Ever been concerned about an extremely slow driver on the road? Just imagine a golf cart on a public street.
In Solana Beach, that is now a reality.
Solana Beach recently legalized the use of golf carts on some public streets, coming into effect in February 2009. While using golf carts on public streets is illegal statewide, but under state law, individual cities are allowed to enact an ordinance law that permits golf carts within one mile of a golf course but only on streets with speed limits that fall at 25MPH or below, to prevent car accidents with much faster automobiles.
The Solana Beach City Council voted unanimously to issue permits to golf cart owners that will allow permit-holders to use their golf carts during daylight hours on 53 streets that surround the country club located on the east side of the city, and the Lomas Santa Fe Executive Course. The permit will cost $20 per year and will pay for the city to post “Golf Carts OK” signs on the roads and enforcement of the ordinance. The vote also decreased the speed limit of some roads from 30MPH to 25MPH to accommodate for the state law.
As many as 400 Solana Beach households own golf carts, and many of the golf cart owners drive them on the streets, with law enforcement turning a blind eye. The legality of golf carts on public streets came to the attention of the city when a car accident occurred between a golf cart and a car within Solana Beach.
Our car accident lawyers appreciate the city’s effort to address their citizens’ concerns. However, we believe that convenience for the citizens should not outweigh the safety of everyone. It would be even better to keep golf carts off the streets, period.
Golf carts do not have any safety features that a car is required to have. If a car accident occurs with a golf cart, there is nothing to protect the cart driver or passengers. We cannot rely on people to only become involved in non-serious car accidents, like the one mentioned above. Fate does not work like that!
Other automobiles involved in a car accident with a golf cart would most likely be safe, but what if they rammed into a golf cart full speed, with the passengers of the golf cart not wearing seat belts? Most golf carts come with no safety features like seatbelts, bumpers, or airbags. Many do not have turn signals or lights. Seat belts are not installed on gold carts either.
Plus, remember that golf carts are open and do not provide the protection of the safety glass that comes on all car windshields. Humans can be hurled out of the golf cart and suffer even greater injuries.
Just because something is legal does not make it safe or “right.” We recommend and strongly encourage the community to not risk themselves and others by driving their golf carts on public roads. In the event of a car accident, these golf carts will not be able to protect you.
Please contact us for a free consultation with an experienced car accident attorney — we speak both English and Spanish — at (800) 655-6585. Click here and you may also submit your case for a Free Review. No fee if no recovery.