St. Johns County Adopts Golf Cart Ordinance, Conforming to State Statute
At the Jan. 16, 2024, St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) regular meeting, the BOCC voted 5-0 to adopt Ordinance No. 2024- 7, amending Ordinance No. 2018-42, regarding the regulation of the operation of golf carts, low-speed vehicles, and mini trucks within St. Johns County in the interest of public safety, conforming to recent changes in State statute. The new ordinance outlines requirements to operate a golf cart or similar vehicle on designated County roads or multi-use paths.
The requirements outlined in the adopted ordinance include the following:
- A golf cart may not be operated upon a designated County road or multi-use path by a person who is under 18 years of age unless he or she possesses a valid learner’s permit or a valid driver’s license.
- A golf cart may not be operated upon a designated County road or multi-use path by a person who is 18 years of age or older unless he or she possesses a valid form of government-issued photographic identification (ID).
“Our top priority is the safety and security of our residents and visitors,” St. Johns County Sheriff Rob Hardwick said. “During the 2023 Legislative Session, the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office successfully advocated to change the state statute in regards to golf cart drivers. Because of underage golf cart drivers, we have seen an increase in accidents with serious bodily injuries. By requiring golf cart drivers under the age of 18 to possess a learner’s permit or driver’s license, we are ensuring the driver has basic knowledge of the rules of the road. We commend the Board of County Commissioners for updating the county ordinance and conforming to the State statute.”
“Public safety in St. Johns County is at the forefront of the Board’s priorities,” Board Chair and District 2 Commissioner Sarah Arnold said. “This ordinance will help us provide a safer environment for everyone. As many are aware, golf carts are a popular form of transportation in our community due to their convenience and accessibility, which is wonderful. However, we have to maintain a standard of safety for everyone – including pedestrians, the drivers of golf carts, and drivers of traditional vehicles – by ensuring golf cart drivers under the age of 18 possess a learner’s permit or driver’s license, or a government ID if over the age of 18.”
At its August 1, 2023, regular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners authorized the Office of the County Attorney to prepare a proposed amendment to Ordinance 2018-42 to conform to recent changes in State law addressing the operation of golf carts on all public roads in Florida (Section 316.212, Florida Statutes). At the Nov. 21, 2023, regular meeting, the Board of County Commissioners listened and provided feedback to a first reading of the proposed amendment to Ordinance No. 2018-42 by the Office of the County Attorney.