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Concerns rise over use of golf carts

Director of Public Safety and Demopolis Police Department Chief Tommie Reese warns about the legality of using golf carts improperly on public roads after concerns were raised during the most recent Demopolis City Council meeting.

During the July 6 meeting, concerns were raised when a conversation about speeding in some areas of town led to the additional comments about golf carts. Several council members did express their concerns about the carts.

“There is a problem with golf cart use. There are children driving carts with no supervision. Both speeding and golf carts are issues and we need to make them a priority or we will have a tragedy one day,” said Councilmember Cleveland Cole.

Chief Reese is asking the public to be more aware of the laws pertaining to golf cart usage and to protect their children from possible accidents.

“We stress to parents to remind kids not to ride the carts on city streets,” Reese said. “The one thing I don’t want to do is to go to parents’ houses and tell them their child was seriously injured or killed riding a golf cart on city streets.”

Reese also said that riding golf carts on city streets is illegal and the DPD will issue citations and tow golf carts if they are caught on streets illegally.

To be street legal in Alabama, the carts must have a license plate, proper rear view mirrors and be able to drive at a minimum speed of 20 miles per hour.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, approximately 1,000 Americans each month are seriously injured or killed in golf cart accidents, with serious mishaps occurring off golf courses, where they were designed to be used, as they are increasingly used for general transportation.

(This article originally appeared in the Wednesday, July 12, print edition of the Demopolis Times.)