Drivers now share the roads with golf carts in downtown Ocala.
In Ocala’s historic district, golf carts are now on the road, necessitating an additional level of caution for drivers. After a collision between a golf cart and an automobile, contacting an attorney is your first course of action.
The City of Ocala began allowing golf carts on designated city streets on June 1st. Drivers are limited to the roads expressly enumerated in the City of Ocala golf cart map—in general, the streets boxed in by East Fort King Street and Southeast 17th Street, from Southeast 3rd Avenue to Southeast 22nd Avenue. Golf cart parking is permitted at City Hall, the Citizens Service Center and the Ocala Downtown Market.
The legal experts at King Law Firm in Ocala define golf carts as having a specific and limited function.
“In Florida,” Managing Shareholder Greg King explains, “it’s a golf cart if it has four wheels and was designed and manufactured for use on a golf course or for recreational use and is not capable of exceeding 20 mph.”
Golf carts’ limited purpose means they have lower safety standards than the typical vehicle. Typically, they lack seat belts and doors, which renders the severity of a potential collision significantly greater. Since golf carts are pleasure vehicles, their operators may not realize that drunk driving laws still apply. Regardless of the vehicle, alcohol consumption can seriously affect a driver’s coordination. Golf carts must obey all the traffic rules that motor vehicles follow, so golf carts have the right of way in the same scenarios that a motor vehicle has the right of way.
Golf carts, King notes, can be dangerous to the passengers as well as operators when driven on streets where motor vehicles are used.
“A golf cart is no match for a car when the two collide,” he says. Both the driver and the occupants of the golf cart have the potential to be seriously injured. King advises that a “collision between a golf cart and motor vehicle should be treated the same as a collision between two motor vehicles.”
Accordingly, he advises drivers to call law enforcement and to remain at the scene of the accident, taking pictures of the damages sustained to either vehicle. If anyone is injured, supply any medical aid you can and call 911. Next, call your insurance company. It is important, King says, to avoid admitting to any fault or responsibility and to only discuss the details of the accident with your lawyer, your insurance company and law enforcement.
King Law Firm
2156 E. Silver Springs Blvd. Ocala, FL 34470