Michigan residents who own an ATV or golf cart may ask: are they ever legally allowed to run on the streets? Before delving into the legality of taking a golf cart or ATV out on the streets, it is best to define what sets them apart from other vehicles.
What are ATVs, UTVs, and Golf Carts?
The ATV Safety Institute defines an ATV or an all-terrain vehicle as a motorized vehicle designed for off-highway use and to operate on four low-pressure non-pneumatic tires. It has handlebars for steering, and its seat is designed to be straddled by the driver. It can only accommodate one passenger.
A UTV or a utility terrain vehicle is also known as a side-by-side and can ride two passengers. It is larger than an ATV and is designed for towing and brawnier hauling.
A golf cart is commonly used in resort-style communities for transportation. The National Golf Cart Association refers to golf carts as low-speed vehicles or LSVs. An LSV can be a two-person cart or may carry six to eight passengers.
Can You Drive a Golf Cart, ATV, or UTV on Michigan Streets?
Now the question is, is it legal to drive one’s golf cart, ATV, or UTV on the streets of Michigan? The answer depends on the street in question. For instance, golf carts are not allowed to be used on interstates. Golf carts cannot simply reach the minimum speed limit on interstates, which is 40 mph. They will be road hazards that will bring serious headaches to other motorists.
On some Michigan roads, under certain circumstances and conditions, it is legal to drive a golf cart. In smaller communities with a population of not more than 30,000, golf carts are allowed to be operated on some of their streets. These streets have a speed limit of 30 mph or less. These communities should maintain a list of golf cart operators in their jurisdiction. The guidelines that dictate the operation of golf carts on streets are outlined in the Michigan Municipal League. It also contains the conditions that allow the operation of ATVs on the streets, such as traveling at a maximum speed of 25 mph.
A golf cart operator must meet the following requirements:
- Must be at least 16 years old
- Must have a valid driver’s license
- Must ride the golf cart as far to the right side as possible
- Must obey signal requirements
The golf carts should not be used on sidewalks. They must travel at a maximum speed of 15 mph, and they must not pass between traffic lines.
An ATV driver must be at least 18 years old and must have a valid driver’s license. The driver must also wear eye protection and a helmet.
Requirements For a Street Legal LSV in Michigan
There are different types of LSVs, but this part will particularly focus on golf carts. The Michigan Vehicle Code states that for a golf cart to be street legal, it must have the following:
- A minimum of two headlamps
- A minimum of one tail lamp
- A minimum of one stop lamp
- A minimum of one red reflector on each side of the cart
- A minimum of one red reflector on the rear of the golf cart
- One exterior mirror on the driver’s side
- Must have either one exterior mirror on the passenger side or one interior mirror
- Brakes and a parking brake
- A horn
- Safety belts
- The manufacturer’s identification number in the golf cart’s frame
It is also best to ensure the golf cart meets these specifications before taking them on the streets of Michigan.
Is Insurance Required When Driving an Off-Road Vehicle?
Insurance liability insurance is a requirement when operating off-road vehicles on Michigan streets. No-fault insurance policies are not applicable to golf carts involved in accidents unless the other vehicle involved is covered by such policy.
What Are The Rules That Golf Cart and Off-Road Vehicle Drivers Should Know?
The first thing drivers of golf carts and ATVs should know are the maximum speed limits. Golf carts should not run beyond 15 mph, while ATVs and UTVs should not run faster than 25 mph. In addition, golf carts should never be driven on roads with a minimum speed limit of 30 mph.
Driving golf carts, ATVs, and UTVs under the influence of alcohol and drugs is prohibited and has harsh penalties.
Call The Clark Law Office When You Get Injured in a Golf Cart, ATV, or UTV Accident
Accidents involving off-road vehicles may get complicated, and you will need the help of an experienced Michigan personal injury lawyer to help you. A well-versed personal injury lawyer will assist you in getting compensation for your losses and help you assess your benefits and coverage. Call The Clark Law Office at +1 (517) 347-6900, and let us discuss how we can help you.