FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach Police Department (FBPD) officials are discussing golf cart safety rules and regulations on the island following Friday night’s fatal collision.
Police say there are two different types of golf carts: the traditional golf carts similar to the ones found at a golf course and low-speed vehicles (LSVs), which is the type that was involved in Friday’s fatal collision that left 34-year-old Samantha Miller dead, and her new husband, Aric Hutchinson, fighting for his life just hours after their wedding.
“The LSVs are becoming more prevalent,” Folly Beach Police Chief Andrew Gilreath said, “especially in places like Downtown Charleston, on the islands. So other vehicles, when driving through these streets, and especially these locations like downtown and on these islands, the speed limits are low for a reason, and they need to be respected.”
Gilreath says traditional golf carts and LSVs have separate regulations.
“Golf carts,” he said, “specifically, can be operated during daylight hours, they must have a local city permit and by state statute can only be operated within four miles of the address in which they are registered.”
Gilreath says traditional golf carts also cannot be driven on Center Street or Folly Road.
LSVs must have lights, department of transportation-approved seatbelts, as well as meet several other state requirements.
“A low-speed vehicle can be operated on any roadway with a speed limit of less than 35 miles per hour,” Gilreath said, “and as a result, it does not have a restriction on geographical location in which it can be operated. It can be operated at night.”
Officials say it appears the victims in Friday’s deadly crash were following these regulations, but they’re still working to learn more information.
“They did have their lights on,” Gilreath said. “The lights were on when the officers arrived, but as far as their use of seatbelts, I do not know.”
Officials say both golf carts and LSVs must be driven by a licensed driver on any roadway.