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Know the many rules for driving golf carts on isle - The Galveston County Daily News: Guest Columns

October 28, 2016

Guest column Know the many rules for driving golf carts on isle

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Posted: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 12:00 am

As the weather warms and summer approaches, the city of Galveston would like to remind residents and visitors about the use of golf carts.

Per city ordinance, only licensed drivers may drive a golf cart on Galveston Island.

Golf carts can be operated on public roadways within the city that have a posted speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less, have no more than two lanes of vehicular traffic per direction and are not designated as part of the state or federal highway system.

Golf carts are not permitted on public streets where the posted speed limit exceeds 35 miles per hour, on Avenue O between 53rd and 15th streets, and Avenue P between 19th and 53rd streets and on roadways designated as part of the state highway system, including the Pelican Island Bridge.

Golf carts cannot be driven on sidewalks and are prohibited from pulling trailers, boats and other objects or people on public streets.  

Golf carts are limited to the seating capacity as designed by the manufacturer. All drivers and passengers must be seated during operation of a golf cart. All occupants younger than 7 must be restrained by either an adult or by a seat belt. If a golf cart is operated at 103rd Street and east, all drivers and passengers must use a seat belt. 

You may not drive golf carts on non-vehicular beaches.

Vehicular access on Galveston Island beaches is regulated through the Texas Open Beaches Act and Galveston’s Beach Access Plan. Golf carts are defined by the Texas Transportation Code as motor vehicles and therefore can operate only on beaches that allow motor vehicles.

Operating a golf cart on pedestrian, non-vehicular beaches is limited to handicapped individuals with clearly displayed placards. To obtain a handicapped placard, contact the Galveston County Tax Office, 409-766-2284.  

Golf cart registration permits may be obtained from the Galveston Police Department, 601 54th St., between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. You may also download the registration form at www.cityofgalveston.org.

Each registered golf cart will be issued a registration permit decal, good for one year from the date of registration, or such time as revoked, or the golf cart is transferred to a new owner. Carts registered 103rd Street and east will be issued a green decal; carts registered west of 103rd Street will be issued a red decal.  

To be eligible for a registration permit, all golf carts must be equipped with operational headlamps, taillamps, side reflectors, parking brake, rearview mirrors and a slow moving vehicle sign having a reflective surface designed to be clearly visible in daylight or at night at a distance of at least 500 feet.

Golf carts registered 103rd Street and east are required to install the following additional safety equipment: turn signals, horn, brake lights and seat belts.

Remember, the Texas Transportation Code defines a golf cart as a motor vehicle so the open container and driving while intoxicated rules apply and are punishable by law. 

Questions about golf cart permits may be directed to Lt. Michael Gray at 409-765-3659 or MGray@cityofgalveston.org. The city wishes residents and visitors a safe, fun-filled summer on Galveston Island.