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What Makes Golf Carts in Port Charlotte Street Legal?

By | Golf Carts Port Charlotte | One Comment

There are many advantages to driving golf carts in Port Charlotte as opposed to a full-sized automobile. For one thing, golf carts are more affordable and environmentally friendly than traditional automobiles. Many people (especially in retirement communities) opt to use a golf cart as their primary mode of transportation. But is it legal to drive a golf cart on the street? The answer to this question is complicated because the rules regarding the street legality of golf carts in Port Charlotte will differ from other cities in other states. The following is a list of some southern U. S. States where driving a golf cart on the street is more common and their respective regulations regarding this use of golf carts.

Alabama – In general Alabama does not permit golf carts to operate on public roadways. However, it does allow the registration of Low Speed Vehicles to be driven on streets. Low-speed vehicles (LSVs) must conform to federal and state regulations regarding safety, emissions and anti-theft protections. Alabama requires all LSVs to have a 17-digit Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) along with a Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin certifying the LSV complies with state and Federal Regulations. For more information click here.

Arizona – State law does not require golf carts to be titled or registered if not driven on public roads. Small, four wheeled vehicles used to travel from one part of a golf course to another can be driven on public roads as long as they are registered and carry liability insurance. Registered and insured golf carts can only drive on roads with a speed of less than 35 miles per hour and must comply with Federal regulations. For more information click here.

Florida – According to state law the operation of a golf cart upon the public roads or streets of this state is prohibited except under certain circumstances. The law states specifically that a “golf cart may be operated only upon a county road that has been designated by a county, or a municipal street that has been designated by a municipality, for use by golf carts…” In general a golf cart may be used to cross a street not designated for use by golf carts but there are many exceptions and technicalities to this rule. Moreover a golf cart must conform to state and Federal law regarding safety and emissions. Again the Florida statute regulating the street use of a golf cart is extensive and anyone considering using a golf cart in this manner should make sure they are in compliance with the law. Obviously these regulations apply to golf carts in Port Charlotte as well. See Florida State Code 316.212.

Georgia – The driving of PTVs in Georgia is restricted by law to specific designated roadways. State law defines a “personal transportation vehicle” (PTV) as having a minimum of four wheels, capable of traveling 20 miles per hour or greater, weighing 1,375 pounds or less and cannot not accommodate more than eight people. A PTV specifically does not include all terrain vehicles, wheelchairs and scooters used by disabled people. All PTVs must comply with safety regulations regarding breaks, reverse warning devices, lights, reflectors and other requirements. For more information click here.

Louisiana – The driving of golf carts in Louisiana is restricted by law to specific designated roadways. Golf carts are allowed to cross certain highways in specifically designated areas. A valid drivers license is required to cross certain roadways in a golf cart. The Louisiana statute governing the operation of golf carts on roadways contains specific provisions for specific areas of the state. For more information click here.

Mississippi – State law defines a golf cart as a motor vehicle that is designated and manufactured for operation of a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” The golf cart must comply with Federal safety regulations. Golf carts are permitted on specifically designated roadways and are limited to the shortest possible distance between a person’s residence and destination. The operation of a golf cart is also restricted to daylight hours only. For more information click here.

New Mexico – State law generally prohibits the operation of a golf cart on public road ways. There is some degree of ambiguity as to whether municipalities can provide for exceptions to this law. For more information click here.

North Carolina – State law defines a golf cart as a “vehicle designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course, for sporting or recreational purposes, and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph.” The regulation of golf carts driving on public roads is governed on the county level. Accordingly, the rules can change depending on what part of the state one happens to be. However, counties can only allow the operation of golf carts on roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. For more information click here.South Carolina – State law regulates golf cart and low speed electric vehicle usage on public streets. The South Carolina DMV issues decal permits which allow the owner of a golf cart to (in general) drive it within a four mile radius of his or her residence, on secondary roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less during daylight hours. The driver must be at least 16 years old with a valid driver’s license and liability insurance. For more information click here.

Texas – State law generally prohibits the operation of golf carts on public roads with some exceptions. A golf cart is defined by state law as a vehicle having no less than “3 wheels” with a maximum speed of 25 miles per hour and is manufactured primarily for driving on a golf course. The Texas DMV does not register or title golf carts. Golf carts are allowed in certain planned communities during the day time on roads where the speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less. Municipalities can allow for the use of golf carts on specifically designated roads as long as the golf cart operator is insured and complies with safety regulations. For more information click here.

The operation of Golf carts in Port Charlotte is regulated by state law. This article only provides a thumbnail sketch of the regulations regarding the operation of golf carts in Port Charlotte and in certain southern states. It is always best to check with the state DMV to determine whether the golf carts are permitted in any specific locality.

