Golf carts are a popular mode of transportation in the area especially around Panama City Beach. A new proposal could give golf cart owners more options.
The Panama City Beach city council proposes a new golf cart crossing at Nautilus Street and Back Beach Road.
“There is definitely a need, there is only one other and it’s down at Pier Park,” said Councilman Phil Chester.
Chester is on board with the addition, saying it would bring more people to businesses on the other side of Back Beach Road.
“We are trying to become a golf cart oriented little town and this would help,” said Chester.
Robert Daigneault has lived in Panama City Beach for almost 15 years.
“That would be real nice, I’d like that, yes,” said Daigneault.
He’s also on board but like many city officials, safety is a concern.
“Some of these young kids… they’re not too careful with the golf carts,” said Daigneault.
People can drive golf carts at the age of 14, which Police Chief Drew Whitman said is always something to remember.
“I’d recommend to the parents before they let their kids operate it to make sure they are riding with them. I’d make sure the parents are always with the child when they are 14, 15 and 16-years-old when they don’t have the understanding of driving an automobile at that time,” said Chief Whitman.
As for other drivers, he said to be aware of their surroundings especially in golf cart crossing areas.
“Just be cautious. We put the signs up that say golf cart passing or golf cart crossing so just pay attention in those two areas if the second one is approved,” said Chief Whitman.
Before the council can move forward, the Florida Department of Transportation needs to conduct a traffic study and the council needs to create a resolution.
Chief Whitman said there hasn’t been any problems with the golf cart crossing at Pier Park. They will make a decision once F-DOT determines whether the intersection is safe.