Legal Commentary. This statute provides the standards for driving motorized carts, possibly including golf carts, on streets. It does not appear that it is legal to simply drive a Motorized Cart, defined as “every motor vehicle having no less than three wheels and an unladen weight of 1,300 pounds or less and which cannot operate at more than 20 miles per hour” on a public road. However, the statue does allow the “local governing authorities” which would ostensibly include cities or counties, to promulgate ordinances authorizing golf and motorized carts to be driven on public ways. As a Georgia golf cart accident lawyer, I have handled many cases involving golf course injuries throughout Georgia, and believe it is best to only operate golf carts or motorized carts on golf carts or other designated communities. It is legal to cross a public way however. Many golf courses cross public roads. These crossings should be government approved with appropriate signage.
Golf carts and motorized carts are unprotected, and a serious accident in a golf cart can lead to catastrophic injury or wrongful death. Make sure you know the law and exercise care. We offer a free confidential consultation, to riders of electric carts or motorized carts who have been injured in an accident. To set up your free consultation, send the firm a message online or call toll-free at 866-972-5287 or in Atlanta at 770-717-5100. As an experienced vehicle accident lawyer, Charles Scholle has represented catastrophically injured people and bereaved families for nearly two decades, building a strong record of successes.
See the full text of the statute below.Section 40-6-331 Local Control of Use of Motorized Carts; Rules not Applicable to Carts Used Only on Golf Course; Crossing Roads and Highways
(a) A local governing authority may, by ordinance, designate certain public streets or portions thereof that are under its regulation and control for the combined use of motorized carts and regular vehicular traffic or the use of motorized carts and no other types of motor vehicles and establish the conditions under which motorized carts may be operated upon such streets or portions thereof, including without limitation the conditions under which a person may operate motorized carts on such designated streets or portions thereof without a driver’s license.
(b) Such ordinances may establish operating standards but shall not require motorized carts to meet any requirements of general law as to registration, inspection, or licensing; provided, however, that a local governing authority may, by ordinance, require the local registration and licensing of such carts operated within its boundaries for a fee not to exceed $15.00, the license to remain permanently with such cart unless such cart is sold or the license is destroyed. The provisions of this subsection and the authority granted by this subsection shall not apply to motorized carts owned by golf courses, country clubs, or other such organized entities which own such carts and make them available to members or the public on a rental basis, provided that such motorized carts are used only on the premises of such golf courses, country clubs, or other such organized entities.
(c) Ordinances establishing operating standards shall not be effective unless appropriate signs giving notice are posted along the public streets affected.
(d)(1) Motorized carts may cross streets and highways that are part of the state highway system only at crossings or intersections designated for that purpose by the Department of Transportation.
(2) Motorized carts may cross streets and highways that are part of a municipal street system or county road system and used by other types of motor vehicles only at crossings or intersections designated for that purpose by the local governing authority having jurisdiction over such system.
HISTORY: Ga. L. 1973, p. 598, § 2; Code 1933, § 68A-1402, enacted by Ga. L. 1974, p. 633, § 1; Ga. L. 1990, p. 1241, § 2; Ga. L. 1990, p. 2048, § 5; Ga. L. 2002, p. 506, § 6; Ga. L. 2002, p. 512, § 11; Ga. L. 2004, p. 67, § 3.