 

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Golf Carts in Port Charlotte Have Their Work Cut Out For Them

By | Golf Carts Port Charlotte | No Comments

Golf carts in Port Charlotte certainly have their work cut out for them. This sunny, South Florida city is located on the Gulf Coast of Florida approximately midway between the cities of Fort Myers and Sarasota. Port Charlotte and the surrounding area is now home to no less than seven different golf courses including (1) Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club, (2) Port Charlotte Golf Club, (3) Riverwood Golf Club, (4) The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center, (5) Heron Creek Golf and Country Club, (6) Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club formerly known as Bobcat Trail Golf Club and (7) Longwood Golf Center. These golf courses are designed to accommodate all skill levels from the beginner to the experienced pro.

The following is a brief description of each of these world class and picturesque golf courses. Please note that any language in quotation marks was taken from the particular golf course’s website which is linked to in the title of the golf course.

Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club

2100 KINGS HIGHWAY
PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA 33980

The Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club boasts a “par 62 golf course, five cushion-surface tennis courts, excellent bocce courts, top quality lawn bowling green, sixteen shuffleboard courts and four heated swimming pools. How about a well equipped fitness facility, a nine hole mini-putt course, three community centers, full arts and crafts facilities with an awesome pottery studio equipped with 3 kilns, horseshoe pits, a restaurant and bar with water side dining and full entertainment facilities, a snack bar, pro shop, spas and saunas, billiard room, a fully equipped woodworking facility, a computer and learning center with 17 computers, a large library and twelve well stocked lakes.” As this description implies, Maple Leaf Golf and Country Club provides more than just golf as far as entertainment is concerned. Golf carts in Port Charlotte should consider themselves lucky to drive down their well manicured fairways.

Port Charlotte Golf Club

22400 GLENEAGLE TERRACE,
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL 33952

According to the Port Charlotte Golf Club website, this course has been voted the best in Charlotte County by the readers of the Charlotte Sun-Herald Newspapers for seven years in a row. The golf club has an eighteen hole, par 72 golf course that is described as both “user friendly” and “challenging at the same time.” As such, golfers of all skill levels will feel right at home on the fairways of the Port Charlotte Golf Club.

Riverwood Golf Club

4100 RIVERWOOD DRIVE
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL 33953

According to the Riverwood Golf Club website the course was voted the best golf course in Florida for Customer Reviews April 2015. The golf course was designed by the Gene Bates golf course design group. People who know golf understand that a golf course designed by the Gene Bates golf course design group is nothing to scoff at. The front nine is a par 72 Championship course. On this course golf carts in Port Charlotte will coast through beautiful terrain situated in heavily wooded terrain of natural pine trees. By contrast, on the back nine golf carts will coast through interesting landscape including salt marsh and wetlands.

The Cove of Rotonda Golf Center

12455 SOUTH ACCESS ROAD
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL 33981

Situated on the Cape Haze Peninsula in Southwest Florida, the Cove of Rotonda Golf Center is located in close proximity to beaches on the Gulf of Mexico. The golf course has 18 holes of “[w]ell bunkered, elevated greens, continuous mounding and multiple tees” for golfers of all skill levels. One unique aspect of the golf course are its stadium lights which allow for night time play. Golf carts in Port Charlotte cannot coast down a fairway at night on any other golf course than the Cove of Rotonda. Playing golf at night is certainly a different experience than golfing during the day. For one thing, the temperature is cooler but also the night provides a degree of excitement that is missing in most situations during the day.

Heron Creek Golf and Country Club

5301 HERON CREEK BOULEVARD
NORTH PORT, FLORIDA 34287

According to the Heron Creek website, the course was designed by Aurthur Hills a nationally known architect of more than 130 golf courses. Heron Creek is a 27-hole championship golf course. The golf course includes many unique elements including several elevation changes and various, beautiful water features. Heron Creek also has a state-of-the-art facility designed to educate golfers of all skill levels. In addition, Heron Creek boasts six practice areas and five practice greens along with a variety of instructional programs available from a team of qualified P. G. A. professionals. Accordingly, Heron Creek is a great course for golfers of all skill levels to develop their craft.

Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club (Formerly Known as Bobcat Trail Golf Club)

1350 BOBCAT TRAIL
NORTH PORT, FL 34288

Located in North Port, Florida the Charlotte Harbor National Golf Club (formerly known as Bobcat Trail Golf Club) is considered to be one of southwest Florida’s best public courses. Charlotte Harbor has 6,748 yards of fairways and greens playing at par 71. Golf Digest Magazine has rated this golf course with 4.5 out of 5 possible stars. The golf course was designed by Canadian Open Champion and former P. G. A. Champion, Bob Tway along with golf course architect Lee Singletary. This golf course is colloquially refereed to as “The Cat” and can be played by golfers of all skill levels.

Longwood Golf Center

23411 HARBORVIEW ROAD
PORT CHARLOTTE, FL 33980

Located on Harborview Road, the Longwood Golf Center boasts all the regular amenities any golfer would expect from a golf course including 18 holes, a chipping green, a practice bunker and pro shop. You might want to re-watch the classic movie “Caddy Shack” before visiting the Longwood Golf Center for reasons that will become obvious after spending the afternoon on the golf course. If you are looking to hit a few balls you could certainly do worse than the Longwood Golf Center.

