Low speed vehicles, golf carts or golf cars, are becoming more appealing these days for the short errands and neighborhood trips we often do, going to the beach, the golf course, the school bus stop, and the local stores.
Holmes Beach has allowed limited on road use of LSV and golf carts for the last year over city streets. The limitation is at the intersection of State-controlled Manatee Ave SH64, and Gulf Drive where Department of Highways prohibits their use. Officials are in the process of finding ways to allow passage to the Publix supermarket on East Bay Drive.
Bradenton Beach will discuss the use of LSV in its meeting Thursday, July 17, 2008, for transporting people from Coquina Beach to the Bridge Street historic commercial district. Previously the city rejected extending the trolley bus service to include Bridge Street.
In order to legally drive a golf cart on city streets, local county or municipalities have to approve their use. The state requires that road-use carts have approved tires, effective brakes, reflectors, and rear view mirror. Night use requires headlights, brake lights, turn signals and windshield.
Most objections to using LSVs on streets concern their Federally limited speed of 25 mph and mixing with higher speed traffic. Island road speed limits are 25 – 35 mph.
Florida DOT allows crossing of state roads only after review and installation of controls at approved locations to address safety.
Other issues relate to the higher accident and injury rates of passengers using golf carts, mainly amongst senior men and boys, obviously the most likely demographics to use them. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety regulations do not apply to low speed vehicles.