TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - The Tyler Police Department is making an effort to crack down on the number of people driving golf carts on public roadways by issuing citations to anyone who doesn’t meet the legal requirement.
The Texas Transportation Code defines a golf cart as a motor vehicle. The legal requirements for motor vehicles apply to the use of a golf cart on a public roadway. This includes the requirement that the operator be a licensed driver and obey all traffic laws.
“We approached golf [course] communities about two years, and they brought this to our attention that we were receiving complaints that too many children were observed in golf carts; going to pools, going to a friend’s house, just driving the streets,” said Don Martin, Tyler police spokesperson.
Although golf carts are allowed under limited circumstances, they are not designed to withstand collisions with cars and do not provide the driver or passengers with adequate protection.
“We see that as extremely dangerous,” Martin explained. “If they make a mistake, go through a stop sign, or swerve out in front of a car, we’re going to have some children very seriously hurt or even killed.”
Individuals are criminally and civilly responsible for the operation of golf carts on city roadways in violation of state law or permitting juveniles to violate this law, Martin added.
This law does not apply to an operator who meet all of the following requirements:
- Have a valid driver’s license.
- Posted speed limit is not more than 35 miles per hour.
- Operate during daytime hours.
- Operate not more than two miles from where the golf cart is parked and for transportation to and from the golf course.
“Two years into it, we’re still receiving complaints, so now we’re at the point of saying okay, we’re going to be out there, we’re going to be watching,” Martin said.
The Texas Transportation Code does allow for the operation of golf carts in certain municipalities or counties. However, the City of Tyler has not authorized the use of golf carts under this statue.