Are Golf Carts Legal in Florida?
If you live in a golf community, you’re hopefully not used to the sound of errant golf balls crashing through your window! One thing you are probably used to, however, is golf carts traveling up and down your street. For residents of gated or otherwise private golf communities, golf carts make sense. But for people in non-golf communities, the carts can be a source of contention. When they’re driven recklessly through public areas (often by young people), golf carts are distracting or dangerous. And depending on your area, they might actually be illegal!
Where and when are golf carts legal?
In Florida, golf carts can be legally operated on:
- A county road that has been designated by the county for golf cart use
- A municipal street that has been designated by the municipality
- A two-lane county road within the jurisdiction of a municipality designated by that municipality
It’s confusing, so check the rules of your country, city or town, or homeowner’s association. To designate an area suitable for golf cart use, the responsible party will consider factors like speed and traffic.
Additionally, Florida law limits golf cart use to the hours between sunrise and sunset. Some exceptions, like for golf carts used for police or security on college campuses, have permission to be out at night.
Who can drive a golf cart?
To operate a golf cart, you need to be at least fourteen years old. A valid driver’s license isn’t a requirement.
What does a golf cart need to be legal?
- Efficient brakes
- A reliable steering apparatus
- Safe tires
- Rearview mirror
- Red reflectorized warning devices, both in the rear and front of the golf cart
Golf carts are not required to have seatbelts.
Are golf carts dangerous?
Like cars or bikes, golf carts are not necessarily inherently dangerous. However, if used improperly or recklessly, they can quickly become dangerous. Annually, there are about 1,300 accidents. Many of these accidents occur in Florida, unsurprisingly. Accidents can occur when a driver flips the golf cart, or when they come into contact with a larger vehicle. Of course, accidents aren’t always the fault of the golf cart driver, but many times, reckless driving, especially speeding or dangerous maneuvers, is a cause of serious injuries or fatalities.
The most common injuries associated with golf carts are:
- Neck injuries
- Spinal injuries
- Damaged wind pipes and asphyxiation
- Crushing injuries, like broken bones
Avoiding a golf cart injury
- Do not hang any limbs outside of the cart
- Stay seated when the cart is in motion
- Do not operate a golf cart while under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Obey all road rules, like yielding to pedestrians, just like you would if you were driving a car
- Make sure to lock the breaks before getting out of the car
- Always be aware of surroundings
- Drive carefully when going over steep or rugged terrain
- Slow down on hills, corners, bumps, and public roads
The attorneys at Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes represent those involved in car accidents, motorcycle accidents, bicycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, and other types of personal injury matters. Our firm is one of the oldest personal injury law firms in Tampa Bay. There are no attorneys’ fees or costs unless we prevail for you. Call our office 24 hours a day at 727-796-8282 or simply click here to schedule a free case consultation.