Lieutenant Daniel Valdes, of the Key Biscayne Police Department's Division of Patrol Operations, has issued this Safety Alert to remind residents and visitors of rules regulating the use of golf carts in the Village.
The excerpt below from the Village Code of Ordinance explains who may operate golf carts and prohibited uses. The definition of underage driving and penalties assigned if an individual is charged with this violation also are discussed.
Operating a Golf Cart within the Village of Key Biscayne
Sec. 26-23. - Authorized use.
- Licensed drivers may operate Golf Carts which have been inspected and issued Permits by the Village Police Department on all Designated Streets within the Village.
- A Permit to use a Golf Cart on a Designated Street does not permit entry onto private property or semi-private property, including retail parking lots, private roads or common areas in condominiums. Access to these areas may be regulated by the property owners and/or property managers.
- Golf Carts that are intended to be leased for any amount of time or to be sold shall only be stored on property that has a Main Permitted Use of a Motel, Hotel, or a use within the C-1 District involved in the retail sale of Golf Carts. The storage of the Golf Carts shall not occur within ten feet of any property line that faces a street. Golf Carts with signs shall be parked only in a C-1 Light Intensity commercial District, O-1 Low Intensity Office District, or at a hotel or motel.
Sec. 26-24. - Prohibited use.
The operation in the Village of any Golf Cart in the following manner or under the following conditions is prohibited:
- Without a valid, current driver's license;
- During hours between sunset and sunrise without being equipped with headlights and a windshield;
- Without a valid, current Permit issued by the Village Police Department and affixed to the Golf Cart in a conspicuous location;
- In violation of State or County traffic regulations;
- Anywhere on the roadway surface of Crandon Boulevard, except to cross that thoroughfare at marked intersections or intersections regulated by a traffic signal or to travel north or south upon Crandon Boulevard solely for the purpose of reaching the immediately next intersection. The operation of Golf Carts upon Crandon Boulevard pursuant to this subsection (5) shall be subject to authorization from Metro-Dade County pursuant to F.S. § 316.212(1);
- On the beaches, parks, bicycle paths, sidewalks, or swales of the Village;
- Parking in violation of posted regulations;
- Obstructing or interfering with normal traffic flow; and
- Carrying more passengers than those for which the Golf Cart was designed.
Sec. 26-28. - Operators.
Drivers must hold a current, valid driver’s license in order to operate a Golf Cart upon the streets of the Village.
An under-16-year-old driving a vehicle is always considered driving without a license unless he/she meets two essential conditions:
- The driver is in possession of a valid permit
- There is a licensed adult, aged 21 or older, supervising the driving from the passenger seat
If caught without either of the above, the under-16 driver can be charged for driving without a license. Violations are taken very seriously for underage driving.
- To get an adult license, a new driver has to drive with a permit (and a supervising adult licensed driver) for 12 months. The new driver also has to have a clean record for 6 months. Therefore, if a new driver is charged with underage driving, the permit stage would be extended for an additional 6 months.
- In Florida, ‘No Valid Driver’s License’ is classified as a second degree misdemeanor, with penalties of up to 60 days in jail and a $500 fine.
Although the majority of cases will not result in a jail sentence, the principal consequence of a No Valid License conviction is that it will create a permanent
criminal record. The parents of the under-16 driver could also be held liable, and cited for the violation.
- Other impacts of this violation would be increased difficulty in obtaining the license and a much higher rate of insurance coverages.