Traffic & Safety – Golf Carts or Neighborhood Electric Vehicles

Golf Carts or Neighborhood Electric Vehicles: This year has seen a marked increase in the number of these “golf carts” traveling about our neighborhood. Note: Virtually everyone in the Niguel Shores community operates what is technically a NEV (Neighborhood Electric Vehicle) which is not a golf cart. The law pertaining to driving a golf cart is far more restrictive.

Unfortunately, with the sudden increase of NEVs on our roads this summer, there was a significant increase in the number of obviously underage and unlicensed drivers of these vehicles.  Our security personnel contacted quite a few of these unlicensed drivers and cautioned them that our rules require that they must have a driver’s license to operate a NEV in our community. Almost all of them were cooperative and returned home without further incident. There were a few exception and they were dealt with administratively.

It became apparent that more than a few folks controlling NEVs are unfamiliar with some of the unique laws and rules pertaining to driving them.  Here are a few bullet points that will hopefully clear any doubts.

*In our community both the vehicle code and our Rules and Regulations control and restrict the use of vehicles.

*Both the vehicle code and our Rules and Regulations require that the operator of a NEV have a valid driver’s license.

*The driver of a NEV must be insured.

*All NEVs operating in our community must be registered in our office.

*An unlicensed operator of a NEV is normally not covered by your insurance policy.

*Should law enforcement personnel stop an unlicensed driver operating a NEV in our community, the driver is subject to receiving a citation as well as having the NEV impounded for a period of 30 days (22651 {P} Cal. V.C.).

* An underage unlicensed driver could have his/her privilege of earning a driver’s license at age 16 delayed for months and even years. Yes, Juvenile Traffic Court can be tough.

– Tim Murphy

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