THIS IS AN ARTICLE FROM THE NOVEMBER 2012 VHA NEWSLETTER
The Villages Fact Finder
Golf Carts Crossing Highways
Communications with Florida’s Department of
Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles regarding golf
cart operation concerning public crossing of highways
in January gave The Villages Voice an update
to share with Villagers. It appears that section
316.212,F.S. governs the public’s use of golf carts
and section 316.2126 applies only to the operation of
golf carts by city, county and state agents / employees.
Section 316.2126, F.S. speaks to employees,
park volunteers, etc. if the intent was to apply to anyone,
s. 316.212,F.S. should have been the amended
statute. There may be clarifying language put forward
in the 2013 legislative session.
Section 316.2126, F.S., authorizes municipalities
to utilize golf carts and utility vehicles upon state,
county, or municipal roads located within the corporate
limits of the municipality. This authorization is
subject to certain conditions. For example, municipalities
must ensure golf carts and utility vehicles
comply with certain state operational and safety requirements,
as well as municipal ordinances that are
more restrictive than state law. One operational requirement
governing golf carts and utility vehicles
is that they may be operated only on state roads that
have a posted speed limit of 30 miles per hour or less.
Effect of Changes
The bill amends s. 316.2126, F.S., to expand the
scope of golf cart and utility vehicle operation upon
state roads. The bill creates s. 316.2126(1)(d) and
(e), F.S., to authorize golf carts and utility vehicles
to cross state roads (only at intersections with an official
traffic control device) that have a speed limit of
45 miles per hour or less and to authorize golf carts
and utility vehicles to be operated on sidewalks adjacent
to state highways if the golf carts and utility vehicles
yield to pedestrians and if the sidewalks are at
least five feet wide.
Opinion Cabinet & Legislative Affairs, Department
of Highway Safety & Motor Vehicles
It is difficult to prove if the legislative intent was
intended to apply to everyone or merely to clarify
that municipal workers could cross the specified roadways.
Should any changes be approved in the upcoming
legislative session related to the operation of golf
carts in the section of law, our legislative staff will
keep your community apprised.
Additional Clarification Needed
Since state and local law enforcement authorities
cannot definitely include (or exclude) public golf
cart drivers’ participation along with certain municipal
workers, local and state law enforcement also is
seeking legislative guidance on the matter. In the
meantime, authorization for Villagers to cross state
highways is not expected to be clarified nor authorized
by January 2013 when this ambiguous change goes
have reduced the noise and smell concerns, and the
250-mile range is winning the day for many buyers.
While golf carts are limited to 20 mph, an increase to
25 mph and driving on roadways rated up to 35 mph
is possible in Florida for low speed vehicles. Recent
changes in Florida law now permits conversion of
gas, as well as, electric golf carts, along with neighborhood
electric vehicles (NEVs).
Gas Carts Now Can Convert to LSVs
The state of Florida recently authorized the inclusion
of gas powered golf carts for conversion to Low
Speed Vehicles. Information is available through
the county tax collector from vehicle registration personnel.
Once converted, the converted vehicle will
be given a state issue vehicle identification numbers
and require registration, license and appropriate
insurance, in addition to the cost of conversion.
Please note that the process is not reversible back to
a golf cart, and resale of a golf cart converted to a
Low Speed Vehicle may be more difficult than a golf
Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, cigar in one hand, scotch in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"