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Kids shouldn't operate golf cars

Posted: May 29, 2012 - 11:00pm

We’re pretty sure most responsible parents don’t need the reminder. But judging from the reaction to a golf car crash in Evans last week involving a couple of “tween” boys, there seems to be a lot of confusion about just who is supposed to be behind the wheel of those vehicles.

Hint: It isn’t tweens.

Sure, it’s going to happen anyway. Kids are going to drive the vehicles, and parents are going to let them. It’s not a big deal if it’s on private property, and it’s a good way to learn rudimentary driving skills.

But unlicensed drivers under age 16 are not allowed to operate the vehicles on public property. Period. It’s illegal. Unfortunately, the law is so confusingly squishy on the topic that the cops rarely bother attempting to enforce it.

The frightening penalty comes, then, when an unskilled driver crashes, hurting himself or passengers. It’s happened over and over around here and elsewhere, and each time, critics of young drivers (and their parents) come out of the woodwork.

Here’s a better suggestion: If you see someone behind the wheel who isn’t supposed to be, speak up – to them, or to the police. There’s no need in waiting for a crash to occur, and clucking knowingly afterward. That doesn’t do anyone any good.

But responsible people don’t need to be told that, either.

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Comments (6)

Craig Spinks

THANKS...

for bringing to public consideration a growing problem.

Dr. Craig Spinks/ Georgians for Educational Excellence

Riverman1

I totally agree and offer one more observation

Many of the kids will drive alongside busy highways to reach other neighborhood streets, believing this makes it legal. What if an auto were driving along the road? It's time to start cracking down on kids driving golf carts. What don't the deputies get?

Little Lamb

Can't Afford to Enforce

RM, Barry explained it up above when he wrote:

Unfortunately, the law is so confusingly squishy on the topic that the cops rarely bother attempting to enforce it.

They only tack on the illegal operation by someone underage when they respond to an accident. It's kind of like the cops tacking on an illegal window tint after they arrest you for running a red light and T-boning someone.

Riverman1

LL, I did get IT

Barry said it plainly that police don't enforce the law although he said, "Period, it's illegal." He laid it out plainly that only licensed drivers over 16 can legally drive golf carts on the roads. Then he said it's enforcement is "squishy." My answer (and question) to the CCSO is what do you not get? Kids in carts beside the roads are also breaking the law.

Little Lamb

Too many laws

Our governments have written so many laws that police cannot enforce them all. They have to operate in a defensive mode where they respond to complaints or accidents (which, come to think of it, is a form of complaint).

Actually, you really don't want police to be so well-financed, so strong that they are out in all public and private places actually looking for lawbreakers. If they did that, they would find them (i.e., us). We would all be in jail, and then the police funding would dry up and the police would be out of a job.

Riverman1

LL, that's kind of a

LL, that's kind of a philosophical comment to a very real local problem of kids illegally and dangerously driving golf carts in the county. Many hard core conservatives and libertarians believe law enforcement at the county level is nothing to complain about.

If an activity were not a problem or the enforcement became a problem, local citizens would speak out and more than likely the situation would improve. That's the beauty of local law enforcement where the citizens have a say.

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