Golf carts are not just being driven on golf courses or to golf courses, they are another form of transportation.
“Viera High School kids are getting their first vehicle, a golf cart,” said Russ Gunthorpe, the store manager at Gorilla Rides in Viera.
Registration, a license plate or even a licensed driver is not required to operate a golf cart. However, drivers must be at least 14 years of age and, if the driver is unlicensed no matter the age, the golf cart must be equipped with a horn.
However, when it comes to the subject of golf carts, drivers must know where they are legally permitted to drive them and park them.
“It is currently illegal to go over Viera Boulevard, the diamond interchange,” and it is a no-go to drive beneath I-95 on Wickham Road “because the sidewalks on the east side do not meet the state requirement” according to the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office podcast “On the Go with BCSO Podcast – Golf Carts Safety” posted March 8, 2020 on YouTube.
Brevard County Ordinance 106-73 Operation of Golf Carts, serves as the backbone of many of the Suntree and Viera regulations regarding golf cart usage.
For example, golf carts cannot be driven on Wickham Road, Pineda Causeway, Viera Boulevard, Murrell Road, Stadium Parkway, Lake Andrew Drive, Tavistock Drive, and Judge Fran Jamieson Way, although these roadways can be crossed.
Golf carts can be driven on 8-foot-wide multi-use sidewalks and trails parallel to roadways designated by a sign stating such use by pedestrians, cyclists and golf carts. These multi-use sidewalks are common in Viera, less so in Suntree, and are typically 10 feet in width. Pedestrians and cyclists have the right-of-way.
In Suntree, it is illegal to drive a golf cart on the sidewalk. Instead, carts must be driven on residential streets or roads with speed limits of no more than 35 mph. Suntree does have a multi-use trail on North Pinehurst Road between Spyglass Hill and Wickham Road.
On the multi-use trails, golf carts cannot exceed 10 mph according to a BCSO-produced brochure.
Children under 5 years of age should be seated in a federally approved child restraint seat secured with a seatbelt. Young children should wear a safety helmet. All passengers must remain seated, whether forward or rear-facing, and the golf cart should not transport more passengers than it is intended to. Just as with operators of traditional vehicles, golf cart drivers should not drive under the influence of alcoholic beverages, chemicals or controlled substances, and an open container rule applies.
Golf carts can only be driven from sunrise to sunset unless the golf cart is equipped with functional headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, in addition to other requirements, such as “efficient brakes, reliable steering apparatus, safe tires, a rearview mirror, and reflectorized warning devices on both the front and rear of the golf cart.”
Failure to comply with these regulations can result in being stopped by law enforcement and being issued a citation or fine.
Area parks are friendly for golf carts, but the carts must be parked in designated parking spaces.
In Suntree, golf carts “are not permitted to be driven onto the fields or playgrounds,” Todd Foley, the general manager at the Suntree Master Homeowners Association, wrote in an email. Regarding Suntree Country Club, he added, “The golf course is a private club and only their members can use the golf course and its pedways.”