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News Story
Updated: 01/24/2013 07:59:34AM

Illegal operation of certain vehicles

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Bartow Police Chief Joseph Hall

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Statutory regulations are our way of living in a civil and safe society. They are, in part, designed to protect everyone. They are guidelines for every citizen to follow, especially when operating on the roadways. Obviously, not everyone follows the rules hence the saying, “Drive defensively.” If you violate the rules, you may find yourself being stopped by a police officer and maybe even receiving a traffic citation. Laws, or statutes as I refer to them, are also supposed to be designed so that the average citizen can understand — so we can follow the rules.

In Bartow, we routinely receive complaints about vehicles operating on the roadways that are not supposed to be there. Typically speaking, golf carts and all-terrain vehicles are not allowed by law to be operated on roadways. There are some exceptions, but they are few and far between. In Bartow, the City has authorized “governmental only” golf carts in the downtown area. This would be one exception to the rule.

For the rest of us, the simplest rules to follow are these; in order to operate on the roadway, your vehicle must be equipped with the safety gear required by cars, must be registered by DHSMV and you must have a driver’s license. A “street or highway” is defined as the entire width of the right-of-way, not just the paved portion. This includes other places that the public has implied consent to travel-parking areas in a shopping center as one example. If the vehicle you are operating is motorized, make sure you know where it is legal to operate.

If you have questions or concerns about particular statutes, please contact us at 863-534-5034 or your local law enforcement agency.