The state of Florida is certainly a mecca for golf courses. In many ways Port Charlotte is a representative city for Florida as is demonstrated by the many golf courses located in and around the municipal limits. As such it should come as no surprise that golf carts in Port Charlotte are a very common sight indeed.


 

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Golf Carts in Port Charlotte Used As a Primary Mode of Transportation By Seniors

By | Golf Carts Port Charlotte | No Comments

It is no surprise that golf carts in Port Charlotte are so commonly used as a primary mode of transportation by the senior citizens who live there. There is something about a golf cart that uniquely lends itself to the life style of a senior citizen living in a retirement community. Perhaps the main reason for this is that golf carts are both fun and easy to drive and also easily integrate into the more relaxed environment that a retirement community is designed to create for its residents. It makes sense that a senior citizen who has lived a full life and is feeling the physical effects of the aging process will want to experience the more relaxed life style that a retirement community can provide.

 

MANY RETIREMENT COMMUNITIES ARE DESIGNED TO ACCOMMODATE GOLF CARTS

 

An article in Slate recently described how many retirement communities have been specifically designed to accommodate golf carts as the primary mode of transportation for their residents. This trend began in the late 1980’s at the Villages community for seniors in Orlando, Florida. Today that same community boasts nearly one hundred miles of trails specifically designed for golf carts. Not only can the residents of this community play golf using their golf cart but they can also run all their daily errands including everything from grocery shopping to seeing a movie at the community movie theater using their golf cart as well. This trend of designing retirement communities to accommodate the wide spread use of golf carts for transportation has spread to many other retirement communities in the American South where the weather is usually amenable to golf carts all year round.

 

THE BENEFITS OF USING A GOLF CART FOR SENIOR CITIZENS

 

Golf Carts Port CharlotteThe Slate article goes on to talk about about how golf carts are especially attractive for senior citizens for various reasons. First of all, golf carts are an enjoyable means of transportation because they are typically open to the elements. In a warm weather climate like Florida it can feel very pleasant for the driver of a golf cart to feel the warm breeze on their face as they travel about. Second of all, golf carts are more affordable than a full-sized vehicle. This is true in terms of total cost, but also in terms of maintenance and environmental impact. Third, golf carts are more convenient than a full-sized vehicle because they require less fuel than a full-sized vehicle, take up less space and are easily stored in a garage or other structure. Fourth, driving a golf cart tends to promote community and socializing between golf cart operators because there are literally no barriers between them as they pass each other on the trails and are easy to stop and pull over in order to have a conversation with another driver. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, because golf carts travel at a slower rate of speed than a regular automobile they allow for a greater degree of reaction time and for this reason can tend to be an easier and safer means of travel for the typical senior citizen.

 

GOLF CARTS IN PORT CHARLOTTE GIVE SENIOR CITIZENS FREEDOM

 

It is easy for senior citizens to start driving golf carts in Port Charlotte because the state of Florida does not require a driver’s license to operate a golf cart. This can provide for greater freedom for seniors who have had their driver’s license revoked. Of course, this should not be read to encourage a senior citizen to drive a golf cart if he or she is not capable of operating one safely. However, because a golf cart can tend to be easier to operate than a full-sized automobile it is usually not unreasonable for a senior citizen to be able to operate a golf cart safely when they otherwise could not operate a full-sized automobile safely. As mentioned previously, golf carts travel at a slower rate of speed than does a full-sized vehicle but most models also come to a stop when the driver removes his or her foot from the accelerator. Both of these features tend to make a golf cart a safer mode of transportation for a senior citizen in comparison to a full-sized automobile.

 

Freedom is a precious commodity for senior citizens. The reality of the situation is that the older a person gets the greater chance their freedom will be restricted by physical ailments and cognitive impairments. For this reason, it is especially important for many senior citizens to make the most of the time and health they have left. For many senior citizens, one of the best way to make the most out of the time and health they have remaining is own a golf cart. Of course, the golf cart would not be as valuable in terms of freedom as it is if retirement communities were not designed to accommodate them. That is why golf carts in Port Charlotte are such a hot commodity.

 

In conclusion, golf carts in Port Charlotte have come to be a wonderful enhancement to the life styles of many senior citizens. This is especially true in the American South where the climate tends to accommodate their use and where retirement communities have also been specifically designed for their use. What makes them such a wonderful enhancement to the lives of many senior citizens is that golf carts are both fun and easy to drive. This allows them to be used by senior citizens who would not otherwise be able to drive a full-sized automobile. Because of this owning and operating a golf cart can provide a senior citizen with a greater freedom and quality of life that he or she might not otherwise be able to enjoy. Moreover, golf carts are affordable, efficient and a social means of transportation in and around the retirement communities designed to accommodate them. For all these reasons (and probably more) many senior citizens are discovering that owning a golf cart is a very positive addition to their quality of life.

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