After years of lax regulations on golf cart use in Youngsville, a zero-tolerance policy is now in place to ensure public safety.
Change comes next Multiple golf cart crash These include young unlicensed drivers and cases of adults using golf carts on state highways after night outings in bars and restaurants.
“I gave all the warnings I would give,” said Ricky Boudreaux, Youngsville Police Chief. “From now on, quotes will be issued and golf carts will be pulled.”
Each golf cart must be registered in Youngsville and display a registration label to be compatible.
An event will be held from 9-11 a.m. Sunday at an outdoor event space at Sugar Mill Pond where residents can learn more about the requirements. Those looking to register or renew their registration must bring their golf cart and proof of insurance to the event. Representatives of the police department and city council, along with the insurance company, will be on hand to answer questions.
“We encourage everyone to sign up and have a sticker on their golf cart,” Boudreaux said. “If it doesn’t have a label, it’s illegal. It can’t be on the road.”
Rules and regulations are handed over to golf cart owners at the time of registration. Those who can’t attend Sunday’s event can. Register a golf cart on the city’s website.
The registry efforts come after Boudreaux addressed Youngsville City Council on the matter in November, when he warned that someone could be killed in a golf cart accident if something was not done.
“The law, as written, was good faith,” Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter said during a city council meeting on November 9. “It wasn’t going from Field Crest to Sonic. It wasn’t going to Pour and staying overnight and then back wherever you go. It wasn’t letting kids go check the mailbox. CC’s – the only people who should be on a golf cart at CC’s They are the ones who live in the cottages at Metairie Center. That’s it.”
Boudreaux raised the “golf cart issue,” which was not on the agenda, during staff announcements at the end of the board’s regular meeting in November. The topic sparked a lively discussion among city leaders for about 15 minutes, but the council took no action.
Boudreaux said officers enforced rules for parents using golf carts to teach their children how to drive, but that unlicensed teens driving golf carts without adults had become the norm.
“A few times I’ve had 12- and 13-year-olds ride themselves — sometimes five, six, seven hanging from the golf cart,” Boudreaux said.
The police chief said there were four recent collisions involving golf carts with young, unlicensed drivers in Youngsville.
No one was seriously injured, but some of the collisions were significant. In one case, the rear axle of a golf cart got off in an accident caused by a kid speeding through a stop sign.
“I gave a lot of warnings, so there are no more warnings,” Boudreaux said. “My officers have been instructed to have zero tolerance for this. They will pull out the golf cart and remind the parents.”
Some adults drive golf carts recklessly.
Last year, an officer in Youngsville encountered an adult driver in a golf cart who left a bar on a two-lane highway at 1:30 a.m., Boudreaux said.
“And we let that happen,” Boudreaux said. “What we’re going to do is we’re going to stop and turn on the lights, but I think it’s got to get back to them to stay within those subdivisions.”
What is in the decree?
Youngsville’s Extended Golf Cart Act was adopted in 2014.
Golf carts are permitted to be operated by licensed drivers during daylight hours within the city. Travel on 19 state highways within the city and during rain, fog or inclement weather is prohibited. The penalty for violating any rule stipulated in the ordinance is $200.
In addition, local law requires all golf cart owners to pay an annual fee of $75 and display a permit sticker on their vehicles.
When Youngsville council members drafted the golf cart law, they were also requiring developers to include green spaces in neighborhoods without requiring parking for those spaces.
The goal of the golf cart law, according to the current mayor, was to allow residents to move within their neighborhoods to take advantage of these resources.
“I trust our people,” Ritter said. “When they are given the right information, when they are told what the law is, I think the majority will comply.”
When asked about the percentage of unregistered or illegal golf carts on the streets, Councilman Ken Stansbury said, “The majority.”
If reckless golf cart practices continue, Boudreaux said he will ask the council to consider banning them on city streets altogether.
“It has become a nuisance to everyone,” Boudreaux said. “If it doesn’t change – as much as I hate to do it because I’m a golf cart owner – we’ll ask for it to be scrapped. It’s for public safety.”