WSCO: Reminding drivers of low speed vehicle laws

Walton Low Speed Vehicle Safety
Published: Nov. 25, 2022 at 7:52 PM CST
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WALTON COUNTY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Where there are beaches, there are typically low-speed vehicles.

Low-speed vehicles, also known as LSVs, are vehicles that are registered with a tag, and meet basic requirements such as headlights and seatbelts; they have an average top speed of 25 miles per hour.

The Walton County Sheriff’s Office recently teamed up with a local rental company to create a video to educate everyone on the road about LSV safety and laws.

“We worked closely with the Walton County sheriffs to create the Walton County Sheriff Safety Video where it goes over all the rules of the road, where they can and can’t drive it,” Mike Luzansky, owner of Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals, said. “We make sure every one of our customers watches the video. When they book a rental, we send that to them with the rental agreement. If they stop by one of our shops, then they have to watch the video on one of our TVs before they can take off with it.”

NewsChannel 7 was told the video has already had an impact.

“We’ve had a couple come in staying at Sandestin, they watched our video and looked at us and said ‘oh we can’t drive this because we have to drive on 98 if we do,” Heather Luzansky, operations manager at Street Legal Golf Cart Rentals, said.

Walton County authorities said they see dangerous, yet common issues such as too many people in one vehicle, kids in laps, and passengers not wearing seatbelts. But they say one of the biggest, and deadliest, issues they see is LSVs traveling on U.S. Highway 98.

“There are signs on the vehicles that tell you where you can drive them, the safety aspects of them,” Sergeant Allen Pullings of the South Walton Patrol Division, said. “When they sign the contract, it’s reiterated to them most of the time. However, we’ve still got an increase of them on 98. On any given day, we’re pulling them over-- two, three a day in some areas on 98.″

With the panhandle becoming a year-round destination, LSVs being driven where they shouldn’t be is becoming a year-round problem.

“Fall and winter rentals have definitely increased since I started this 5 years ago,” Luzansky said.

Visitors and locals alike are encouraged to check all available resources on road laws, so everyone can get to their destinations safely.