CRIME, POLICE + COURTS

Police warn that golf carts are not legal on city streets

Aug 8, 2023, 6:57 PM

Golf cart in Lehi after it rolled over. Police warn that it is not legal to drive golf carts on cit...

FILE: Golf cart in Lehi after it rolled over. (Lehi Police)

(Lehi Police)

PLEASANT GROVE, Utah — The Facebook page of the Pleasant Grove Police Department has issued a warning regarding the use of golf carts on city streets. The post stated: 

Let’s talk about golf carts on city streets.
We have been noticing an increase of golf carts being driven on city streets. We have also fielded a number of complaints about the same issue. There seems to be some confusion about the law regulating the use of golf carts on the roadway. Let me try and clarify this so we can all be on the same page.
1. Pleasant Grove City has not adopted a city ordinance that permits the use of golf carts on city streets. As per Utah State Code 41-6a-1510 it is unlawful to operate a golf cart on any city street.
2. Anyone operating a motor vehicle on the city streets must abide by all laws in the traffic code. Meaning, they can’t exceed the speed limit and must stop at stop signs etc. Many of the complaints we field involve children and/or juveniles. Most of these same complaints involve reckless driving or other complaints that would be traffic code violations. Obviously, this presents a safety concern for not only the occupants of the golf cart, but for fellow motorists, pedestrians, and property owners.
It would be a likely assumption that most if not all the golf carts being operated on the roadway are uninsured. As such the owner of the golf cart could likely find themselves financially responsible for mishaps.
The Police Department wants everyone to be safe. We all too often see the devastating aftermath of unsafe and reckless driving behavior. The risk for injury is much higher to the occupants of a golf cart. We want to avoid a tragedy. Please help us in this endeavor, and don’t permit your children to drive these vehicles on the roadways.

Capt. Britt Smith with the Pleasant Grove Police Department said, “It’s completely illegal to have a golf cart on the city streets [in Pleasant Grove]. And I am not aware of a municipality that has legalized it. So, to my knowledge, it’s fairly broad across the state that they’re illegal.”

In this case, the warning arose because children are often the ones driving the carts.

“They’re younger kids,” Smith said. “I’d say they range from as young as eight to 12, 13, or 14 years old.”

Additionally, Smith explained that if the kids had their license, they would hop in their car and go. Younger children don’t understand that it’s still illegal to drive a golf cart on the roads.

The danger escalates when the kids driving these carts drive them at night.

“These golf carts lack headlights, brake lights, and turn signals. It’s a highly perilous situation,” Smith said. “[The police department is] genuinely concerned that someone might suffer an injury.”

A recent incident occurred in Lehi, where six kids got injured as their cart flipped over. According to the police department, they took a turn too sharply, causing the cart to roll.

Related: 

Police warn of problems with kids recklessly and illegally driving golf carts on Utah roads

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Police warn that golf carts are not legal on city streets