom County sheriff with proof of insurance coverage by a reputable insurance carrier and with an endorsement to the effect that the Whatcom County sheriff shall receive at least 10 days’ notice prior to the cancellation of such insurance coverage of any such person governed by this chapter. (Prior code § 4.28.040).

5.28.060 Safety standards and specifications.

It is unlawful for any person to manage, conduct, carry on or own the business of operating a go-kart track unless all go-kart tracks regulated under the provisions of this chapter comply with the following standards and specifications intended to protect and safeguard participants and spectators at tracks:

A. The track surface shall be a smooth, durable, nonskid material such as asphalt or concrete; gravel or crushed rock surfaces are prohibited.

B. The length of tracks shall not exceed one-quarter mile.

C. Length of straight-of-way on track shall not exceed 300 feet.

D. The width of tracks shall not be less than 16 feet on straight-of-ways and not less than 20 feet on turns.

E. Tracks may have bank or super elevation only on turns.

F. Grades on track shall not exceed five percent.

G. Tracks must join with track edge smoothly to avoid a curb or dropoff hazard.

H. All tracks must have a safety apron not less than 15 feet wide between track and fence on straight-of-ways and not less than 25 feet wide between the track and fences on curves.

I. All tracks shall be inside a fenced enclosure. Said fencing shall be chain link or No. 9 hogwire, not less than four feet in height, with fence posts not less than five and one-half feet in height and placed at intervals of not more than 15 feet.

J. Ingress and egress to the track or pit areas shall be through gates which are kept closed at all times when not in use. Responsible supervision of participants and spectators in the gate and pit areas must be provided at all times during which the go-kart track is in operation.

K. Baled hay, rubber tires or similar protective materials shall be placed on all turns or curves at track and shall also be placed in a continuous ring two feet inside chain link fence around the entire track.

L. Track pits shall have separate entrance and exit lanes, shall have the same surface as the track, shall be fenced off from spectator areas, and a responsible employee shall supervise all pit activities.

M. No person under the age of eight years shall be allowed to drive any go-kart at speeds in excess of 12 miles per hour. No person under the age of 11 years shall be allowed to drive any go-kart at any speed in excess of 20 miles per hour. Under no circumstances shall go-karts subject to the provisions of this chapter be operated at speeds in excess of 20 miles per hour, except in connection with sales demonstrations of a single racing or of a competition go-kart at any one time.

N. Spectator areas must be separated from track and pit areas by fencing as provided in subsection I of this section. Bleachers or grand stands, if any, shall be substantially constructed and properly maintained. Attendants must be on duty to control spectators and parking.

O. All attendants at a go-kart track must at all times be under control of a responsible supervisor not less than 18 years of age during all period of track use.

P. All go-karts shall:

1. Have bumpers of a nonmetallic material;

2. Provide proper seating for the occupant;

3. Have a governor on the motor or engine which shall limit the speed of the go-kart;

4. Have a muffler in good condition to prevent undue noise; and

5. Be prohibited from having sirens or bells or other sound projecting device. (Prior code 4.28.050).

5.28.070 Accidents – Reports and records.

The manager or owner shall report in writing all accidents of a nature to cause unconsciousness, broken or sprained extremities of bones, removal, breaking or loosening of teeth, hemorrhaging or lacerations which may require suturing, or eye injuries, to the Whatcom County sheriff. Records thereof shall be maintained on the premises of all medical aid or care administered. (Prior code § 4.28.060).

5.28.080 Telephone facilities.

Track owners shall provide a telephone facility available for the use of himself and all track employees. Telephone numbers of emergency medical services or facilities should be conspicuously posted thereon. Such telephone shall be available for emergency use at all times during which the track is in operation. (Prior code § 4.28.070).

5.28.090 First aid kit maintained and available.

A first aid kit approved by the Whatcom County sheriff shall be maintained and be readily available on the track premises for emergency treatment or care of a minor nature at all times during which the track is in operation. (Prior code § 4.28.080).

5.28.100 Maintenance and inspection.

Go-kart tracks and all related facilities and equipment shall be maintained in good repair. The Whatcom County sheriff or his delegate shall have the right to periodically inspect all go-kart tracks and facilities in order to determine that all persons governed by this chapter remain in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. (Prior code § 4.28.090).

5.28.110 Safety helmets required.

All persons riding go-karts during periods of track operation shall be required to wear standard safety or crash helmets. (Prior code § 4.28.100).

5.28.120 Violation – Penalty.

Any person violating, or failing to comply with, any of the provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished as prescribed by law. (Prior code § 4.28.120).