Used golf carts aren’t just for the golf course any more. There are a multitude of communities that allow golf carts to be driven on the public roads. There were 12,000 golf carts registered in Peachtree City Georgia in 2007. The community has 34,000 residents. Peachtree City is a suburb of Atlanta which is a very golf cart friendly community. Owners of those carts make use of almost 100 miles of tar paths developed exclusively for golf carts.
Not Just for the Elderly
Many times people think of golf cart drivers as those that are retired and living in places like Sun City. While it is true there are thousands of golf carts in retirement communities like Sun City AZ and The Villages FL, it’s also true that golf carts as a form of primary transportation is not just for the elderly.
The parking lot at Peachtree City high school is filled with golf carts. The students use golf carts as transportation to not only go to school but they also are able to head to the mall, movies and other teenager places in their carts.
Golf Cart Criminals
With the proliferation of golf carts, along comes crime associated with golf carts. There are mainly two types of crime associated with golf carts in a community like Peachtree City. The first type of crime deals with stolen vehicles. The vast majority of stolen vehicles are taken for joy-rides by bored teenagers. Therefore most of the stolen vehicles are quickly recovered.
The other criminal activity is from the operation of the golf carts themselves. Things like speeding, drunk driving, illegal parking, and reckless driving are issues the local law enforcement need to patrol.
The golf cart crime is not a major problem but it does exist. The police department procured some ATV’s and “speed enhanced” golf carts to drive on the cart paths to catch the law-breakers. The rules are different for each community. Peachtree City has a speed limit of 25 MPH. The legal driving age is 16 for driving a golf cart. However, 15 year olds can drive as long as they have a licensed driver with them. As an aside, I wonder if driving a golf cart at a young age, makes for a better adult driver.
Other Cities Using Golf Carts
On Santa Catalina Island, California the use of motor vehicles on the island is mostly restricted. This is due to the fact that, by law, there is a limit on the number of registered cars allowed onto the island. Therefore, most residents and visitors move around the main city of Avalon via golf cart. Bald Head Island in North Carolina has a similar circumstance. They outright do not allow cars to be operated on the island except in a couple special use situations. The residents there also use golf carts as their primary method of transportation.
The most popular form of transportation in The Villages Florida is the golf cart. They have over 100 miles of roads reserved for golf carts. Additionally, they allow golf carts to be operated on most of their streets.
The popularity of golf carts in communities is catching on. Whether it is the open driving experience or the “green” aspect of the activity, its a great way to move around.