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Palmetto, FL  34220
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Golf Cart Safety Campaign

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office has noticed an increase in the use of golf carts throughout Manatee County and is concerned about the safety of golf cart users. Several county ordinances have been enacted over the years allowing golf carts to be used on certain roadways, as well as to designate certain golf cart crossings across roadways where golf cart communities are prominent. If you use a golf cart and see that the roadway or crossing is not marked for use by golf carts, then it is “off limits” to golf carts and you can be stopped by law enforcement. In addition, golf carts are not allowed on bicycle paths, sidewalks, or sidewalk areas. However, golf carts are allowed to operate, to some extent, in enclosed retirement communities on the roadways within those communities unless the county or city commission for that community designates their use too dangerous. (Note: these laws do not pertain to sidewalks of a golf course that are in place for golf carts to use while people play golf)

Attached is a brochure that can be printed up and posted in areas where golf cart users are prominent or where you have seen them being driven illegally. If you live in a community where golf carts are being used in an illegal manner, we ask that you help us spread this safety message by posting this brochure in clubhouses, meeting halls, laundry rooms, or anywhere else people will see it. As mentioned before, the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office is concerned for everyone’s safety and will be stopping golf carts that are driving illegally on sidewalks, as well as roadways and crossings that have not been designated for use by golf carts. Also, children under the age of 14 years are not allowed to operate a golf cart on any roadway or across any roadway, with NO exceptions.

Here is a breakdown of the statutes, charges, and fines associated with these violations:

  • FSS 316.1995 / Driving on a sidewalk or bicycle path / Moving infraction / $166.00 fine plus 3 points on driver’s license
  • FSS 316.212(1,2, & 3) / Operating a golf cart on a roadway or across a roadway that is not designated for use by golf carts / Moving infraction / $166.00 fine plus 3 points on driver’s license
  • FSS 316.212(7) / A person under 14 driving a golf cart upon or across a public roadway / Non-moving infraction / $113.00 fine
  • FSS 316.212(5) / Operating a golf cart at night or without night equipment / Moving infraction / $166.00 plus 3 points on driver’s license
  • FSS 316.212(6) / Operating a golf cart with defective equipment / Non-moving infraction / $113.00 fine

You can research and review the statutes listed above, as well as Florida State Statute 316.003(68), which designates a golf cart as a motor vehicle.

Again, this alert is being sent out to everyone to try and curb this growing problem before someone else gets hurt or killed by operating a golf cart in an illegal manner. We, at the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office, feel the need to educate the community of these laws so our citizens are well informed and can avoid these potential unsafe acts merely by following the laws of the state and the county.

This material taken from an e-mail from the Manatee County Sheriff's Community e-Watch program.

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