Pennsylvania Golf Cart Laws
August 15, 2023 | Pennsylvania Law
You have probably noticed that driving golf carts on public roads has become more common in Pennsylvania. Many towns have enacted laws to allow residents to operate golf carts on local streets.
Pennsylvania law provides that golf carts may be legally operated on public low-speed roads for a mile or less. Of course, you must also abide by all state traffic laws while driving a golf cart. Additionally, there are some significant restrictions you should be aware of before heading down the Pennsylvania highway.
Golf Carts and Low-Speed Vehicles
Even though golf carts and low-speed vehicles (LSVs) share similarities, there are critical differences between these two carts. There are also differences in the way these two vehicles are regulated.
While golf carts usually do not exceed 20 miles per hour, LSVs may reach 25 to 30 miles per hour. In addition, LSVs are usually outfitted with more features and equipment, such as mirrors, seat belts, windshields, and turn signals. Moreover, LSVs must be street-legal to be driven on public roads.
Restrictions on Golf Carts in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania, Senate Bill 785 legalized driving a golf cart up to one mile on the highway. It is even legal for the golf cart to cross a highway when not used during golf games. However, driving a golf cart on the road is still illegal in Pennsylvania after dark.
Pennsylvania state law makes it legal for anyone over 12 to operate a golf cart on a public road. You do not need a driver’s license or proof of insurance when driving a golf cart. But you must be at least 16 to cross a highway on a golf cart without adult supervision.
Additionally, if your child gets into an accident while driving a golf cart, you can be legally liable for any damages caused.
Of course, it is illegal to consume alcohol while driving any vehicle, even a golf cart, on a public road. You can be arrested for driving under the influence if you are found driving a golf cart while drinking alcohol.
Restrictions on Low-Speed Vehicles in Pennsylvania
You can only drive an LSV in areas where the speed limit is at most 25 miles per hour. And even if your LSV can go faster than 25 mph, you must abide by the same speed limit as other vehicles. Because LSVs are street-legal and have equipment such as headlights, brake lights, and turn signals, they can be driven legally even at night in Pennsylvania.
Unlike golf carts, you must be at least 16 to drive an LSV in Pennsylvania. In addition, you must have a valid driver’s license, proof of registration, and insurance for the LSV.
You could be charged with child endangerment if you allow your underage child to drive an LSV on a public road. And if your child has an accident while driving an LSV, you can be liable for damages.
As with any vehicle, it is illegal to operate an LSV while consuming alcohol. If caught drinking and driving an LSV, you can be arrested and charged with a DUI, just as if operating a car or truck.
Registering Your Low-Speed Vehicle in Pennsylvania
To legally drive your LSV on the road in Pennsylvania, you must register it with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
You will need to go in person and take the following information:
- A completed Pennsylvania DMV registration form
- Your valid driver’s license
- The manufacturer’s certificate showing the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
- Proof of insurance
- Certification from the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards
Unlike LSVs, you are not required to register a golf cart before driving it in Pennsylvania.
A Pennsylvania Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You With a Golf Cart Accident Claim
Driving golf carts and low-speed vehicles on public roads has become common in many areas of Pennsylvania. The increased use of these vehicles on Pennsylvania roads means golf cart and LSV accidents are more common, but not all attorneys are experienced in representing victims of these accidents.
Injuries from a golf cart or LSV accident can be devastating. Your Pennsylvania personal injury attorney must understand the unique considerations of LSV and golf cart accident claims.
Should you be involved in a golf cart accident in Pennsylvania, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to help you understand your options and how to protect yourself best.
Contact a Pennsylvania Personal Injury Lawyer
If you suffered a personal injury accident in Pennsylvania, consider seeking the services of a lawyer if you believe the accident may have been someone else’s fault. The more serious your injuries are, the more you are likely to need a lawyer. Most personal injury lawyers will charge you nothing unless they win your case.
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