ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF TRANSPORTATION AND LOW SPEED VEHICLES
Vehicles operating on State highways are governed by the Uniform Rules of the Road as set forth in Chapter 6 of Title 40 of the Georgia Code. Additionally, O.C.G.A. Section 40-6-331 gives local governing bodies the authority, by ordinance, to designate certain public streets for the combined use of motorized carts and regular vehicular traffic. Some governing bodies have exercised this statutory authority by creating multi-use paths for pedestrians, cyclists, and golf carts. See http://www.peachtree-city.org/index.asp?nid=216.
Listed below are some of the statutes pertaining to alternative forms of transportation and low speed vehicles. If you wish to view the Code Section in its entirety, the links below will direct you to the Lexis Nexis site.
40-1-1(3) - "All-terrain vehicle" means any motorized vehicle designed for off-road use which is equipped with four low-pressure tires, a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and handlebars for steering.
40-1-1(8.01) - "Class I all-terrain vehicle" means a motorized, off-highway recreational vehicle 50 inches or less in width with a dry weight of 1,200 pounds or less that travels on three or more nonhighway tires and is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain.
40-1-1(8.1) - "Class II all-terrain vehicle" means a motorized, off-highway recreational vehicle which is not a class I all-terrain vehicle and which is 65 inches or less in width with a dry weight of 2,000 pounds or less that travels on four or more nonhighway tires and is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain.
40-1-1(8.2) - "Class III all-terrain vehicle" means any motor vehicle that:
(A) Weighs more than a class II all-terrain vehicle and less than 8,000 pounds;
(B) Is designed for or capable of cross-country travel on or immediately over land, water, sand, snow, ice, marsh, swampland, or other natural terrain; and
(C) Is actually being operated off a highway.
40-8-91.1 - Authorizes the use of ATVs by law enforcement when properly marked and registered.
Low Speed Vehicles
40-1-1(25.1) - means any four-wheeled electric vehicle whose top speed attainable in one mile is greater than 20 miles per hour but not greater than 25 miles per hour on a paved level surface and which is manufactured in compliance with those federal motor vehicle safety standards for low-speed vehicles set forth in 49 C.F.R. Section 571.500 and in effect on January 1, 2001.
Bicycles/Electric Assisted Bicycles
40-1-1(6) - Bicycle: Every device propelled by human power upon which any person may ride, having only two wheels which are in tandem and either of which is more than 13 inches in diameter.
40-1-1(15.5) - Electric assisted bicycle: A device with two or three wheels which has a saddle and fully operative pedals for human propulsion and also has an electric motor. For such a device to be considered an electric assisted bicycle, it shall meet the requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, as set forth in 49 C.F.R. Section 571, et seq., and shall operate in such a manner that the electric motor disengages or ceases to function when the brakes are applied. The electric motor in an electric assisted bicycle shall: (A) Have a power output of not more than 1,000 watts; (B) Be incapable of propelling the device at a speed of more than 20 miles per hour on level ground; and (C) Be incapable of further increasing the speed of the device when human power alone is used to propel the device at or more than 20 miles per hour.
Mopeds and Motor Scooters
40-1-1(30) - Motor driven cycle: Every motorcycle, including every motor scooter, with a motor which produces not to exceed five brake horsepower, every bicycle with a motor attached, and every moped.
40-1-1(28) - Moped: A motor driven cycle equipped with two or three wheels, with or without foot pedals to permit muscular propulsion, and an independent power source providing a maximum of two brake horsepower. If a combustion engine is used, the maximum piston or rotor displacement shall be 3.05 cubic inches (50 cubic centimeters) regardless of the number of chambers in such power source. The power source shall be capable of propelling the vehicle, unassisted, at a speed not to exceed 30 miles per hour (48.28 kilometers per hour) on level road surface and shall be equipped with a power drive system that functions directly or automatically only, not requiring clutching or shifting by the operator after the drive system is engaged.
40-1-1(29) - Every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, but excluding a tractor, all-terrain vehicle, and moped.
Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices
40-1-1(15.6) - Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device or "EPAMD": A self-balancing, two nontandem wheeled device designed to transport only one person and having an electric propulsion system with average power of 750 watts (1 horsepower) and a maximum speed of less than 20 miles per hour on a paved level surface when powered solely by such propulsion system and ridden by an operator who weighs 170 pounds.
40-6-320 (a) - EPAMDs may be operated on highways and on sidewalks where a 48 inch clear path is maintained for access for persons with disabilities, provided that any person operating such a device shall have the same rights and duties as prescribed for pedestrians;
(b) No person shall operate any EPAMD on the roadway of any highway unless: (1) The maximum speed limit of the roadway is 35 miles per hour or less; or (2) The roadway has a separately striped bicycle lane and the device is operated within the bicycle lane; (c) When traveling on any roadway of a highway, a person operating an EPAMD shall travel in the same direction authorized for motor vehicle traffic on such roadway.
40-1-1(17.2) "Golf car" or "golf cart" means any motorized vehicle designed for the purpose and exclusive use of conveying one or more persons and equipment to play the game of golf in an area designated as a golf course. For such a vehicle to be considered a golf car or golf cart, its average speed shall be less than 15 miles per hour (24 kilometers per hour) on a level road surface with a 0.5% grade (0.3 degrees) comprising a straight course composed of a concrete or asphalt surface that is dry and free from loose material or surface contamination with a minimum coefficient of friction of 0.8 between tire and surface.
Personal Transportation Vehicle
40-1-1(43.1) (A) Any motor vehicle having no fewer than three wheels and an unladen weight of 1,300 pounds or less and which cannot operate at more than 20 miles per hour if such vehicle was authorized to operate on local roads by a local authority prior to January 1, 2012. Such vehicles may also be referred to as "motorized carts" in such local ordinances; and
(B) Any motor vehicle:
(i) With a minimum of four wheels;
(ii) Capable of a maximum level ground speed of less than 20 miles per hour;
(iii) With a maximum gross vehicle unladen or empty weight of 1,375 pounds; and
(iv) Capable of transporting not more than eight persons.
The term does not include mobility aids, including electric personal assistive mobility devices, power wheelchairs, and scooters, that can be used indoors and outdoors for the express purpose of enabling mobility for a person with a disability. The term also does not include any all-terrain vehicle or multipurpose off-highway vehicle.