New rules for low-speed vehicles in Panama City Beach
PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) - Panama City Beach leaders have passed a new set of rules for low-speed vehicles like motorcycles, golf carts, and electric scooters.
The rules were made through a partnership with the Panama City Beach Police department and six rental businesses.
“They came up with some great ideas- they’re not allowing overnight rentals on the busy weekends, they’ve got to be 23 years of age to rent a property, they’re going to get GPS, and they’re trying to educate the people to stay off middle beach and back beach road,” said Drew Whitman, Chief of Police for Panama City Beach Police Department.
The manager of one local scooter rental company said the new rules make it more family friendly and safe for renters and other visitors.
“I think it’s a good thing in a way, we did have a lot of kids out here doing things they shouldn’t have been doing- acting crazy- now we’re getting more families, older people, and still coming out and enjoying the beaches,” said James Beard, manager of King of Scooters Rentals.
Whitman said he wants people to be able to police themselves.
“It’s going to definitely help. When you get someone in their mid-twenties they’re usually in school, got a plan for what they’re going to do with their future, and they’re going to be more cautious on the vehicles. It’s when they rent them to the younger kids that are 16, 17-years-old, they’re out there to destroy property and have fun. So hopefully with the older ages it’s going to be better on the equipment, better for the business, and safer for our community here,” said Whitman.
Beard said he's heard some negative feedback from customers about some of the new rules.
"That makes it easier for us and safer for everyone out there on the road," said Beard.
But ultimately, he wants everyone to have a fun and safe time at the beach.
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