Local ordinances regulate use of golf carts on streets

Local ordinances regulate use of golf carts on streets

Golf carts with headlights and turn signals are required for street use.

Recent events have brought attention to the use of golf carts on city streets and related safety considerations. The Village of Palmetto Bay and the Town of Cutler Bay both have formal regulations for golf cart use and requirements for owners and drivers.

In both municipalities, golf carts intended for street use must be registered with the city and must be equipment with efficient brakes, a reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, rear view mirrors, red reflectorized warning devices in the front and the rear, rear stop lamps meeting the minimum standards of f.s. §316.234(1), turn signals meeting the minimum standards of f.s. § 316.234(2) and safety belts. Palmetto Bay also requires a main power switch and a horn.

Drivers must hold a current valid driver’s license in order to operate a golf cart on city streets. Operators of golf carts using designated city streets are required to observe all traffic laws as if they were operating any other motor vehicle.

While traveling on designated streets, operators and passengers of golf carts must comply with applicable state law as to the requirements and usage of safety belts and child restraint equipment. Owners and operators of golf carts must comply with applicable state law pertaining to insurance requirements.

Golf carts were excluded previously from Old Cutler Road, S. Dixie Highway (US1, Palmetto Bay Parkway), SW 136th Street, SW 144th Street, SW 152nd Street, SW 168th Street, SW 184th Street, SW 67th Avenue, SW 77th Avenue, SW 82nd Avenue, SW 87th Avenue and SW 97th Avenue.

However, during the 2015 session of the Florida Legislature the Cutler Bay mayor and town council coordinated with state representatives to advocate for changes to Florida Statutes Chapter 316: State Uniform Traffic Control to allow the operation of a golf cart on county owned roads that are within the jurisdiction of a municipality.

In November 2015 the town council adopted Ordinance 15-08 to comply with Florida Statutes 316.212(1) allowing golf carts on “a two-lane county road located within the jurisdiction of a municipality designated by that municipality.”

Rafael Casals, town manager of Cutler Bay, commented on both their regulations and the desire to benefit the community through proper golf cart use.

“We take great pride in being the leaders of golf cart legislation,” Casals said. “One of the most important aspects of our ordinance is the installation of required safety equipment.

“Educating the golf cart users through our website, informational brochures, meetings and special events are just a few ways to further improve the safety. Promoting the use of golf carts within the town is just another way to further reduce our vehicular carbon footprint and enhance our sense of community, among our residents.”

Palmetto Bay Mayor Eugene Flinn described the popularity of golf carts and the need for safety and following existing regulations on their use.

“Golf carts have become a custom here in both Palmetto Bay and Cutler Bay,” Mayor Flinn said. “If I recall correctly, nearly every candidate for office campaigning within Palmetto Bay used a golf cart. I also believe that two current council members as well as at least one former village council member personally own golf carts.

“For the record, I do not own a golf cart. In the wake of the recent golf cart accident where children were injured, I would like to remind everyone of how important it is to follow safety and traffic rules when operating a golf cart,” he added.

He noted that Palmetto Bay has an ordinance detailing the requirements for all golf carts in the village.

Anyone who sees any reckless operation of any golf cart should immediately call the police and report any safety violation; including calling 911 if the situation meets this urgency.

It is important to remember that under the regulations: “All persons who operate or ride in golf carts, GCVs, on roads do so at their risk and peril, and must be observant of, and attentive to the safety of themselves and others, including their passengers, other motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians.”


Connect To Your Customers & Grow Your Business

Click Here

Print Friendly

5 Comments on "Local ordinances regulate use of golf carts on streets"

  1. Leftout Importantstuff | July 22, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Reply

    Pretty sure that the majority of roads and sidewalks in Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay jurisdiction belong to the State of Florida or Miami Dade County, and, that where the collision took place with the Golf cart was either a County or State road/sidewalk and not a municipality road/sidewalk.
    Also pretty sure none of the following criteria “shall, must” 2016 Fl Statutes Chapter 316 were met by the State, County, and Municipalities.

