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Old 08-12-2007, 10:18 AM
JohnZ's Avatar
JohnZ JohnZ is offline
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Default Re: Do you really want to know the Florida law(s) re: golf carts?

First, I'm not a lawyer. I'm an engineer and a scientist. That said...here's my two cents. Here are two relavent "state' regulations which define golf carts and LSVs:

(22) Golf cart means a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured
for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that
is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.
(42) Low-speed vehicle means any four-wheeled electric vehicle whose
top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles
per hour, including neighborhood electric vehicles. Low-speed vehicles must
comply with the safety standards in 49 C.F.R. 571.500 and s. 316.2122.

Here's my interpretation: The regulations themselves place no "limitations" on speed...it simply defines a vehicle by its speed capability as intended by original manufactured design. If your "vehicle" was "designed" to have the capability to exceed 20mph, your vehicle "could" be defined as an LSV and MUST be registered and insured and fully equipped (i.e. mirrors, headlights, turn signals, seat belts...). If your "vehicle" was "designed" to have the capability to exceed 20 mph but not 25 mph your vehicle "could" be defined as a "MOTOR VEHICLE: It all distills down to what the original "design" criteria of the manufactur is and what was published as its maximum speed capability. Any modifications to increase speed output thereof is a grey area, in my opinion, and you could be on the hook. Notice that I use the worlds "COULD" and "MAY".

Here is an interesting motion filed in a Florida court which may illustrates how these things could be interpreted in cases of accidents:
http://www.swampcycles.com/Rules/2D04-4882.pdf

Here's a Florida Senate blub which may help you understand the INTENT of the new laws.
http://www.flsenate.gov/data/Publica...df/98-47tr.pdf

It astonishes me that folks worry about their cholesterol level but yet don't hesitate to zip about town in a 'golf cart' at 25 mph with no seat belts. I personally have clocked speeds of "carts" with my "motor vehicle" at 27 to 30 mph....no kidding. Crash in a golf cart at that speed, no seat belts, and cholesterol is the least of your worries. Now I toss this question out to the forum....."Are insurance companies aware of this liability and potential for serious injury? What are the probabilities of accidents occuring based on season, population density, activity, location etc. What is the average cost per golf cart accident in terms of injury?" You bet they know.
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