May 23—With summer fast approaching and residents bringing out their golf carts, the Aiken police want to make sure everyone knows how to operate them safely and lawfully.
The Aiken Department of Public Safety gets lots of questions from the public on how to properly operate the carts, and police want to ensure everyone has the correct information, said Lt. Jennifer Hayes with Aiken Public Safety.
Golf carts must be registered and have a permit decal from the S.C. Department of Motor Vehicles, while also having liability insurance. This permit must be replaced every five years or if the owner's primary address changes.
The vehicles can only be driven during daytime hours.
Golf carts can only be driven by a properly licensed driver, who is at least 16 years of age. While operating the vehicle, the driver must have the cart's registration, proof of insurance and the driver's license on their person.
The golf cart can only be operated within 4 miles of the address on the registration certificate or within 4 miles from the point of entry from a gated community, such as Woodside.
The carts can only be driven on secondary streets with a speed limit of 35 mph or less. This does not include stretches such as Whiskey Road (SC-19), because it is an S.C. primary highway, or Richland Avenue (US1/78) because it is a U.S. highway.
However, golf carts may cross over a highway, even if the speed limit is over 35 mph, but cannot be driven on it.
"With summer coming, it's important that everyone stay safe and only drive their golf carts on appropriate roadways," Hayes said.