Watch where you ride in your golf cart – Pinellas County deputies are writing citations in the downtown Palm Harbor historic district.
That’s renewing a call to make the electric vehicles legal in the area.
Drive around Ozona in north Pinellas County and you’ll likely see people tooling around on their golf carts.
The area is zoned “golf cart friendly,” meaning with few restrictions, you’re good to go.
But cross Alt-19 and you risk an expensive ticket.
“It just started happening. People got away for years with driving their golf cart around without a tag on it. All of the sudden, they started enforcing it,” said Scott Endicott of Capital Golf Carts in Palm Harbor.
He said to ride legally on the streets, you need a long list of equipment.
“Headlights, brake lights, turn signals, horn” said Endicott.
You also need a lighted plate and a special windshield, plus wipers. It adds $1,200 to $1,500 to the cost of the golf cart.
Endicott would like to see the regulations change.
“With this being all 25 mph around here, I think it should be a golf cart friendly community. There’s no reason why not,” he said.
There is a push to make Palm Harbor like Ozona, Dunedin, Crystal Beach, New Port Richey and Oldsmar.
For now, you must park it and walk.
“I think it is kind of dangerous crossing Alt-19 on a golf cart. A lot of times we will park at some of the end of the streets and then cross over,” said golf cart owner Troy Jones.
We spotted several golf carts on the Ozona side of Alt-19.
Perhaps word is getting out about the expensive tickets and the points on your license.
“A lot of residents will go, just drive ’em across, but I have two kids. We kind of park on this side and we take the crosswalk,” said golf cart owner Michael Doran.
Pinellas County Commissioner Dave Eggers is pushing to make the downtown Palm Harbor area “golf cart friendly.”
If it ever does happen, FDOT will have to approve a safe crossing area, like they did in Dunedin.