Island Etiquette – Golf Carts

From Secretary, Terrie Weibley:

Did you know that a direct correlation exists between improper golf cart usage and threats/actions to close roads? Golf carts are a privilege on the island, not a right. In fact, long-term owners remember a time when – shockingly – if an islander or visitor wanted to go somewhere on the island, they walked. Golf carts save time and for some, save less-than-optimal bodies from wear and tear. To maintain north-south access and avoid creating ill will, not to mention avoiding citations, here are some golf cart do’s and don’ts…


  • Travel at a slow speed of 10 mph or less. Rental carts from LGI Carts have governors that will not allow the driver to exceed this rate. Privately owned carts can usually go faster. This is unsafe. People and pets have been injured.
  • Stay on the path. No driving on yards! In fact, many sections of the path bisect homeowners’ private property. They can close the “road” off at any time, and if you drive on their yards, they have every incentive to shut the path down permanently.
  • Assume that water in the path may be deep and/or salty (or even contaminated from a septic system leak). You don’t want to go there! When there are high tides, it is common for salt water to percolate up in low areas. This is a barrier island that is barely above sea level, after all. Salt water is deadly to your cart. It may quit right then or there, or soon after. Costs for repairs are very high. Always turn around and walk to your destination or wait for a day or two, rather than chancing a deep hole.
  • Yield to walkers and service vehicles. We love our contractors and FPL.
  • Keep the volume down. This is a quiet island. We like it that way!
  • If you see children driving, take a picture and report it to Deputy Ed at 941-639-2101. If a rental cart driven by children is reported to LGI Carts, he will confiscate the cart, with no refund.
  • Assume that most east-west routes are private, and many north-south as well.


  • EVER allow children to drive your cart. This is the number one complaint. Golf carts are not baby-sitters. If your child is not 14 years old, he or she is too young to drive a golf cart. Some view the island as a resort. It’s not; it’s a series of private homes, treasured by their owners for their privacy and natural Florida beauty. Consider having them read this list of do’s and don’ts and sign it in agreement. Most visitors want to fit in, not annoy and alarm.
  • Drive in anyone’s yard. Certainly, NEVER take a detour through a backyard, on the grass, etc., when the path is filled with water. Believe it or not, adults who know better have done this. If you see this, whip out your phone and take a pic. Share it with Deputy Ed. This lack of respect for private property understandably raises the ire of homeowners.
  • Speed up over bumps or low spots as a thrill. Property owners are terrified when they see this. Remember, the path is a courtesy.
  • Ever drive where a road is marked “private,” unless you own property there or are a guest that can only access the home on that road.
  • Ever park your cart as far south as you can so that you can then walk out to the beach and access the Pass. This is trespassing. There is no right to access through anyone else’s property except as is formally deeded east and west. Every owner and guest on the island has a route of access that accompanies the property where they are staying. That is your only route.
  • Abandon a cart. Either service vehicles or property owners or both are affected. Instead, arrange to tow it or call Deric and arrange payment to have it towed at the Golf Cart Barn at 941-697-3820.
  • Drive a cart on the beach or in the dunes. That is treading on sacred ground to island residents and is against the law. It is also harmful to many creatures.  If you see a cart on the beach, please take pictures and immediately call Deputy Ed Trentacosta at 917-747-2560.