Tregre: State law defines local golf cart use
Published 12:01 am Saturday, February 13, 2016
This article about golf carts, which have been driven on the streets of St. John Parish for as long as I can remember, has been a long time coming.
You know the ones we see all over the parish at schools, stores, fairs, festivals, firework displays and bars. Some citizens are just taking a ride on lazy Sunday evenings with one leg hanging out of the cart; some are headed to the ball park; and some are trying to save money on gas.
Golf carts have been on parish streets during the day and night driven by all ages, 8 to 80, for as far back as I can remember.
However, over the past 10 years, this hobby has become a controversy. Some people love golf carts and some people love to hate them.
Some people think they are illegal to be on the street … period! Some people think we have much bigger fish to fry than to be worried about golf carts.
I have been approached multiple times since becoming Sheriff about what my plans are for appeasing the lovers and the haters of golf carts. It has even come to the point of people threatening their vote for me as Sheriff on both sides of this burning issue depending on what my actions would be.
Well the time has come and it has been made official! The Louisiana Legislature recently passed Louisiana Revised Statue 32:299.4, Act No. 308 amending the laws controlling the operation of golf carts and other unregistered non road use vehicles on public roads and highways.
Basically, this new law states that if you want to ride, the cart has to be street legal. Meaning the cart has to be operated by a licensed driver only, the cart has to covered by liability insurance (minimum limits) and has to be outfitted with head lights, turn signals, etc.
I have met with some of the St. John Parish Council members and Parish President Natalie Robottom about the new law. The Sheriff’s Office has provided Council members copies of the law.
Members of St. John Sheriff’s Office have been giving out written notices to golf cart drivers on the streets of St. John Parish, making them aware of the new law.
And as your local law enforcement agency, we are bound by oath to uphold the law.
So now, the officers can get back to frying bigger fish, since the law is the law and they must enforce all laws. Hopefully, we can finally put this great debate to bed!
But, somehow, I doubt it.
Mike Tregre is Sheriff of St. John the Baptist Parish. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.