Resident Defends Golf Cart Sidewalk Ride

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On Monday we posted a video from one of our followers of a golf cart riding on the sidewalk on Fort Myers Beach, something that happens on a regular basis. The person driving the cart saw the post and defended the ride. Here’s what she said…

Carissa Crebs saw the post on our Facebook page and took responsibility. Here’s what she had to say. “You want to keep the beach small town life right? That’s me, picking up my daughter from Bay Oaks. We drive everyday on the cart to pick her up, Red Coconut to Bay Road. We live down the street. Our golf cart is completely legal to drive on the road. We ride the sidewalk for 50 feet to go 10 mph, to enjoy life. We pull over when/if there are pedestrians or bikes. We ride bikes to and from work everyday. It doesn’t go fast enough to require plates. But is still legal to ride on the road. We do it for courtesy of people driving, and for safety. I pedal faster than it can go. I can’t even understand that this is an issue.”

It’s an issue because section 28-83 of the town of Fort Myers Beach code prohibits “any vehicle other than by human power upon any public sidewalk.”

While Carissa may be a very responsible golf cart driver, looking out for pedestrians and pulling over when needed, we have also seen videos of others who are not. Where do you draw the line? How can you tell who’s the responsible driver and who is not?

These things have always come down to enforcement. Who’s going to enforce the town’s rules and regulations. Estero Boulevard, and the new sidewalks on the Boulevard, are owned by Lee County. That would put enforcement in the hands of the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. LCSO has told the town’s Public Safety Committee and Town Council on more than one occasion they are not going to write tickets, they take more of an educational approach.

Several elected officials and public safety committee members have been calling for tickets to be written so it feels like the town’s rules have a little bit of bite. Right now, many of the rules are nothing more than words on paper. Code Enforcement has no authority to issue any violations on county property.

There are some who believe that if the town council would have approved Community Policing in its budget last year these types of infractions would get more attention. Community Policing was rejected by a 3-2 vote by the current council with Dan Allers and Jim Atterholt voting in favor. Three out of the four candidates running for town council this November have said they are for Community Policing; John King, Patrick Romcoe and Karen Woodson.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Here is what the state of Florida Statute 316.212 states about the ability to drive a golf card on the sidewalk in Florida.
    http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0300-0399/0316/Sections/0316.212.html

    (b) Golf cart operation on sidewalks adjacent to specific segments of municipal streets, county roads, or state highways within the jurisdictional territory of the local governmental entity if:
    1. The local governmental entity determines, after considering the condition and current use of the sidewalks, the character of the surrounding community, and the locations of authorized golf cart crossings, that golf carts, bicycles, and pedestrians may safely share the sidewalk;
    2. The local governmental entity consults with the Department of Transportation before adopting the ordinance;
    3. The ordinance restricts golf carts to a maximum speed of 15 miles per hour and permits such use on sidewalks adjacent to state highways only if the sidewalks are at least 8 feet wide;
    4. The ordinance requires the golf carts to meet the equipment requirements in subsection (6). However, the ordinance may require additional equipment, including horns or other warning devices required by s. 316.271; and
    5. The local governmental entity posts appropriate signs or otherwise informs residents that the ordinance exists and applies to such sidewalks.

    I believe like the popularity of e-bikes we are going to see more and more golf carts on FMB, with monkey see ~ monkey do, golf carts on our sidewalks has become an issue that needs to be addressed by or town council per out State statute.

  2. One hundred plus City employees. Not one police officer among them? It just doesn’t make sense. Write all the regulations you want , but without enforcement, they will have little impact on the chaos. Many communities have switched to the public safety officer model. They crosstrain firemen & police officersso each can do both jobs.

  3. As someone who bikes the sidewalks often I believe we have enough to maneuver without adding golf carts.
    Walkers, electric bikes, skate boarders and the cars pulling out from side streets is enough to be watching out for. Please keep golf carts on the road and off the sidewalks!

  4. Her golf cart is not only not allowed on the sidewalk… it wouldn’t be allowed on the street either, without registration and tags. Come on.

  5. I was hit on my bike a few years back. While riding on the sidewalk, I was hit by someone pulling out of their drive. I received a citation because I was at fault….for riding my bike on a “safety path”, not a bike path. Just sayin’….

  6. Lots of excuses. The long and the short of it, she is trying to defend her reason for breaking the rule. Rule is being broken – now it is up to the authorities to deal with any offenders.

  7. I don’t think “small town life “ can be used as an excuse or reason. It’s illegal. If it is not that far, how about walking the sidewalk?

  8. Another problem I’ve seen a lot of since Estero construction finished is cars using the center turn lane for passing or landscaping or other businesses using the center turn lane for parking their vehicles. Law enforcement needs to stop this behavior.

  9. Street legal but no plates or registration? Doesn’t make sense. How about insurance? Stay off the sidewalk with a golf cart please.

  10. I am no anally retentive stickler for following every single rule and law but some things are just not right. Like driving golf carts and motorcycles on sidewalks and bike lanes.

  11. Either it’s street legal or it’s not. If it’s street legal it is titled and registered just like a car and requires a plate and other safety features. Based on our town code, it’s not allowed on the sidewalk period.

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