A golf cart is a wonderful piece of equipment that significantly increases the maneuverability and navigation ability of the golf cart operator and passenger on the golf course. It allows the golfer to easily move around the golf course, without the need to walk long distances and carry heavy golfing equipment like golfing bags and clubs. A golf cart moves under its own power thanks to the use of a gasoline engine or an electric motor powered by a battery pack hence a golf cart is a powered vehicle. This however, introduces a host of potential dangers associated with the use of a powered vehicle. Thankfully almost all these dangers can be mitigated by the use of proper safety regulations. One of these regulations includes the minimum legal age limit the operator of the golf cart is required to be in order to be allowed to drive. In the United States and particularly in Florida the minimum legal age of 14 years needs to the adhered for safety reasons.
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Golf Cart Age Limit
A golf cart in Florida is designated as motor vehicle under section 320.01(22), Florida Statutes. It is designed to be operated on a golf course for sporting and recreational purposes and should not be capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour. As such golf cart operators do not need to have a licence, however, to operate the golf cart on designated public roads, the person must be of age 14 years or older.The state of Florida does not impose age restrictions for operating a golf cart while on the golf course, only when crossing a public road does the age restriction of 14 years apply.
Golf Carts And LSVs
Under the law in Florida there is a difference between a golf cart and an LSV(Low-Speed Vehicle) as such these two are governed by a different sets of rules. In order to use and LSV the operator needs to have a license and the vehicle needs to be registered at the local DMV. It also needs a tag and by Florida law it must be insured like a regular vehicle. A golf cart on the other hand does not need a license and registration. A golf cart is limited to 20 miles per hour while an LSV is limited to 25 miles per hour. In Florida a golf cart can only be operated in a residential neighborhood, however there are some exceptions to this law. In the city of Leesburg, Florida people who are 18 years or older in age can ride their golf carts on Leesburg’s roads in places like County portions of Main Street from Canal Street to Dixie Avenue and from U.S. Highway 27 to Ninth Street.
Golf Cart Licensing In Florida
In Florida a golf cart can be operated on roadways that are designated for golf carts and with a posted speed limit 30 mph or less. Golf carts are also not required to be titled or registered and therefore are not required to be insured with PIP (Personal Injury Protection) and PDL insurance coverage. Golf carts can also cross a portion of a county road which intersects a roadway that is approved for golf carts, or that intersects a golf course or mobile home park. In both examples however, the roadway should have signs posted that golf carts share roadway. In Florida the operation of a golf cart on road ways must comply with any more restrictive ordinances enacted by local government such as the age limit of 14 years, and should be verified prior to operating the golf cart.
Golf Cart Rules In Florida
In order for one to drive a golf cart in Florida, the golf cart needs to be in good working condition.The golf cart must also be equipped with effective brakes, reliable steering, safe tires, a rear view mirror and reflectors in the front and rear of the cart. A golf cart can also be operated after sunset if it is equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield. This rule however only applies to some parts of Florida and not all. It is recommended however not to drive a golf cart in Florida at night and also it is not advisable for younger operators to drive a golf cart at night.
Other Rules That Apply To Golf Carts In Florida
There are 30 different metro areas in Florida and it houses over 15 million people, making Florida one of the most urbanized states in the United States of America. It is important therefore to know that when one is over the age of 14 years and driving a golf cart on the road, he or she is required to know the laws that apply when driving a golf cart in Florida. One of these rules is that a regular golf cart can be driven by anyone who is above 14 years old. The golf cart can be driven on a public road where the posted speed limit is under 25 mph.
The broad swiping rule over the state of Florida is that a golf cart can only be operated between the hours of sunrise and sunset, however different local government laws can apply to their areas. For example in Villages, Florida one can operate a golf cart at night if it has headlights, brake lights, turn signals, and reflective warning devices on the front and rear side of the golf cart. Also one should use their headlights 30 minutes before sunset and 30 minutes after sunrise and one should have their headlights on when it is raining. A rear view mirror is also important on a golf cart. For safe driving it is important to check with local laws that govern that area of Florida. These rules apply to all golf cart drivers old enough to drive a golf cart.
Why The Rules Apply
The age limit regulations that limits the minimum age to 14 years old is important for safety reasons. It also coincides with the minimum age limit for other responsibilities as such it is assumed one is mature and responsible enough to understand the dangers that may arise when one drives the golf cart recklessly. One can also drive a golf cart on the side walk if they are old enough enough, however they must have the golf cart wielded to pedestrians. The sidewalk should also be at least 5 feet in width. When pulled over by the authorities one must provide another form of identification if they don not have a license on them. Despite not needing a license, the driver of a golf cart is liable for damage the same way a standard driver would be. This also means that a driver can face criminal charges if they operate the golf cart under the influence of of drugs or alcohol, hence laws are there to protect everyone on the road.
Rented Golf Carts
Whenever driving a rented golf cart the age limit can vary depending on the rental company. This is mostly due to the insurance agents used by these rental companies. The age limit for most rental companies is 16 years old, however some can even go up to 21 years old and some rental companies can even ask for a current driver’s license depending on their preferences.
Converted Golf Carts
Converted golf carts are not recommended because if the golf cart now exceeds the speed limit of 20 miles per hour it is regarded as an LSV (Low Speed Vehicle), as such golf cart regulations no longer apply. Converting golf carts can also be dangerous as golf carts are usually designed to be operated on the golf course and not on the highway. The minimum age limit used may also change to above 14 years old as one would now need a license to drive an LSV in Florida.
In conclusion safety rules and regulations are important as they help to minimize chances of dangerous accidents. It therefore paramount to observe these laws such as the minimum age limit of 14 years old. This will help ensure the maximum safe usage of golf carts in the state of Florida.