Recently we have noticed an uptick of low/medium speed vehicles and golf carts operating in neighborhoods. Often times they are being driven by juveniles. Here is some information regarding those type of vehicles:
TCA 55-8-101 Part Definitions
(28) “Golf Cart” means a motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and equipped with safety belts installed for use in the left front and right front seats and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 MPH. (a golf cart that has been designated and manufactured for on road use, or has been modified to meet all of the requirements and federal safety standards may be registered as a “low or medium speed vehicle.”
(36) “Low Speed Vehicle” means any four-wheeled electric or gasoline vehicle, excluding golf carts, whose top speed is greater then 20 MPH but not greater than 25 MPH, including neighborhood vehicles. Low speed vehicles must comply with the safety standards in 49 CFR 571.500 (The standard contained in 49 CFR 571.500 (Code of Federal Regulations) requires low speed vehicles to have basic safety equipment, including head lamps, stop lamps, front and rear turn signal lamps, tail lamps, reflectors (one red on each side near the rear and one red on the back), parking brake, one exterior mirror mounted on the driver’s side of the vehicle and one additional mirror on the passenger side or an interior mirror, a windshield meeting the standards outlined in 49 CFR 571.205, seat belts (type 1 or 2) located at each designated seating position, and a vehicle identification number (VIN) that conforms to provisions outlined in 49 CFR 565. The purpose of this standard is to ensure that low speed vehicles operated on the public streets, roads, and highways are equipped with the minimum motor vehicle equipment appropriate for motor vehicle safety.)
(38) “Medium Speed Vehicle” means any four-wheeled electric or gasoline-powered vehicle, excluding gold carts, whose top speed is greater than 30 MPH, but whose maximum speed allowed is 35 miles per hour only on streets with a 40 MPH or less posted speed limit pursuant to TCA 55-8-191(b)(1), and otherwise meets or exceeds the federal safety standards set forth in 49 CFR 571.500 except as otherwise provided in 55-4-136.
TCA 55-8-191 Operation of low speed and medium speed vehicles – prohibitions – license
(1) A low speed vehicle as defined in § 55-8-101 may be operated only on streets where the posted speed limit is thirty-five miles per hour (35 mph) or less. This subdivision (a)(1) does not prohibit a low speed vehicle from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than thirty-five miles per hour (35 mph).
(1) A medium speed vehicle as defined in § 55-8-101 may be operated at a rate not to exceed thirty-five miles per hour (35 mph) only on streets where the posted speed limit is forty miles per hour (40 mph) or less. This subsection (b) does not prohibit a medium speed vehicle from crossing a road or street at an intersection where the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than forty miles per hour (40 mph).
Any person operating a low speed vehicle or medium speed vehicle must have in possession a valid Class D driver license.
Low/Medium Speed Vehicle Registration
Individuals applying for title and registration on a low or medium speed vehicle must submit a Low or Medium Speed Affidavit that certifies the vehicle has been sufficiently modified to meet all low or medium speed vehicle requirements. The affidavit must be submitted with the registration application as a condition of registration.