WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — Walton county deputies said golf carts are increasingly becoming a major safety issue.
They’re pushing for a tougher county ordinance to prevent potential accidents.
Golf carts are only allowed on roadways where the speed limit is 35 miles an hour, or less.
But deputies said they’re always pulling over golf carts driving illegally on busy roadways, like Highway 98.
Earlier this month, deputies told commissioners about the safety-sensitive issue.
Sheriff Michael Adkinson said with 4.5 million annual visitors, it’s difficult to get a handle on the issue.
“At the end of the day what they are trying to say is a new group of tourists come every week here so it’s difficult to educate somebody and then a week later you have a new group coming in. So they are looking at a lot of new ways to strengthen the ordinance,” Adkinson said.
Right now deputies are limited to educating visitors and locals with signs and stickers.
Some are suggesting deputies be allowed to impound golf carts from violators.
That puts more responsibility on the vehicle’s owner.
“It puts that blame shared with the people maybe that are not passing the information on the way they should. I think it is a creative way of looking at doing it. We are certainly going to work with the board and we would like to see this problem, I don’t know if we will ever resolve it, but certainly mitigate down some,” Adkinson said.
But before the county takes that type of drastic action, Adkinson wants commissioners to ask for the public’s help.
“You don’t just go and immediately change the ordinance and start enforcing it without doing due diligence to make sure the public is aware that they have an input and that they get an opportunity to be heard,” Adkinson said.
Adkinson said deputies have pulled over around 400 golf carts within a few weeks.
They’ve also seen a number of people suffer serious injuries in golf cart accidents.
Walton County commissioners are hoping to schedule a workshop meeting on the issue.
To read the Low Speed Vehicle Laws visit their website.