Golf carts on roadways included under Florida texting and driving law

Published: December 31, 2019 8:05 PM EST
Updated: December 31, 2019 8:28 PM EST

Since police will hand out tickets in 2020 instead of warnings for texting and driving, we wanted to know what that means for golf carts. They’re a popular way to get around parts of Southwest Florida. And it turns out, the new law does not overlook them entirely.

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Those caught texting and driving golf carts on roadways can also be found at fault by law enforcement the same as other motorist beginning Jan.1

“Yes, absolutely,” Pat Harris said. “It’s a vehicle on the road.”

Harris lives in a gated community, where golf carts on the road are the norm, so she’s thrilled the new texting and driving law will apply to them.

“People are walking, talking, bicycling,” Harris said. “They can run into people walking along, or they can also hit mailbox and hurt themselves.”

However, those driving golf carts in gated communities won’t be penalized under the new law. The new law also doesn’t apply to golf carts being driven at a golf course.

Only licensed or street-safe golf carts fall under the new measure.

Cape Coral police like that golf carts are included in the new law passed in 2019.

“It may sound silly, but you can seriously injure or kill yourself on a golf cart,” Master Corporal Phil Mullen said. “Obviously, once the golf cart is also on the roadways, you’re interacting with pedestrians, other motor vehicles, cars, trucks.”

CCPD said, regardless of what someone drivers or where they are driving, it’s important to keep eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.

“Whether you’re in a golf cart, whether you’re in a car, you are unsafe if you are texting and your attention is diverted,” Mullen said.