Charleston police urge golf cart safety and compliance after crashes

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) – The Charleston Police Department said the goal is education first and law enforcement second when it comes to golf cart safety, following two serious accidents involving golf carts in recent months.

“We have several people who have been injured recently in golf cart collisions, and especially as the weather increases it gets better, we will see more people on golf carts, in neighborhoods, in streets and things like that, and the goal is education not necessarily enforcement, but that could be the next steps if we get to that point,” said Sgt. Bryant Marcell with the Charleston Police Department. .

On April 29, CPD said the driver of a golf cart was ejected from the vehicle after colliding with a sedan in downtown Charleston.

On March 5, a golf cart driven by a 13-year-old turned over on its side with three additional minors on the cart, according to a CPD report. The report shows that this incident happened on Daniel Island.

“It just shows the inherent danger, even if the person on the golf cart is doing everything they’re supposed to be doing,” Marcell said. “When you start driving on these main roads, you see the potential danger for that.”

Marcell says they see a lot of people distracted while driving golf carts. He said the most common areas for golf carts were in downtown Charleston, Daniel Island and larger neighborhoods like Carolina Bay in West Ashley.

“We see golf carts with multiple children, like young minors or even infants, someone driving the golf cart while drinking coffee with a baby and with a few children on it,” Marcell said. “We saw dogs there. We saw young people driving golf carts.

According to SC’s code of laws, golf carts may only be operated during daylight hours and within four miles of the address listed on the registration certificate. Golf carts should only be driven on secondary roads with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less. The person driving the golf cart must be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license.

Marcell says you should treat driving golf carts like driving a car. It says you must come to a complete stop at stop signs, drive on the correct side of the road, and you cannot drive on sidewalks. The same rules also apply to impaired driving.

Although he’s seen people not following the rules, Marcell says it’s “rare” that officers issue citations.

“Most of the time it ends up being warnings for the purpose of education, because a lot of people don’t realize that,” Marcell said. “We’re really trying to force the education side, to avoid citation penalties and monetary fines and things like that.”

As we enter the summer season, Marcell says that even with the increase in golf carts around town, people should still be aware of the safety aspect.

“If you get hit in a car, cars are designed to creak, they’re designed for airbags, they’re designed for all of those things,” Marcell said. “Golf carts don’t have one.”

Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.