ATVs, ROVs and Golf Carts on Bolivar beaches

Rules for the operation of ATV / ROV


An ATV – sometimes called “three-wheeler” or “four-wheeler” – is a motor vehicle, equipped with a saddle seat, designed to propel itself with three or four wheels on the ground and manufactured for off-highway use.

An ROV – sometimes referred to as a “mule” – is the same as an ATV except that it is equipped with a non-saddle (bench or bucket) seats.

ATVs and ROVs may be operated on any public beach on Bolivar Peninsula except for any area closed to vehicular traffic or on any sand dune. State law prohibits driving any ATV or ROV on any public roadway, which includes all roadways, road shoulders and ditches anywhere on Bolivar Peninsula.

You must transport the ATV or ROV to the beach using a road-legal motor vehicle (in the bed of a pickup truck, as an example) or using a road-legal trailer. “Road-legal” means that the vehicle and/or trailer is in full compliance with statutes regulating operation of a motor vehicle on a public roadway (license, insurance, lighting, etc.).

A driver’s license is not required. Children under 14 may drive an ATV or ROV in any area where it is legal to operate only under the direct supervision of a parent or guardian, or under the direct supervision of an adult authorized by the child’s parent or guardian.

Other laws regulating the operation of motor vehicles – including speeding, reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, and others, apply to the operation of ATV/ROV in all circumstances, even on public beaches.

Driving an ATV or ROV on private property is allowed only if given permission by the property owner.

There are separate laws that regulate the operation of golf carts on beaches and roadways.

Rules for the operation of a Golf Cart

Golf Carts

A golf cart is a motor vehicle. All rules that apply to a car or truck also apply to golf carts, including traffic laws. All rules apply on the beach also.

You must have a valid driver’s license to operate a golf cart.

You may only operate a golf cart on a roadway (including ditches) that has a speed limit of not more than 35 mph. YOU CANNOT OPERATE ON A HIGHWAY. You may cross the highway at a traffic control device but only go straight across.

You can only operate a golf cart between sunrise and sunset.

You must have a Slow Moving Vehicle Triangle on the rear of the golf cart.

Neither the driver nor passenger of a golf cart may have an open container of alcohol, even if it is not moving.

If an unlicensed driver is operating a golf cart, the parent or person in charge of the cart may be charged with “allowing an unlicensed driver to operate a motor vehicle".

A golf cart must have a Bolivar Beach Parking Sticker to park on the beach.

If the golf cart is equipped with safety belts, they must be worn.

from the Sheriff's Office...

Frequently Asked Questions – ATV/ROV’s
Issued by the Galveston County Sheriff's Office

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