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Exploring Georgia’s Off-Road Buggy Revolution

Austin Solesbee
Buggies with proper signage and registration roaming the streets of Helen, Georgia.

There have been transformative effects with the recent legislative change allowing off-road buggies and low-speed vehicles (LSVs) on county roads with speed limits of 45 mph or less.

These vehicles must have proper registration, as well as a physical tag that is visible on the rear of the buggy. As for street legal equipment, the buggies for sale today usually have all of the necessary equipment, such as headlights and brake lights, already from the factory. More often than not, drivers can go straight to registration with a stock buggy, if they use their hands as a turn signal.

Enthusiasts, thrilled by newfound freedom, eagerly share their motivations for embracing the open road, from the joy of simply exploring the countryside to the convenience of traveling between off-road trails. The following accounts paint a vivid picture of how this legislative change is reshaping the recreational landscape, capturing the essence of adventure and community bonding that these vehicles bring to the state.

“The change has been monumental for our club. Previously, we were limited to specific off-road trails, which, while enjoyable, had their restrictions. Now, it’s given us more freedom to explore and connect with Georgia’s landscapes.” – Barry Rogers, member of the 5-30 Buggy Club

5-30 Buggy Club in full swing riding through Royal Blue, Tennessee. (Austin Solesbee)

Navigating safety considerations is a paramount aspect of this transformative shift. Insights from law enforcement, safety advocates and industry experts provide a comprehensive understanding of the measures in place to ensure responsible and secure enjoyment. From safety guidelines to educational initiatives, collaborative efforts aim at fostering a culture of responsible off-road vehicle use.

“The decision was influenced by a recognition of the growing interest in off-road activities and a desire to provide enthusiasts with additional options, as well as the potential positive economic impact on local communities through increased off-road tourism.” – Annete Simelaro, GDOT Officer of Legal Services

Simultaneously, they delve into the potential economic impact on local businesses catering to the growing buggy and LSV community. Interviews with business owners reveal how this legislative change is breathing new life into tourism, rentals and sales.

The ripple effects are palpable, as the surge in off-road enthusiasts contributes to the vibrancy of local economies. When discussing the potential benefits of the new legislation another local member of the 5-30 Buggy Club, Mark Kennedy said, “The increased visibility of off-road buggies on county roads is generating interest and curiosity within the local community. As long as we maintain responsible practices, I believe the perception of off-road activities will continue to evolve in a positive direction.”

Being able to traverse county roads with off-road buggies has opened up a whole new dimension of adventure. Through these firsthand experiences, along with accounts from local workers in our infrastructures, enthusiasts can delve into the motivations driving this significant shift in recreational habits and its many positive implications.


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