Florida

Should Florida Grannies Ditch Their Souped-Up Golf Carts for Mopeds?

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A guy ramping a golf cart
Credit: johncarljohnson/Foter.com

Ever since the federal government began heavily subsidizing the purchase of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) via the stimulus in 2009, they became the trendy transport of choice in many Florida communities. It seemed like a sweet deal at the time—saving up to $5,400 on what amounted to a luxury electric golf cart that could legally travel on roads with a speed limit lower than 35 mph.

NEVs, which are still eligible for a 10 percent tax credit, must have all the things that make a vehicle street legal: lights, signals, reflectors, mirrors, seat belts, a windshield, etc. And, most critically: a VIN number, license plates, and insurance—which can cost up to $1,000 a year.

Florida residents are understandably upset at this classic case of government misclassification. Golf carts, which many communities allow on local roads, can be driven without any of the requisite safety equipment listed above and without registration or insurance. So why are NEVs subject to such strict regulation? Because they are capable of traveling 5 mph faster than their golf cart counterparts.

Perhaps Florida officials would prefer that all these retirees purchased mopeds instead. According to the DMV, any moped or motor-scooter with an engine smaller than 50 cc requires neither registration nor insurance. Ironically, these two-wheeled mini-motorcycles are capable of going 5 mph faster than an NEV—and are markedly more dangerous.

A victim of a golf cart accident has a 7.8 percent chance of requiring hospitalization, compared to a 29 percent chance for a moped accident victim. The most common injury in a golf cart accident is soft-tissue damage (twisted ankles and bruises), while many moped accidents result in neurological damage.

In short: the current law creates an incentive for granny to ditch the comfort and safety of four wheels and a seat belt for the relatively dangerous moped. 

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  1. Ever since the federal government began heavily subsidizing the purchase of Neighborhood Electric Vehicles (NEVs) via the stimulus in 2009,

    had a hard time reading past that.

    1. I’m stuck there too.

      I kicked in $5400 to fuckin’ granny so she could buy a “luxury” golf cart?

      Free stuff… there’s no end…

      Where’s my OJ prize?

  2. …they became the trendy transport of choice in many Florida communities.

    Welcome to Pinellas Park.

  3. Cheryl: Mopeds are fun but you don’t want to let your buddies see you riding one.
    Pam: I thought he meant I was fuel efficient. I had only had 10 ten beers.
    Cheryl: 40s?
    Pam: NO…. yes.

  4. How will these people get down to the bingo parlor?

  5. Should Florida Grannies Ditch Their Souped-Up Golf Carts for Mopeds?

    As long as they’re airtight, who cares what they drive?

  6. the current law creates an incentive for granny to ditch the comfort and safety of four wheels and a seat belt for the relatively dangerous moped.

    This should be incorporated in Obamacare. In fact, all people over the age of seventy should be restricted solely to motor scooters. No helmets.

    We’ll bend the cost curve somehow!

  7. From the first linked article:

    Luxury models costing nearly $30,000 have recently come on the market and certain affluent neighborhoods have adopted them as the mainstream form of transportation.

    I don’t even know where to begin with that.

    1. It seemed like a sweet deal at the time?saving up to $5,400 on what amounted to a luxury electric golf cart…

      NEVs, which are still eligible for a 10 percent tax credit…

      $5400 * 10 = $54000

      Don’t worry, there’s still room for that price to grow.

  8. I got hit by a moped once. Walking across the street, guy rides right into me. Destroyed the front end of the moped, sent him sliding alonmg the pavement and all I got was a bruised elbow.

    Yet another instance where being overweight is healthier than skinny.

    1. Yet another instance where being overweight is healthier than skinny.

      Yet another way getting hit by a moped is like being on renal dialysis.

  9. Perhaps Florida officials would prefer that all these retirees purchased mopeds instead.

    Well, it would increase the death rate among the retiree crowd. And don’t forget that older people generally have worse balance than younger ones, so that’s more injuries and older folks don’t recover as well.

  10. I know federal government big cost to purchase the Neighborhood Electric Vehicles. By bed luck golf cart accident and neurological damage. So, according to the current law creates an incentive for granny to ditch the comfort and safety of four wheels and a seat belt for the relatively dangerous moped.

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