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Niceville Police Chief talks about new laws passed by Florida Legislature taking effect.

Niceville Police Chief warned kids under 16 and their parents about a new law which prohibits people without a driver’s license to operate a Low-Speed Vehicle (often called a golf cart) without a driver license on public roads. 

SB 1290 increased the minimum age to drive a cart and now requires the operator have a license. 

“We’ve had issues with juveniles driving golf carts in residential areas,” Popwell told the council, “It’s a citationable offense. As of the first of July, they have to have a driver’s license. And if you’re going to operate a low-speed vehicle on the roadway, you must be street-legal. Headlights, taillights, brake lights and a license plate. You must be registered.”

In addition, Chief Popwell reminded the council, and the rest of the residents gathered for the meeting that the new law allowing the concealed carry of weapons like guns has plenty of restrictions to be aware of. You can read more about those rules here.

NICEVILLE police chief david popwell portrait
Niceville Police Chief David Popwell | November

Crime Report

Crime continues its summer slumber in the city of Niceville. Police officers arrested 18 people in June – the running average for the last year-and-a-half since Mid Bay News has kept data. Officers collared five people for felony arrests and another 12 for misdemeanor infractions of the law. Both felony and misdemeanor arrests continue downward for the sixth month.

Fire Chief Tommy Mayville reported a busy summer month with 229 calls – several related to lightning strikes around town. About half of the total number of calls, 107, were medical.

In addition, Chief Mayville reported his firefighters had unused Narcan, the drug used to counteract opioid overdoses, six times in June. Everyone the drug was used on lived.

Meigs Park Renovations

Niceville Public Works Director Jonathan Laird reported to the Niceville City Council his team would complete the renovations to Meigs Park by October of 2023. The public works team has already poured the asphalt and concrete and will finish the fencing around the park by the end of July.

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