READY FOR TRAFFIC? Golf carts on city streets are todays sore subject. Theyve been controversial elsewhere, too, such as in this photo from WKM-TVs coverage of the issue in a Nashville suburb.

  • READY FOR TRAFFIC? Golf carts on city streets are today’s sore subject. They’ve been controversial elsewhere, too, such as in this photo from WKM-TV’s coverage of the issue in a Nashville suburb.

It’s a slow morning so I’ll share an e-mail that repeats a recurring complaint — the privileged class running amuck in golf carts in the Heights/Country Club of Little Rock neighborhood.

It has legislative relevance. For reasons unclear to me, Rep. Prissy Hickerson of Texarkana won legislative approval of a bill that expands the range of unlicensed golf carts on city streets, when cities are willing. Where the law had allowed operation of golf carts only between homes and golf courses on streets not designated as highways, Hickerson’s law expands golf cart access to streets citywide, with municipal approval.

The problem with these unlicensed and unregistered vehicles is their expanded use, both by people not licensed to drive and by operators not bound by driving rules applicable to conventional vehicles. Writes a Little Rock resident:

As a person who grew up in the Heights and has recently moved back, I have watched the golf cart traffic increase to dangerous levels.

You stated the sightings of teenagers in golf carts. This is true, but it goes much further than that.

Yesterday I saw a 12- or 13-year-old girl driving a golf cart with a friend and her mother. It appeared they were just out driving to enjoy the day. I saw an adult male holding his toddler in one arm and driving the golf cart with the other. I saw a front yard party of multiple families with a golf cart parked on the street. 2 weeks ago, I saw an adult male with his elementary aged son on the sidewalk in their golf cart at Starbucks.

My understanding from speaking with Little Rock Police that it is illegal in the city of Little Rock to drive a golf cart on the streets. They also stated that folks must be caught in the act before anything can be done and gave me the non-emergency number to call when I see a golf cart on the street.

I am horrified that a state representative would even consider a law allowing anyone to drive golf carts on the streets legally. No seatbelts? No passenger limits? No lights? Where is the benefit to the community for a law like this?

Max, I am trying to put a stop to this in my neighborhood before someone is hurt or killed. Any ideas?

Not really. My only idea is 1) to stay in touch with the City Board to make sure Little Rock doesn’t expand the reach of marauding golf carts. 2) Whether anything can be done about existing abuses, I just don’t know, I indicated. My correspondent wrote back

I’ll keep calling the non-emergency number when I see them. I didn’t get out of the house until late this afternoon and guess what I saw! Middle aged couple in their golf cart, with two dogs on the back in a cage. Can’t walk the dogs in the Heights ya know, gotta take em for a ride! When did the folks living in the Heights begin to think they were so entitled? Or maybe they always have, though I don’t remember feeling entitled when I grew up here in the 60’s and 70’s.

I wonder if the police would speak at the next Heights Association meeting on April 22nd?

Anybody else?

UPDATE: After work today, my original correspondent sent in a response to some of the robust commenting today. It follows on the jump.