Golf Carts & Four Wheelers – The New Bicycles? [Opinion]
Summer driving in most neighborhoods means a lot of extra attention for walkers, children playing and golf carts. Yes, I said golf carts. It wasn’t that long ago that the kids in my neighborhood rode bicycles. I know my kids rode bicycles because we don’t have a golf cart.
I never really thought of this as a trend until I read where the City of Kinder has just passed a ruling that will allow the use of golf carts on city streets. There are restrictions on using the carts. They can only be operated between dusk and dawn. They must have working headlights, turn signals, brake lights and mirrors. There is also a registration fee that must be paid to the city. Oh yeah, here is the biggie, you must have a valid driver’s license to operate a cart on the city streets.
Under the guidelines set by the City of Kinder I would have no problem with golf carts roaming around my neighborhood. Unfortunately the way the carts are operated around our house. It’s kids that are too young to drive a car that are behind the wheel. Three or four of their buddies are hanging off the cart or being pulled along while they are on a skateboard. The driver is not familiar with basic rules of the road and believe it or not the kids are sometimes texting or riding with headphones in their ears.
I can’t help but think to myself, these kids should be on bicycles. That way they would at least get some exercise while they are disobeying the rules of the road and texting. The same goes for the four wheelers too. I believe their are rules in place designed to keep the operators and other drivers safe but the four wheeler crowd ignores them just the same. The bigger issue I see with the four wheelers is the speeds they can reach.
The bottom line will fall at the feet of parents. The parents won’t say anything until there is a serious injury or worse. Then the outcry will come about why didn’t anybody think about the children. The local authorities where I live, when I contacted them about kids zipping around on four wheelers and golf carts, admitted there was not much they could do, other than catch them in the act. Since my neighborhood is fairly quiet we only get routine police patrols and be truthful in the grand scheme of things this shouldn’t be a police matter.