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Fort Myers City Council to discuss golf carts driving on public roads

Posted at 9:24 AM, Sep 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 06:17:33-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — A popular mode of transportation here in Southwest Florida may be getting some new rules pretty soon.

Fort Myers City Council will be having a discussion on whether or not to allow golf carts on streets with speed limits less than 35 mph.

On McGregor Boulevard, it’s not uncommon to see the carts.

"It’s easier than getting in a car, it’s easier than putting seat belts on and it’s safe,” said Lauren Joshua, who lives off the boulevard. Her and her family use their cart to get to Sunday brunch.

"It’s our easy way to transport back and forth.”

The way of getting around has been a growing trend throughout Southwest Florida. So much so there’s a discussion in the city of allowing the carts on roads that are 35 mph or less.

“If they open that up for, especially, the McGregor traffic I think it would allow more people to be comfortable taking out their golf carts," says Joshua. "I also think we would see more golf carts knowing that they are welcomed.”

In the state of Florida, golf carts are defined as “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes.”

Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles says golf carts may be operated on roadways that are designated for golf carts with a posted speed limit of 30 mph or less.

FLHSMV also says golf carts are not required to be titled or registered nor are operators required to have a driver license. But a driver must be at least 14-years or older.

They also say the use of golf cars on roads must comply with any ordinances enacted by local government. So any decision Fort Myers City Council decides to take should be followed by operators.

“Just as long as they go with the flow of traffic, it’ll be fun,” said Gary Grosser, who also lives off McGregor.

The ordinance council is looking at would prevent golf carts from driving on sidewalks, something the Grosser family is all too familiar with.

"For a lot of people, they use them on sidewalks- which you’re not supposed to be using them on sidewalks," said Grosser. "It’s only meant for pedestrians and bicycles.”

"Sometimes there is little to no sidewalk or the sidewalk is so overgrown with yard waste and plants," said Bailey Grosser. "So if we’re driving in the street, it’ll be way easier because the streets are kept clean.”

City council will also decide if drivers should have a drivers license, along with safety lighting while on board their cart. Something that is not permitted by Florida law.

Until then, these riders think it could mean seeing more carts on the roads in the near future.

"It may, it may," said Gary Grosser. "I don’t see why it wouldn’t.”

"Knowing that they are welcomed and once people get out and see how safe it actually is to be on a golf cart, I think we would see more and more," says Joshua. "And it would be a new trend.”

City Council will be discussing the ordinance during their regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.