New Florida Golf Cart Laws In And Around Orlando.
Golf carts, with their convenience and versatility, have become a common sight not just on the greens of Florida’s countless golf courses but also in many of the state’s communities. Florida’s temperate climate and flat terrain make it an ideal location for golf cart use. However, while they may seem like simple, leisurely vehicles, there are specific laws and regulations in place governing their operation on public roads and paths. If you’re considering using a golf cart in Florida, whether for golfing or just general transportation, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with these laws.
In the City of Orlando Florida you can NOT drive a golf cart on the streets. You can however drive a LSV (low speed vehicle).
Definition of a Golf Cart
Florida Statute 320.01(22) defines a golf cart as 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.
Where Can Golf Carts Be Driven?
In general, golf carts are not allowed on state roads or highways. However, local authorities can designate certain roads within their jurisdiction for golf cart use. Such roads must be marked appropriately with signs indicating that golf cart use is permitted.
If a road has been legally designated for golf cart use, carts can be driven during the day and night. However, they must be equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield if driven during non-daylight hours.
Moreover, golf carts can be driven across intersections, provided the intersected road has a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less.
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Even on designated roads, safety is paramount. Florida law requires all golf carts to have efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and red reflectorized warning devices in both the front and rear.
For nighttime operation, as mentioned previously, additional equipment including headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and a windshield are necessary.
Requirements for Florida Golf Cart Drivers
A new 2023 Florida Law prohibiting a person under 18 from operating a golf cart on certain roadways, unless they have proper identification, is now into effect.
The new legislation will also require that the driver carries a government-issued I.D. such as a driver’s license, even if they are 18 or older.
Previously, Florida law allowed a 14-year-old to drive a golf cart. However, with the new law, teens wishing to drive a golf cart must have a valid learner’s driver’s license.
Local Ordinances and Community Rules
It’s crucial to understand that while the state of Florida provides a framework for golf cart regulations, individual counties, cities, and even communities might have additional rules or restrictions. Some might require golf cart drivers to be older than the state’s minimum age of 14, while others might have stricter equipment requirements or limit the hours during which golf carts can be operated.
Many private communities or developments in Florida have paths specifically designated for golf carts, which can make them a preferred mode of transportation within those areas. Always consult with local officials or community associations to ensure you are adhering to all applicable rules.
Golf Cart Insurance
Florida does not require golf cart owners to have insurance. However, given the potential risks associated with driving any vehicle, it’s a good idea for golf cart owners to consider purchasing liability insurance. This can protect the owner from significant financial liability in the event of an accident, especially if they’re found at fault.
DUI and Golf Carts
It’s important to note that you can be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) while operating a golf cart. Florida’s DUI laws apply to all vehicles, including golf carts. This means that operating a golf cart while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can lead to arrest, fines, and other penalties, similar to those for DUI in a regular motor vehicle.
Golf carts are a beloved mode of transportation in Florida, both for recreation and practicality. Their widespread use, however, necessitates clear and enforceable laws to ensure safety. While Florida’s state laws provide a foundation, local jurisdictions might add layers of regulation. Therefore, it’s imperative for residents and visitors to familiarize themselves with both state and local laws.
Furthermore, even in areas where golf cart use is widespread, safety should always be a priority. This includes not only following all legal requirements but also being vigilant about the conditions in which the golf cart is operated and ensuring that the driver is always in a fit state to operate the vehicle.
By understanding and respecting the rules surrounding golf cart use, Floridians and visitors can continue to enjoy the convenience and pleasure these vehicles offer while ensuring the safety of everyone on the road.
This is a guide and laws can change on a daily basis. Check with your local government for any changes before you take to the streets in your new golf cart.