"FORE!" What you need to know about Georgia's new golf cart law
Posted on Feb 7, 2014 7:17am PST
Earlier this year, Gov. Deal enacted a new law passed by the Georgia Legislature
that changes the rules for golf carts on our state’s roads. While
the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office sent out an announcement advising
residents of the new law, many residents may be wondering why the law
was changed and how it will affect them.
WHAT IS GEORGIA’S NEW GOLF CART LAWS?
Prior to July 2013, golf carts were only allowed on roads and crosswalks
with appropriate signage that was authorized by the Department of Transportation.
Under that law, very few roads had this type of signage, with the exception
of golf courses and golf course communities. Rarely, if ever, did crosswalks
have signage indicating a golf cart crossing.
Passed this session,
House Bill (HB) 384
– which amends O.C.G.A. § 40-6-331 – clarifies the existing
law. It takes authority away from the
Department of Transportation
and, instead, allows for local government to make the determination as
to what roads golf carts should and should not be allowed to drive on.
For obvious reasons, local government is more likely to be able to make
an informed decision about what subdivisions are golf cart friendly, and
what roads should be deemed golf cart permissible. The new law requires
Georgia counties, including
City of Cumming), to post 24 x 30 inch signs, paid for by taxpayers, advising golf carts
are able to be used on a particular road or crosswalk.
WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR VIOLATING GEORGIA’S GOLF CART LAWS?
If someone is stopped for using a golf cart on an undesignated road or
crosswalk, the maximum punishment, which remains unchanged, is a misdemeanor
offense, punishable by a maximum of 12 months in jail and a $1000 fine.
This punishment seems to indicate that law enforcement and the court system
will be aggressive in enforcing this law.