CAN YOU AFFORD TO PAY A $50 MILLION JUDGMENT WHEN YOUR MINOR CHILD HAS AN ACCIDENT WHILE DRIVING A GOLF CART?
By Charles M. Tatelbaum, RVCA Legal Counsel
Our Rio Vista Civic Association publications and communications have continuously reminded our neighbors as to the illegality of having a minor or unlicensed child drive a golf cart on the streets of our community.
To highlight the consequences of allowing such an activity, I call your attention to a judgment that was recently entered in the Circuit Court for Miami-Dade County against a family in the amount of $50 million as a result of injuries sustained by a passenger in a golf cart when an unlicensed driver ran a stop sign and collided with another vehicle. This occurred at a family event when an unlicensed minor was given permission by his parents to take his cousins on a ride in the family's golf cart around the community. The impact from the accident created permanent and severe brain and body damage to the cousin that was ejected from the golf cart, and this led to the $50 million judgment imposed upon the parents of the driver of the golf cart.
Florida has adopted what is known as the dangerous instrumentality doctrine which imposes vicarious liability upon the owner of a motor vehicle who voluntarily entrusts it to an individual whose negligent operation caused damage to another. The Florida Supreme Court has ruled that a golf cart can be considered a motor vehicle.
Additionally, it is almost impossible to have insurance coverage for such an accident and damages since virtually all insurance policies exclude coverage when a motor vehicle is being operated by an unlicensed driver.
For the safety of everyone within our community, the Rio Vista Civic Association Board urges all of our residents and neighbors to curtail and eliminate the driving of golf carts by minors within our community.
The Planned Development District (PDD) zoning ordinance is derived from the former Planned Unit Development (PUD) and Innovative Development (ID) zoning ordinances. On June 21, 2022, the City Commission directed staff to conduct public outreach regarding amending the current PDD ordinance to allow for increased building height from 300 feet to 500 feet. The existing regulations state that building height for a proposed PDD development may be increased by an additional amount equivalent to one hundred and twenty-five (125) percent of the existing height identified in the underlying zoning district, but in no case shall height exceed three hundred (300) feet.
Below are links to two documents, one which summarizes the ordinance and the full text of the ordinance.
A waterway restoration project will begin April 5 along a portion of the Tarpon River in Rio Vista and Downtown Fort Lauderdale. As part of this project, crews from Arbor Tree and Land, Inc. (ATL) will use hydraulic dredging equipment to remove sediment from the river in the area of SE 9 Avenue.
While this work is underway, the Tarpon River will be inaccessible for boat traffic from the staging area west of US 1 / Federal Highway to the SE 9 Street Bridge, as the work requires the use of barges, hoses, and other equipment that will be in the river. The area will be restored at the end of each week so that it is open for navigation on weekends.
More detailed information can be found on the city website. Should you have any questions about the project, the City’s project manager is
Lately, in community conversations questions regarding the Notice Process which applies to development in our City have been raised. This piece is an attempt to create a more informed public. A special thanks to Commissioner Ben Sorensen and Anthony Fajardo, Director of Development Services Department in our City for being willing to put this information together.
RVCA encourages all residents to visit FortLauderdale.gov and sign up to receive e-updates from this City so that you can be the most well-informed version of yourself!
Read on for a summary of each Development Services Department Application type and a breakdown of the notification requirements for each level of approval. Please note, where you see references to 300-feet please note that the 300-feet is regardless of boundaries. It crosses water bodies (New River, Intracoastal, etc.) as well as other boundaries.
FDOT and Broward County will be hosting three Alternatives Public Workshops for the Broward Commuter Rail PD&E Study. The workshops will include information on the Broward Commuter Rail project, including station locations and alternatives for the New River Crossing that will need to be considered as part of determining a Locally Preferred Alternative (LPA). Determining the LPA is critical to entering the Federal Transit Administration's Project Development process, which would allow the project to compete for federal funding.
Three workshops will be available, including two virtual and one in-person on the dates below. Please see the attached flyer for more information.
- Alternatives Public Workshop Virtual Session #1 – January 27, 2022, at 3:00 pm
- Alternatives Public Workshop Virtual Session #2 – January 27, 2022, at 6:30 pm
- Alternatives Public Workshop In-Person Session #3 -January 31, 2022, at 6:30 pm
To register: Visit https://www.fdot.gov/projects/broward-commuter-rail | If you register for a virtual meeting, an email containing a personalized link will be sent to you with instructions for joining the meeting at the specified date and time.
Contact: If you have any questions, please contact Phil Schwab, Project Manager with the Florida Department of Transportation by telephone at (954) 777-4524 or toll free at (866) 336-8435, ext. 4524, or via email at
Project Website: www.browardcommuterrailstudy.com