Golf Cart Accidents Prompt Stronger Enforcement

Two golf cart accidents (one of them fatal) are causing Franklin law enforcement officials to crack down on the vehicles that they say are not street legal.

Ryan J. Tropauer, 15, died when he drove a golf cart into a brick mailbox. Three teenage passengers were injured in the accident. Two weeks before that accident, a 14-year-old flipped a golf cart when she took it around a sharp turn, injuring herself and two other teenagers.

Police are trying to crack down on these accidents by issuing citations for driving golf carts on roads. With administrative fees, citations could reach $135.

Golf carts are common modes of transportation in the area – some grocery stores even have spots specifically reserved for golf carts. Still, they must have basic safety features to drive legally on public roads, including:

  • Seat belts
  • Turn signals
  • Parking brake
  • Windshield

Golf carts usually reach their maximum speed at around 20 miles per hour. A street legal low-speed vehicle can go between 20-25 miles per hour in a 35 miles per hour zone.

The driver must also possess a license or permit. A spokesman for the police department reiterated that without a license, you cannot drive a motor vehicle.

“[I]f it’s got a motor on it, you’re not a licensed driver and you’re driving on a public street, you’ve violating the law,” said Sgt. Charles Warner.

He makes a good point. No matter what vehicle you are driving, if you take it onto public roads you can easily get into a fatal car accident with another vehicle. Use caution with golf carts, and only drive them on your own property if they are not street legal.

“For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.” 2 Timothy 1:7

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