As the name implies, low speed vehicles, or LSVs, are devices that are only capable of going slow. Due to this standard, most people consider any golf cart, such as an EZgo or Club Car, to be an LSVs. In this article, we explore the legal differences between the two frequently interchanged labels.
What is a Golf Cart?
Traditionally, golf carts were made to drive on golf courses. In addition, these devices typically do not exceed 20 mph, and are rarely made to be street legal. As a result, those that opt to buy a fancy, limo, or lifted golf cart directly from a golf cart manufacturer may be dismayed to discover the device cannot legally be drove on the road.
To circumvent this issue, many golf cart owners simply add the required safety gear to make their ez go, golf car, or other type of cart street legal. From there, the motorized vehicle may need to have its own registration and insurance pending on the location the device is being driven in.
Taking this into consideration, many view buying a used golf cart as an optimal solution since the previous owner has likely figured all these legal details out before the purchase. That said, pending on the modifications added or equipped at purchase, not all golf carts are LSVs.
What is an LSV?
LSVs are distinctly different from golf carts when viewed from a legal standpoint. To elaborate, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration considers vehicles with the following traits and features as low speed vehicles.
- Goes between 20 and 25 mph
- Device weight is under 3,000 lbs
- Must have exactly four wheels
In addition, LSVs are typically considered to be “street legal golf carts”, or just street legal, due to the federal guidelines set in place for devices capable of exceeding 20 mph. To elaborate, these rules ensure LSV manufacturers take the time to add the following safety items to each motorized vehicle.
- Either lap belts or three-point seat belts on all seats
- Running lights for navigation
- Bright headlights
- Integrated brake lights
- Reflectors to ensure visibility in low light
- Rear view mirrors
- Fully functional turn signals
The aforementioned items are also what is required by law to be equipped on a device driving on the road. That said, oddly, windshield wipers are not a federally mandated safety item on LSVs. Nevertheless, golf cart enthusiasts may want to consider adding them to their golf cart. By doing so, drivers can ensure clear visibility is feasible if they get caught by a sudden storm.
Once the federally mandated equipment is attached, these “new” LSVs may be drove on roads with speed limits of 35 mph or less in some areas. Due to this driving freedom, owners of Bintelli golf carts, ez gos, or Club Cars, may opt to remove the speed cap implemented by the golf cart manufacturer. If you choose to do this, be sure to adhere to the extra federal regulations that come with such modifications.
Bintelli, located in Charleston, South Carolina is your one stop shop for golf carts, LSVs, electric shuttles, and more. Nationwide shipping and financing is available! Give them a call at (843) 531-6833 or visit them online!