From The Tribune staff reports
TRUSSVILLE — The Trussville Police Department is responding to complaints about golf carts being used on city streets.
“We’re seeing an increase in the number of golf carts being operated illegally on roadways in the city,” Chief Eric Rush said. “Due to this, we are receiving complaints.”
After hearing from concerned citizens, city leaders considered drafting an ordinance regulating them and even discussed taking the issue to the state legislature.
“Those discussions ended when it was determined that the proposed city ordinance would have contradicted state law,” said Rush.
According to state law, drivers of illegal golf carts can be fined up to $700. Street carts must have special features to make them legal including headlights, taillights, brake lights, seat belts a tag and they must be insured. Drivers must also have a valid driver’s license. It is also illegal to drive any low-speed vehicle at night.
For the Trussville Police Department, safety is the number one concern.
“In the past, we have had injuries that occurred because of golf carts being driven recklessly and crashing on the street causing serious injuries,” he explained. “I sincerely hope this situation will be taken seriously by the citizens of Trussville and that the issue with the safety of our community will prevail over any perceived convenience that golf carts may afford.”
Most of the complaints received by the city have been from those who were worried about reckless driving, Rush added.
“We also hear from people concerned about the age of the operator,” said Rush. “That is mostly what we hear. It’s not a, ‘Hey, you’re not supposed to be doing that’ complaint, it’s a safety issue.”
Bottom line, if you can’t get a tag for your golf cart, it is illegal to drive it on a public street or road. It is also illegal to drive golf carts on sidewalks.
Rush said he is directing his officers to take enforcement action on any violations.
” Officers will use discretion but enforcement actions can range from a warning to a citation,” Rush said. “The current fine for operating a vehicle without a plainly visible tag is $215.00.”
If a child under the age of 16 is pulled over for illegal operation of a golf cart, the golf cart will have to be picked up or it could be impounded.
Golf carts may be operated if they meet requirements of the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS). Below is a list of requirements and an example of a label that would be attached to a legal golf cart.