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A Note about Golf Carts from FPD

Golf Carts

Over the past several weeks, the Police Department has had several inquiries about the operation of golf carts on public roadways.  The City of Friendswood DOES NOT have an ordinance regulating the use of golf carts; therefore, golf carts are regulated only by State law.

According to Section 502.001 of the Texas Transportation Code, a “golf cart” means a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer primarily for transporting persons on a golf course.  It does not include ATVs or UTVs. 

Explanation:  A Kawasaki Mule and a Polaris Ranger are not golf carts and are prohibited from operation on a public roadway.

Section 551.403 of the Texas Transportation Code, states:  An operator may operate a golf cart in a master planned community that has in place a uniform set of restrictive covenants and for which a county or municipality has approved a plat; on a public or private beach; or on a public highway for which the posted speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour, if the golf cart is operated during the daytime and not more than two miles from the location where the golf cart is usually parked and for transportation to or from a golf course.

Explanation:  Golf carts operated inside a “master-planned community” do not need to be registered. You must check with your homeowner’s association or the City’s Community Development Department to make sure that your subdivision is considered a “master-planned community.”

Section 521.021, states a person may not operate a motor vehicle on a highway in this state unless the person holds a driver’s license.

Section 521.458, states that a person may not knowingly permit or cause the person’s child or ward who is under 18 years of age to operate a motor vehicle on a highway and a person may not authorize or knowingly permit a motor vehicle owned by or under the control of the person to be operated on a highway by any person who does not have a valid driver’s license.

Explanation:  Children are not permitted to drive golf carts.  Only people with a valid driver’s license may operate a golf cart on a public roadway.

Also, if you live in a private, gated community, the roadways in your neighborhood are not public.  Therefore, golf carts may be operated within the gated community.


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