    316.212 Operation of golf carts on certain roadways.—The operation of a golf cart upon the public roads or streets of this state is prohibited except as provided herein:
    (1) A golf cart may be operated only upon a county road that has been designated by a county, a municipal street that has been designated by a municipality, or a two-lane county road located within the jurisdiction of a municipality designated by that municipality, for use by golf carts.

    Prior to making such a designation, the responsible local governmental entity
    must first determine that golf carts may safely travel on or cross the public road or street, considering factors including the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using the road or street. Upon a determination that golf carts may be safely operated on a designated road or street, the responsible governmental entity

    shall post appropriate signs to indicate that such operation is allowed.

    (2) A golf cart may be operated on a part of the State Highway System only under the following conditions:
    (a) To cross a portion of the State Highway System which intersects a county road or municipal street

    that has been designated for use by golf carts if the Department of Transportation has reviewed and approved the location and design of the crossing and any traffic control devices needed for safety purposes.

    (c) A golf cart may be operated on a state road that has been designated for transfer to a local government unit pursuant to s. 335.0415

    if the Department of Transportation determines that the operation of a golf cart within the right-of-way of the road will not impede the safe and efficient flow of motor vehicular traffic.

    The department may authorize the operation of golf carts on such a road if:
    1. The road is the only available public road along which golf carts may travel or cross or the road provides the safest travel route among alternative routes available; and

    2. The speed, volume, and character of motor vehicular traffic using the road is considered in making such a determination.

    Upon its determination that golf carts may be operated on a given road, the department

    shall post appropriate signs on the road to indicate that such operation is allowed.

    (a) Golf cart operation and equipment which is more restrictive than those enumerated in this section. Upon enactment of such ordinance, the local governmental entity

    shall post appropriate signs or otherwise inform the residents that such an ordinance exists and that it will be enforced within the local government’s jurisdictional territory. An ordinance referred to in this section must apply only to an unlicensed driver.
    (b) Golf cart operation on sidewalks adjacent to specific segments of municipal streets, county roads, or state highways within the jurisdictional territory of the local governmental entity if:
    1. The local governmental entity determines, after considering the condition and current use of the sidewalks, the character of the surrounding community, and the locations of authorized golf cart crossings, that golf carts, bicycles, and pedestrians may safely share the sidewalk;
    2. The local governmental entity consults with the Department of Transportation before adopting the ordinance;
    3. The ordinance restricts golf carts to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and permits such use on sidewalks adjacent to state highways only if the sidewalks are at least 8 feet wide;
    4. The ordinance requires the golf carts to meet the equipment requirements in subsection (6). However, the ordinance may require additional equipment, including horns or other warning devices required by s. 316.271; and
    5. The local governmental entity posts appropriate signs or otherwise informs residents that the ordinance exists and applies to such sidewalks.
    (9) A violation of this section is a noncriminal traffic infraction, punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a moving violation for infractions of subsections (1)-(5) or a local ordinance corresponding thereto and enacted pursuant to subsection (8), or punishable pursuant to chapter 318 as a nonmoving violation for infractions of subsection (6), subsection (7), or a local ordinance corresponding thereto and enacted pursuant to subsection (8).

  2. Gary Alan Ruse | July 23, 2016 at 5:43 pm | Reply

    Your statement that “the majority of roads and sidewalks in Cutler Bay and Palmetto Bay jurisdiction belong to the State of Florida or Miami Dade County” is incorrect. Only a limited number are considered county roads and only a few are state roads. Plus, since the change in Florida state regulations due to Cutler Bay’s efforts, golf carts can be used even on county roads within the municipalities’ jurisdiction, as long as the carts are registered, meet the requirements and the drivers follow the laws. I suggest you check with either Palmetto Bay Village Hall or Cutler Bay Town Hall for the full details of operation.

  3. Are these regulations limited to gas powered golf carts only? Or are electric carts also allowed?

  4. There is a small piece of SW 87 Ave that doesn’t happen to be under control of Cutler Bay.The result prevents golf carts from going to Black Point.. a most desirable location
    The Parks director for the County has no objection yet the ruling still holds. How can we change it?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*