Police investigate reports of underage golf cart racing

Staff writer

Multiple reports of underage drivers careening down city streets and alleys in golf carts recently prompted Marion police to send out a reminder about a city ordinance.

Officer Duane McCarty investigated complaints from concerned citizens in several parts of town.

“We had reports of underage kids racing golf carts down alleys, not looking or slowing down, and blowing through stop signs,” McCarty said. “One said they saw a kid go up on two wheels going around a corner and almost roll it.”

He said concerns centered on drivers’ safety and disregard of city code.

“They didn’t want to see anyone get hurt,” McCarty said. “There are about 30 people in town with permits [to drive ATVs on city streets]. Some were mad that others were not obeying the law. They didn’t want to see an ordinance taken away because a few misused it.”

The city ordinance for golf carts, ATVs, work-site utility vehicles, and micro utility trucks states that drivers must be at least 16 years of age with a valid driver’s license to operate them on city streets. The same is true for mopeds and small motorized-scooters, he said.

“The traffic law in alleyways is the same as any other city street,” McCarty said. “It’s still illegal for underage kids to drive there.”

Parents are liable if their child is caught driving illegally, he said, and would lose their special driving permit if they have one and face the possibility of a fine.

McCarty posted a safety reminder on social media as a friendly warning. He wrote, “Let’s keep a good thing going by following the laws for special permits.”

Last modified Oct. 20, 2016