Golf Cart Regulations

 

It has been a while since we have reviewed the rules for driving golf carts in Ozona and Crystal Beach. That's right...there are rules for the use of golf carts. State law permits a local government, such as the Board of County Commissioners, to authorize the use of golf carts in a community with limitations. In 2005 there was much interest in having golf carts permitted in the community due to the unique characteristics of the area and an established pattern of golf cart use. Based upon that interest, several workshops were held in the Ozona Village Hall with county officials to define on what basis golf cart use would be permitted. A set of rules were developed through those workshops agreed to by the community. The golf cart users in the community agreed that certain rules were necessary for the safety of not only the golf cart users, but for the others in the community as well. This effort resulted in the Board of County Commissioners adopting Ordinance 06-12 in February of 2006. The ordinance included the following provisions:

 

  • Required equipment for a golf cart shall include headlamps, stop lamps, turn signal lamps, tail lamps, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, a rearview mirror, a windshield and a standard hip restraint or hand hold.

 

  • The golf cart operators must possess a valid drivers license pursuant to Florida Statute Section 322.03.

 

  • The designated areas include Ozona and rules for driving golf carts in Ozona and Crystal Beach. 

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  • The golf carts authorized for use are incapable of exceeding 20 mph.

 

  • Golf carts may be operated during the hours between sunset and sunrise as well as during daylight hours in designated areas only.

 

The communities agreed to self regulate these provisions by continuously making people aware of these rules to ensure safety in the community. The one provision that does require continuous monitoring is paragraph (b), which requires that the golf cart operator have a valid drivers license. If the driver is under age or does not have a drivers license, then the vehicle is being operated illegally. If an accident or situation occurs where either property is damaged or an individual is injured, Florida law holds the golf cart owner as liable and responsible. Florida Statutes specifically designate a golf cart as a "dangerous instrumentality" and specifically identifies the golf cart owner as responsible for what might happen. Hopefully, the golf cart owner would have insurance to cover these situations although if the vehicle driver was illegal, then there maybe challenges with the insurance coverage. Since underage drivers have been observed in the community driving golf carts, it would behoove the people who own those carts to research the above paragraph to be aware of how much risk they are in. Needless to say, the insurance issue aside, underage drivers or children should not be driving golf carts in the community.

 

Again, the above provisions were agreed to by the community and that was the basis upon which the County Commission took its action. OVIS will continue to make people aware in the community of their responsibilities to follow the rules for golf carts to ensure that we have a safe community for all. Ozona is blessed to be a community where golf carts are permitted and we need to make sure we do everything we can to keep Ozona safe