Inquiries from residents on whether or not golf carts are legal to drive on streets have prompted a response from local police.
The answer its: It depends.
The city doesn’t have an ordinance that regulates the use of golf carts at all, but they are governed by state law, Friendswood Police explained in a recent statement.
Where state law forbids golf carts depends on where and by whom they are being operated.
According to Section 551.403 of the Transportation Code, they are perfectly legal within master-planned communities and within gated communities (where streets are considered private), on a public or private beach – or even on a roadway as long as the posted speed limit isn’t more than 35 mph.
This is as long as they are operated only during the day and not more than 2 miles from where the cart is parked.
While golf carts operated inside a “master-planned community” do not need to be registered, Friendswood PD advises checking with the homeowner’s association or Community Development to make sure that a subdivision is considered a “master-planned community.”
State law includes other restrictions, as well. Golf cart operators must be over 18 and hold a valid driver’s license to enter a roadway.
It should also be noted, Friendswood PD adds, that ATVs or UTVs — such as a Kawasaki Mule or Polaris Ranger — don’t qualify as golf carts, and are prohibited from roadways.