Police warn of problems with kids recklessly and illegally driving golf carts on Utah roads
Aug 7, 2023, 10:08 PM | Updated: 10:19 pm
PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — Multiple police agencies in Utah are warning parents about a dangerous illegal new trend with kids, potentially leading to deadly consequences.
Police are referring to the rise in kids recklessly riding golf carts down roads.
It definitely not the hard-hitting crime many might think of when police send out warnings, but police departments like Pleasant Grove and Lehi say it’s becoming a real problem, and it is sending kids to the hospital.
Plus, police say driving a golf cart on the road in many Utah cities is illegal.
Not only have complaints to police been rolling in from bystanders, but officers have been witnessing it themselves.
For any parent who thinks their kid is just taking a casual, safe drive down the street to a friend’s house and following the rules, police say that is not at all what they’re seeing.
“Oftentimes it’s four, or five, six juveniles hanging off of the golf cart while they’re going down the roadway,” said Captain Britt Smith of the Pleasant Grove Police Department. “And usually, they’re not obeying all of the traffic laws.”
He said kids will speed down streets, driving dangerously.
“We’ve also seen these kids late at night after dark,” Smith said. “There’s no headlights on these golf carts. There’s no taillights. There’s no turn signals, there’s no emergency equipment whatsoever. And it just poses a risk for these kids.”
He explained that most of the kids they see are between eight and twelve years old. Officers have even made traffic stops in an effort to educate kids and parents.
While it might seem like just kids being kids and having fun, Smith pointed out the fact that these kids are driving a motor vehicle without seat belts, helmets, or licenses is creating the potential for serious consequences.
In Lehi, police posted pictures from a golf cart accident, saying six kids around 12 and 13 years old rolled in a golf cart, and three of the kids were hospitalized.
Smith said golf carts aren’t allowed on the street in Pleasant Grove and other cities to begin with.
“In order for them to be legal on the streets in the State of Utah, the city, or the municipality, or the jurisdiction in which they’re being operated in needs to adopt an ordinance allowing them to be legal in that city,” he explained.
Smith urged parents to keep that golf cart in the garage and don’t let their kids ride around, even if it’s just down the street.
“We’re not interested in citing a bunch of kids. We’re not interested in impounding golf carts. We have no desire to do any of that,” he said. “But we also have no desire to see kids hurt or killed.”