Why drive a street legal golf cart?

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  #61  
Old 04-02-2015, 06:51 AM
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Madelaine Amee Madelaine Amee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gil Chapin View Post
I'd like to try to respond to the original question. I've read all the replies so far and haven't seen what I'd like to contribute.

I have a GEM Car. Technically, it's not a "street legal golf cart" (a "golf cart" modified to meet additional requirements). It's a Low Speed Vehicle (LSV) designed and built for use on public roads. It is designed to (and legally permitted to) operate at 25 MPH. I confess - it will do 27 when going down a really steep hill with a really strong tailwind. I do not use it on roads where there is no "golf cart" lane such as Morse Boulevard or Buena Vista. I consider that to be too dangerous. I use the "golf cart" lanes wherever possible unless there is a multi-modal path that goes to the same place, in which case I use the multi-modal path instead.

As a retired product safety engineer, it occurred to me that to use a "golf cart" on public roads (including - and perhaps especially - any road where there is a "golf cart" lane) is a misuse of the product. It's intended to be used on a golf course, not on public roads. Consequently, I chose to purchase a vehicle with four wheel hydraulic brakes, an auto glass windshield, a windshield wiper, seat belts, and a robust frame. It has sealed batteries, so there is reduced risk of acid spill in a roll over. There may be more features but those are the significant ones to me. I understood the extra cost of the vehicle and the registration and insurance fees. I made this choice because even though The Villages has provided wonderful multi-modal paths, there are many places where one must use the regular streets to get around.

I drive mine on my own residential street, where there is no golf cart lane, and I drive there in its "low" speed setting at 15 MPH (I have a factory installed speedometer) because that is the posted speed limit for my street. The GEM Car has two "forward" speed settings - the low speed setting of 15 MPH is, I'm told, oddly enough, for use on a golf course. On other roads where it's possible, I drive it at 25 MPH in the "golf cart" lane (subject to other slower golf cart traffic - for which I slow down to their speed) on streets that have a posted speed limit of 30 MPH. I drive it at 20 MPH on roads that are posted for that speed or not posted at all. I choose not to drive it on major roads because as many here have pointed out, it does tend to hold up traffic when you're proceeding at 25 MPH on a road with a 35 MPH speed limit - and there do seem to be some very impatient drivers here in The Villages.

Wherever possible, I use the multi-modal paths. The only place where I can't do that is on the Sumter Lake bridge. The "golf cart" lane is so narrow that I risk not being able to safely pass oncoming carts (yes, my GEM Car is apparently slightly wider than a standard cart). I take that route very seldom because I don't like driving in traffic. When I do drive on the multi-modal paths, I will drive at 25 MPH when there is no other traffic. If there are slower vehicles, I slow down to their speed (although in some cases, I couldn't catch them if I tried). With respect to speed limits on those paths, the only place I've seen a speed limit sign (10 MPH) is for the lanes across the Lake Sumter bridge. I don't consider that general lack of posted limits to be permission to exceed 25 MPH even if I could. I know there are lots of opinions about that.

I find it interesting that there is recent discussion about the use of LSV's on the multi-modal paths (and even in the "golf cart" lanes). It seems as if some folks find LSV's (or their operators) so distasteful that they want to regulate their use according to their own wishes. I've tried to explain my perspective on the use of LSV's and I think that prohibiting their use on the multi-modal paths and the "golf cart" lanes would not only put those of us who have chosen to use them at increased risk of injury, but also it would cause increased traffic congestion because we would be traveling at 25 MPH in the traffic lanes of roads with marked speed limits of 30 or 35 MPH as was pointed out in the original post

You may wonder why I've put "golf cart" lanes in quotation marks. It turns out that the only place where there are lanes actually marked for golf carts (and bicycles) is on Morse Boulevard north of 466. This seems to be an issue for those who would like to prevent LSV's from being in those lanes. As I understand it, it is also the only place where there is even the slightest chance of law enforcement being involved for otherwise lawful travel in an LSV - and that chance is apparently VERY slim. I use that road very seldom, but when I am there I intend to use those lanes for my safety as I do the other "golf cart" lanes on other roads.

It was not my intention to antagonize anyone here. I only wanted to try to explain my rationale for what I've chosen to do. I suspect some will take issue with what I have said but I hope we can have a civil discussion about it if necessary.
Well, rest assured, you did not antagonize me, in fact I want to let you know that I enjoyed reading your intelligent and well thought out message. Be safe in your LSV and enjoy!
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  #62  
Old 04-02-2015, 08:02 AM
Djembe dude Djembe dude is offline
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Legally you cannot drive a street legal cart in the golf cart lane on a city street, the law dogs are starting to crack down on it. 160 buck fine.
  #63  
Old 04-02-2015, 08:28 AM
capecoralbill capecoralbill is offline
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It is confusing to me to see golf carts with license plates. Usually expired. When I see a plate on a golf cart I assume it is street legal, I would have to get very close to read the expiration date on a plate. I would encourage all golf cart owners to remove expired plates, I'm going to guess it is illegal to display an expired plate.
  #64  
Old 04-02-2015, 06:16 PM
Chazz Chazz is offline
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Originally Posted by Djembe dude View Post
Legally you cannot drive a street legal cart in the golf cart lane on a city street, the law dogs are starting to crack down on it. 160 buck fine.
There is some debate on that issue, per the recent POA Bulletin. The Sheriff's office says no to the cart lanes for LSVs, while the District Legal Counsel says yes they can. I would hope that they would get together and come to a consistent interpretation of existing law with respect to LSVs.
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  #65  
Old 04-02-2015, 06:59 PM
spring_chicken spring_chicken is offline
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Originally Posted by lanemb View Post
So goes the saying Dead Right. You have the right to be there but you are still DEAD. I would weigh the benefits against the risk.
Apparently he's not, since he managed to type that.
Perhaps he is someone who chooses to enjoy life to its fullest, within the limits of the law, while ignoring people who choose gloom, doom, and paranoia.
  #66  
Old 04-02-2015, 07:42 PM
JoMar JoMar is offline
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Originally Posted by Chazz View Post
There is some debate on that issue, per the recent POA Bulletin. The Sheriff's office says no to the cart lanes for LSVs, while the District Legal Counsel says yes they can. I would hope that they would get together and come to a consistent interpretation of existing law with respect to LSVs.
Until there is agreement, I will follow what the guys with the tickets interpret.
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  #67  
Old 04-03-2015, 09:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capecoralbill View Post
It is confusing to me to see golf carts with license plates. Usually expired. When I see a plate on a golf cart I assume it is street legal, I would have to get very close to read the expiration date on a plate. I would encourage all golf cart owners to remove expired plates, I'm going to guess it is illegal to display an expired plate.
the majority of these would be the out of state plates people use to show the state they came from. Why would you care enough to want to read the expiration date? they didn't drive from NY in a golf cart and don't care if you waste your time complaining about them.
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  #68  
Old 04-03-2015, 05:48 PM
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Default Actually Tucillo

the problem with your statement is that you could be DEAD right!...Not a good choice and certainly not mine!




Quote:
Originally Posted by tuccillo View Post
Actually you are wrong. You might want to read the law before making such statements. Cyclists have the same rights as automobiles. They do not have a minimum speed. You are required, by law, to pass slower moving vehicles in a safe and lawful manner. It doesn't matter if they are a car, cyclist, or street legal golf cart.
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