Mayor of Ocala stresses safety in possible adoption of golf cart ordinance

Ocala Mayor Kent Guinn

The Mayor of Ocala stressed safety while addressing the possibility of the city adopting an ordinance permitting golf cart traffic during Tuesday’s meeting of the Ocala City Council.

Mayor Kent Guinn, who won reelection earlier this fall, made the comments after a reading to introduce the ordinance was tabled until the next city council meeting. Guinn indicated that he wasn’t previously aware of the lengthy list of statutes that govern golf cart traffic, and thought the city should take the appropriate steps to ensure complete safety

“One of the things I’ve always said is that I want everyone to be safe. Whatever we do or however that ordinance ends up looking, my primary concern is that people know what they’re doing and aren’t careless,” said Guinn.

He reiterated the age restriction of 16 over 14 and emphasized that only residents “that are of age and know how to drive” golf carts should be in operation of the vehicles throughout the city.

The ordinance, which seeks to amend Chapter 66 – Traffic and Vehicles, would authorize and regulate golf cart operations on designated city streets. his past summer, council members had a workshop to discuss the details of the golf cart ordinance.

The current map shows that golf cart traffic would potentially be restricted by major thoroughfares on every side: Silver Springs Blvd to the north, NE 25th Avenue to the east,  Pine Avenue to the west, and SE 17th Street to the south. Additionally, carts would be restricted from driving on SE 3rd Avenue and SE 22nd Avenue, as well as a collection of streets along South Magnolia Avenue.

Golf Cart Map, October 2019
This map shows the potential streets that would permit golf cart traffic according to proposed Ocala Ordinance 2020-3

Many cities and towns across the state of Florida have regulated golf cart traffic within certain geographical areas, including Crystal River, Ocoee, and Winter Garden, where golf carts are allowed to operate from sunrise to sunset and vice versa. In those cities, carts are restricted to roadways with posted speed limits of 25 mph or less.

The next meeting of the Ocala City Council is Tuesday, November 5, at 5:00 p.m. in the Council Chambers (110 SE Watula Avenue).

Do you want to review Ocala’s golf cart ordinance? Read a current copy of Golf Cart Ordinance 2020-3.