Golf cart restrictions tightened in Holmes Beach

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Golf carts, such as the one pictured, soon will be required to have seat belts and car seat capabilities and cannot operate in Holmes Beach on roads with speed limits above 25 mph. Islander Photo: ChrisAnn Silver Esformes

Unsafe golf carts on Holmes Beach main roads soon will be a thing of the past.

Holmes Beach commissioners voted Feb. 26 to approve the first reading of an amended ordinance requiring seat belts and age-appropriate child restraint devices — such as car seats — for golf carts.

Additionally, golf carts will be prohibited on roads with a speed limit higher than 25 mph, including East Bay, Gulf, Marina and Palm drives and Manatee Avenue.

Currently, golf carts are not permitted on city streets with speed limits of 35 mph or higher and must be operated by a licensed driver.

There are no proposed changes for low-speed vehicles, which also only can be driven by a licensed driver and can go faster than golf carts. LSVs must be titled, registered and insured.

The speed limit requirement remains the same as the current ordinance, but the wording of the proposed ordinance removed specific streets names.

Previously, Police Chief Bill Tokajer recommended the wording change that golf carts be restricted from roadways with a 35-mph or higher speed limit, but at the Feb. 26 meeting, Commissioner Rick Hurst suggested changing it to “anything above 25 mph.” He said changing the verbiage now would prevent having to amend the ordinance if speed limits are reduced to 30 mph on roads with a 35-mph speed limit.

Tokajer and other commissioners agreed to the wording change.

According to the ordinance, neither golf carts nor LSVs are allowed on beach accesses, boardwalks, bike lanes or multiuse paths.

“Those are things that are law now, but we’re just making it clearer to people that you cannot be on those areas,” Tokajer said.

Commissioner Carol Soustek said the wording includes prohibition on “other city-owned property,” which to her implied golf carts would be off-limits at city hall.

Tokajer said the clause was meant to include recreational areas, such as parks, and suggested the city attorney make the language more specific before the final reading and vote, set for the next commission meeting.

The next city commission meeting will be at 6 p.m. Tuesday, March 12, at city hall, 5801 Marina Drive, with a work session to follow.

16 thoughts on “Golf cart restrictions tightened in Holmes Beach

  1. Tricia

    How can a person tell the difference between a golf cart and a low-speed vehicle? Can an LSV go on the restricted roads?

    1. Bonner Joy

      LSVs are titled, registered, insured vehicles. Unlike golf carts, they have a tag, and safety features, including lights, seat belts and wipers, and the driver must be licensed. LSVs travel at higher speeds than golf carts and are not restricted to “low” speed streets.

  2. Diana

    Well that’s it then. Without being able to drive on East Bay, Gulf, Marina and Palm drives and Manatee Avenue there’s no way to get around the island. No point in renting a golf cart. Darn! I really enjoyed that the last time I was there. 🙁

  3. Dutch

    OK….I know all about the safety issue. How many accidents have occurred involving a golf carts? How many kids have fallen out of tha golf cart and gotten hurt? I’ve NEVER seen those stories reported in the Islander.How about comparing those numbers of golf cart “accidents” to the drunk drivers arrested or accidents involving drunk drivers on a weekly bases? Again, The City of Holmes Beach is reaching far into the private lives of residents & tourists. And don’t get me started on the new regulations the City has enacted to limit the number of people allowed in your vacation home…..a government agency is telling you how many people are allow in your home…..think about THAT…….STUPID.

    1. Carl Trygg

      Trolley, Monkey Bus, Uber, Lyft, Taxi, Bicycles, Skateboards, walking, or simply drive your own car. There are several options to choose from when it comes to getting around the island. People that drive golf carts in areas where their vehicles aren’t capable of reaching the posted speed limit because they are under-powered disrupt the flow of traffic and hinder others from getting to where they need to go in a timely manner. You can enjoy your golf cart. Just stay ofthe major roads.

  4. Courtney

    Bonner has spoken. That’s it then. Newspaper Owner , Editor and commentator.
    If a car hits a golf cart or LSV then a seat belt will be the least of your problems.. You would probably be safer without one so you can jump or be thrown out of the way.
    What’s next ? 10 mile an hour speed limits ? No cars at all ? What about a hand rail on the new City Pier ? Mandatory life vests on boats ? Seat belts on boats even ?
    Ban alcohol ? Ban Eating Fried food ?
    You cannot regulate all dangers out of life but you can ruin a once very laid back and enjoyable piece of paradise.
    Spend more time controlling the ruination of the Island by developers and the influx of weekly renters and at this time of year Spring Breakers.( Yes they are here.)
    No Bonner I am not a full time resident as you constantly point out but can see the Island deteriorating rapidly after owning property for 12 years.

    1. Dutch

      You got it Courtney…you id’d the trend…..City of HB wants to control EVERYTHING they can get away with. That’s why I’ve decided to sell our place on the island (yes, I’ve been here for 40+ years) and move somewhere that the City doesn’t control my life…..good luck Holmes Beach……See ya

  5. Maggie

    EXACTLY! we park our car and rent a golf cart and barley get back in the car till we are ready to leave town…this is going to really change things..

    1. Mary

      We have been supporting the island’s economy every year
      with home rentals, golf cart rentals, boat rentals, etc. But if this passes, we will be canceling our golf cart rentals and maybe even our home rental now. It just won’t be the same without golf carts. I think this is going to hurt rental business and vacation rental owners. Bad idea.

  6. Maggie

    Well that will totally kill ppl. renting golf carts…. Gulf Drive??? really? I get the seat belts. car seats but why rent one if you can’t tool around the Island??? Wow just WOW

  7. Dutch

    And yet another example of the City of Holmes Beach making sure tourist have less fun on the island….unbelievable.

    1. Bonner Joy

      For those of us who live here year-round and experience island traffic more often than the weekly visitor, it’s a nightmare waiting to happen. I often see golf carts and LSVs transporting parents holding kids, facing the rear on the back seat and no one is secured, or kids alone hanging out of the seats, and one bump in the road or a quick rear-end collision has the potential to turn a vacation to a nightmare. Sometimes it’s a 14-or-so-year-old kid driving other kids, beach toys and a clear lack of attention or knowledge of the road. Those are just two examples of abuse of golf cart travel. Didn’t we learn, SAFETY FIRST?! — Bonner Joy


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