74.1 F
The Villages
Thursday, May 19, 2022

Golf cart speed, roundabout navigation remain challenges in The Villages

Blame the reason on increased vehicular traffic, or maybe the influx of snowbirds unfamiliar with The Villages’ unique “rules-of-the-road.” Or, maybe it’s due to the “graying” of drivers with diminishing eyesight, or a society that’s no longer patient or as hospitable.

Perhaps, that’s why reports in the Villages-News.com about car-vs-golf cart accidents in The Villages have become all-to-commonplace.

“There have been six fatalities involving golf carts in The Villages in the past two years,” said Sumter County Deputy Sheriff Richard Bennett, one of the presenters at the VHA’s Golf Cart Safety Clinic, Wednesday at the Savannah Recreation Center.

Deputy Sheriff Richard Bennett showcases the VHA’s display on golf cart seat belts and safety lights.

He emphasized that golf carts are not toys but motor vehicles, that must adhere to the same rules as cars.

“It’s a criminal offense for drivers to travel over a golf cart’s maximum speed limit of 20 miles per hour,” he stated. “Get caught, and they will receive a $265 fine that must be paid at the Sumter County Court.”

Much of his presentation centered on the proper way to navigate around The Villages’ roundabouts. Picturing the face of a clock, drivers entering from the “6 o’clock position” must know which is the proper lane to either make a right-hand turn, proceed straight, or continue around the circle and exit at “9 o’clock.”

Bennett’s explanation was particularly helpful to new Villa De La Mesa resident Ed Carroll.

“I just bought a golf cart and wanted to understand The Villages’ rules and safety procedures that are unfamiliar to us,” said the Ontario, Canada native. 

The morning program began with a VHA-produced, introductory video about The Villages’ roadways and multi-modal paths designed that provide access for carts throughout the community, as well as a description of insurance options, and maintenance check-lists for both gas and electric-powered vehicles.

This was followed by Sumter County Court Judge Paul Militello.

“We process some 1,300 tickets every year. Many are for drivers in The Villages who improperly traveled through the rotaries. I’m glad to see you here, or sitting on juries. Not so glad when you’re standing before me at the bench,” he cautioned. 

Golf cart safety program presenters were Kasey Welch, an advisor with The Villages Insurance, Lt. Robert Siemer, of the Sumter County Sheriff’s Office, Judge Paul Militello; and VHA President Fred Briggs, from left.

Differences between low-speed vehicles and golf carts were highlighted throughout the program. The former are Street Legal and require a licensed driver, registration and insurance. Carts can be driven by anyone over the age of 14, but are not permitted on roads with speed limits above 35 mph. 

The VHA conducts safety clinics throughout the year as well as Wednesday’s special presentation held annually at Savannah Center. Their clinics feature the services of American sign-language interpreters. 

“The VHA, now referred to as the Villages Homeowners Advocacy group, sponsors several public service programs throughout the year,” said Fred Briggs, VHA president.  Additional guidance about golf cart safety and navigating though rotaries along with information about upcoming events are available at the VHA website, thevha.net

More Headlines
Stories in and around The Villages, Florida

Headlines
The Villages, Florida

Letters to the Editor
Opinions submitted by residents in and around The Villages

Civility and respect for one another

A Village of Dunedin resident, in a Letter to the Editor, makes the case we should all be civil and respectful to each other. He cites an incident that took place during softball.

Can we save Spanish Springs?

A Village of Del Mar resident offers his thoughts about saving Spanish Springs. Read his Letter to the Editor.

All Christians should put little white crosses in their yards

A resident contends that all Christians should put little white crosses in their yards in The Villages. Read her Letter to the Editor.

Purveyors of hate contributed to Buffalo shooting rampage

In a Letter to the Editor, a Village of Belle Aire resident contends there were more people than the gunman involved in the deadly weekend attack in Buffalo, N.Y.

I try to stay off Morse Boulevard north of County Road 466

A Village of Glenbrook resident says he tries to stay off Morse Boulevard north of County Road 466. Read his Letter to the Editor.

Photos
The Villages, Florida