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BABCOCK RANCH | New Florida Law Requires Teens to Have Drivers Licenses or Permits to Drive Golf Carts

Part of the culture of Southwest Florida, the humble golf cart, now with new regulations for drivers.
Posted at 10:24 PM, Oct 02, 2023

BABCOCK RANCH, Fla. — Starting this month, there’s a new state law affecting teenagers and adults who like to drive golf carts. In many neighborhoods, like Babcock Ranch, where it’s hard to go a minute without seeing a golf cart - that’s a lot of people.

Residents like Matt Anderson have been concerned about the use of golf carts by younger individuals.

"The rules need to change to help out the community to keep things safer," Anderson remarked.

He's seen children driving golf carts, sometimes recklessly, and has been concerned about their safety. Anderson pointed out that while golf carts may not reach high speeds, they can become unstable when taking sharp turns.

Starting this week, the law requires anyone younger than eighteen years old to have either a valid learners permit or driver’s license to drive a golf cart. Anderson believes this is a necessary change, as he says he’s seen people much younger behind the wheel.

“Some of these families out here that have younger teenagers, you know, 11, 12, 13, that…probably don’t see the harm in letting their child drive the golf cart, you know, three or four blocks away. Do I understand their thinking? Yes. But on the same token, I also understand this law that you have to abide by,” Anderson stated.

However, this law doesn't just target teenagers. It also restricts the use of golf carts on public roads or streets, allowing them to be driven only on county roads that have been officially designated as safe for golf cart use.

The Florida Highway Patrol has investigated at least three deadly accidents involving golf carts on public roads this year alone. Anderson expressed his support for the new law, saying, "I'd much rather be safe than sorry."

As these steps are taken towards safer golf cart operation Florida, in neighborhoods like Babcock Ranch, residents hope that this new law will strike the right balance between convenience and safety.