GOLF CARTS on the streets? A good idea or a recipe for disaster? Accidents sometimes fatal

STATEWIDE – Each year, about 13,000 golf cart-related accidents require emergency room visits, and that number is rising as the economical, fun-to-drive carts become more popular on city streets. Of those accidents, about 40 percent involve children younger than 16, and half of those are due to a fall from a moving golf cart.

Golf carts that go slower than 20 mph are the kind most often used on the street. These carts are usually bought used and are not regulated, unless state or local governments set rules. In the State of Florida, anyone 14 or older may drive a golf cart, even without a driver’s license. No seat belts or safety features are required. The local government restricts approved streets that golf carts may be operated.

In Florida there are many communities approved to use golf carts for transportation. Sun City Center and The Villages of Florida are two communities that allow its residents to use golf carts for transportation. Recently in Hillsborough County a path was opened allowing carts to cross U.S. 301 for access to a WalMart in Wimauma.

A few Davis Islands residents have asked the Tampa City Council to allow golf carts in community to include transporting children to sports practices and games. On June 24 the City Council will hear from the city attorney and officials from the Tampa Police Department.

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