Due to the ongoing calls to the Police Department from your neighbors in reference to residents/juveniles in the area driving illegal golf carts and low speed vehicles; I wanted to provide the following information from our Legal Department:
A Golf Cart is one that does not have the capability to exceed 20 mph. These Golf Carts are ILLEGAL to be driven on the roadways or sidewalks by any person and is a violation of F.S.S. 316.212.
A Low Speed Vehicle (“LSV”) is a Golf Cart which has the following:
- a valid registration and insurance
- headlamps, front and rear turn signals and tail lamps and brake lights
- front windshield and rear view mirror
- reflectors on both sides
- a seatbelt(s) for each designated seat
A driver of a LSV needs a valid drivers license and LSVs CANNOT be driven on the sidewalk and CAN only be driven on the roadway where the speed limit is 35 mph or less.
There are too many violations to list if any of these laws are not followed, there are many laws which cover this topic and several of them are misdemeanors and would require a court appearance. Under no circumstances are LSVs allowed to be driven by an unlicensed adult or a child under the age of 16. If a juvenile operating a LSV is stopped by the police they could be cited, which will make it more difficult for them to get a drivers license in the future. So please abide by the laws which apply based upon the information provided above.
Please keep in mind that the Police Department is being proactive and trying to stop an accident before it happens. Without the proper equipment golf carts operated on the roadways are a potential death trap if ever involved in an accident.
I am just trying to keep everyone safe and address an issue which your neighbors have brought to the Police Department's attention numerous times.
Thank you and be safe!
Officer Don Herring
Saint Petersburg, Police Department
Community Officer for Venetian Isles