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Golf cart operators may be fined under Florida's texting and driving ban

Golf cart texting and driving

Florida's texting and driving ban went into effect at the beginning of 2020. Drivers caught violating this traffic law will no longer receive a warning. Instead, they will receive a $30 fine for a first-time violation. Drivers may face additional fines and penalties for second or subsequent violations.

The law also prohibits drivers from holding or handling cellphones in school zones or construction zones. Violators could face fines of $30 or more, as well as increased points on their driving record.

Does the texting and driving ban apply to golf carts?

The statewide texting and driving ban doesn't only apply to car drivers, however, but it also applies to people operating golf carts. This depends on how each community defines golf carts.

Melbourne Police Commander Marc Claycomb clarified the definition of a golf car with Lt. Channing Taylor of the Florida Highway Patrol, according to florida today.

"If the vehicle is registered, on a roadway and even slow moving, then the law applies to those licensed drivers," said Claycomb.

According to Satellite Police Commander Bert Berrios, low-speed vehicles access some local streets. The same texting and driving ban that applies to drivers also applies to operators of low-speed vehicles. Berrios says that most low-speed vehicle operators he sees are attentive and focused on the road. He is in favor of a more statewide cellphone ban, however.

"It makes it easier for law enforcement (to hand out a ticket) because it's obviously easier for us to see. Right now, they could be looking at a GPS, so how do you prove texting? I'm just hoping this law expands," said Berrios.

What is the difference between low-speed vehicles and golf carts?

While both vehicles look alike, low-speed vehicles and golf carts are not the same.

Low-speed vehicles are defined as four-wheeled vehicles with top speeds as high as 25 mph, under Section 320.01(41) of Florida Statutes. Operators must obtain titles, registrations, personal injury protection, and property damage liability insurance. Operators can only access streets with maximum speed limits of 35 mph. They must come equipped with orange reflector triangles on the back, windshield cleaning devices, headlamps, and seat belts. Operators must possess a valid driver's license.

Golf carts are defined as motor vehicles that are "designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour,” under Section 320.01(22) of Florida Statutes. Operators may only access designated roads. They can only cross portions of county roads that intersect designated roadways, golf course, or mobile home parks. The definition of these roads can change from one county to the next.

In Taveres, golf carts can be operated on any street at speeds up to 35 mph. Golf carts cannot access or cross US 441 or SR 19, however. Golf cart operators with special permits can cross SR 19 only at Dead River Road. They can only be used during the daytime unless they are equipped with special nighttime equipment.

I sustained an injury in a golf cart crash. What should I do?

If you were hurt after being involved in a golf cart crash, you may be eligible for compensation. The Law Offices of Brent C. Miller, P.A. represents pedestrians, golf cart operators, passengers and other parties injured in golf cart crashes.

Since golf carts don't come equipped with airbags, seatbelts, and other safety features, injuries are often severe. The medical bills, lost wages, and suffering can be devastating. Our legal team will fight to help you recover all damages owed to you. Contact us online today to schedule your free consultation.

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