Golf cart drivers: do you know the law?


Golf cart drivers are urged to follow traffic and safety rules.

Viera Voice Photo

Golf carts are an integral part of Viera life for many residents, and for those who choose to operate them, it’s important to know the laws governing their use.

Though Viera is a golf community, only certain sidewalks, streets and lanes are specifically designated for golf carts. Most roadways are not available for golf carts at all, and operators must be at least 14 years old to drive on a public road or street.

It’s never legal to park a vehicle in any part of a handicapped spot without a permit, and yes, those hatched blue lines beside it count.

“Those blue lines that extend, those are part of the handicapped space for the person to get out of the vehicle,” said Brevard County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) Deputy Carmine Siniscal. 

Vans with ramps and lifts are common, and they need that space.

Driving after sunset and before sunrise is only permitted in golf carts that are properly equipped with headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield.

And it’s not OK to carry more passengers than the golf cart is designed to carry. 

“There are parents who are bringing their children to school utilizing their golf carts, and we have some parents who are overloading the golf carts,” said BCSO Lt. Mike Scully, director of security for Brevard Public Schools. 

It is not uncommon to see six passengers, most of them children, on a golf cart built
for four.

“It becomes a very serious safety concern for us,” Scully said. “What we’re looking for is parent responsibility.” 

When used properly, he encourages the use of golf carts, as they make car loop traffic at the schools more manageable.

“We want to support the parents that are utilizing their golf carts properly and utilizing their golf carts in accordance with the law,” Scully said. “Unfortunately, we have some users who are outside of compliance.” 

“Just because it looks like a golf cart doesn’t mean it’s a golf cart,” said Kim Smith, the bicycle/pedestrian safety education coordinator of Space Coast Transportation Planning Organization. “There are ones that are getting big enough now that they’re actually low-speed vehicles,” a different classification that means they’re governed by different laws.

Citizens who witness violations can report them to the sheriff’s office, but enforcement is tricky. 

“The problem with enforcing state laws is the majority of them, especially traffic violations, the officers have to see it for themselves,” Smith said.

For more detailed information, see Florida statutes 316.212 and 316.2122. To reach the BCSO traffic office, call 321-633-2123.