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Ask a Trooper: Golf carts right of way?

Golf Carts Right of Way?

Question: When golf carts are using a pedestrian crosswalk, are vehicles required to yield? I say it is a courtesy but not required, my wife says it is required. This happens in town where the street separates a golf course.

Answer: By law people are no longer pedestrians if they are on a golf cart unless there is an ordinance or some other special allowance set by local or state officials. Minnesota State Statute 169.212 talks about electric personal assistive mobility devices. A person operating one of these devices has the rights and responsibilities of a pedestrian, but the statute does not include golf carts. Generally, golf carts need to wait for traffic to clear. Anytime I see a pedestrian or anything in a crosswalk, I stop even if the crosswalk is unmarked. I make a point to stop far enough back so drivers in other lanes can also see in time to stop. When stopping, do not block crosswalks and don't pass other vehicles that are stopped in these areas.

For anyone using a crosswalk: don't assume you have the right of way and don't count on drivers paying attention -- make eye contact with motorists. Continue to be alert and check for vehicles when walking in a crosswalk. A little common sense for drivers and pedestrians can go a long way. I will do an article on the golf cart operation rules and laws in the near future. Thanks for asking.