Sheriff’s Office has plans for signs displaying low-speed vehicle rules

By DOTTY NIST

To promote safety with use of low-speed vehicles (LSVs) in the CR-30A area, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office (WCSO) has plans to obtain signs to be installed along these roadways detailing rules for use of these vehicles.

Corey Dobridnia, public information officer for the sheriff’s office, said the WCSO has faced a challenge enforcing laws related to these vehicles in recent years. She said the WCSO has reached out to all local companies renting out LSVs and has provided stickers displaying rules for the vehicles to be placed on the vehicles. “We got 100-percent compliance,” she reported.

The road signs are another step in this effort by the WCSO. Plans are for the signs to be purchased by the sheriff’s office, and the WCSO is requesting the assistance of Walton County Public Works for installation of the signs along CR-30A and its connector roads.

Low-speed vehicles are allowed by state law on roads with posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, resulting in these vehicles being allowed the CR-30A and its connector roads but not on U.S. 98 (although they are allowed to cross the highway).

Rules displayed on the proposed signs state that a driver’s license is required to operate the vehicle and that all passengers must be restrained. The rules continue, “Drive sober, no open containers,” “No texting,” “No parking on streets/pathways,” and “No driving on utility path” (bicycle-pedestrian path). “IT’S THE LAW,” the signs conclude.

Florida Statutes Section 320.01 defines a low-speed vehicle as “any four-wheeled vehicle whose top speed is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour, including, but not limited to, neighborhood electric vehicles.”

Dobridnia commented that the fact that the LSVs are slower than other vehicles can cause an issue with other vehicles getting backed up behind LSVs on the road. She said that etiquette associated with use of LSVs is for the LSV to pull over and let the other vehicles pass when this happens.

By state law, in order to be operated on the road, a low-speed vehicle must be equipped with head lights, stop lights, signal lights, tail lights, reflex reflectors, parking brakes, rear view mirror, windshield, seat belts, and vehicle identification number. It must also be registered and insured.

While somewhat similar in appearance, golf carts do not meet the LSV definition or standards and are not considered street legal. Florida Statute defines a golf cart as: “a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 miles per hour.” Dobridnia said golf carts are not allowed on CR-30A or its connector roads.

As of press time, the proposed signs for LSVs and sign installation were to be considered for approval by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) at its 9 a.m. Nov. 24 regular meeting at the Walton County Courthouse.