Photo by Anna B
The golf cart ordinance the Village of Wellington passed in September to alleviate safety concerns went into effect March 28, putting in place a series of regulations for the community.
Florida law is ambiguous about golf carts on city roads, so the village established where golf carts may be driven, as well as various guidelines.
In recent years golf carts have become extremely common in the Village of Wellington. They are widely used in the equestrian industry, within neighborhoods and when traveling short distances.
“Many of us in the equestrian industry use golf carts to and from the showgrounds and even around our village,” said Michael Stone, the president of Equestrian Sports Production.
According to the ordinance, golf carts are allowed on designated village roads, designated multimodal pathways and authorized golf cart crossings.
Designated village roads are residential roads that have a speed limit of 25 mph or less and display designated signs.
Golf carts are not allowed on the more heavily traveled connector roads, such as Greenview Shores Boulevard or Big Blue Trace. These collector routes have parallel multimodal pathways where golf carts are allowed, although under different rules.
Multimodal pathways are wider than sidewalks and are always paved. Golf carts are limited to 15 mph on those pathways.
The ordinance states that a golf cart driver on a designated multimodal pathway must yield the right of way at all times to all other travelers — pedestrians, bicyclists and horses — by slowing, stopping or pulling off the pathway.
The ordinance also states that you need a driver’s license or learner’s permit to drive a golf cart on a multimodal pathway; otherwise, the minimum age is 14 to drive a golf cart on village roads.
Some areas in Wellington are off-limits to golf carts because they are private or semiprivate and are governed by their own rules. The village provides an interactive map to show these private areas, as well as designated village roads and multimodal pathways.
Golf carts are not allowed on equestrian trails or on streets with a speed limit of 30 mph or higher.
Golf carts may be driven from sunrise to sunset only unless they are equipped with nighttime safety equipment such as headlights, brake lights, turn signals and a windshield.
The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office will issue a warning for the first violation of the new golf cart rules, a $50 fine for the second and a $100 fine for the third.