Youngsville officials are tightening up when it comes to golf cart activity around the city.

The "zero-tolerance" policy being implemented in Youngsville comes after reports of crashes and reckless behavior involving golf carts—sometimes involving young, unlicensed drivers according to multiple reports from Megan Wyatt with The Advocate.

Back in November, a Youngsville City Council meeting was the site of a "lively debate" where Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux warned that "someone could be killed" in a crash if his officers continued to be lax on golf cart rules and regulations that were currently on the books.

Dawn McDonald, Unsplash
Dawn McDonald, Unsplash

At the time, Boudreaux was dealing with multiple crashes including one that reportedly resulted in the back axle flying off of a golf cart being operated by a child.

In addition to unlicensed and/or underaged operators, Boudreaux complained about the reckless behavior that his department observed on a regular basis.

Several times it's been 12-, 13-year-olds riding by themselves — sometimes five, six, seven hanging off the golf cart.

Youngsville Mayor Ken Ritter responded to Boudreaux's concerns reminding city leaders that the ordinance on the books was clear and "well-intended" as written but not meant for golf-cart owners and operators to have free run of the city.

The ordinance as written was well-intended. It was not to go from Field Crest to Sonic. It was not to go to Pour and stay all night and then drive back to wherever you're going. It was not to allow the kids to go check the mailbox. CC's — the only people who should be on a golf cart at CC's is someone who lives in the townhomes in Metairie Center. That's it.

It isn't just an underage issue, as the Youngsville Police Chief admits that his officers have given too much leeway to adults on golf carts as well.

For instance, it's not uncommon to see golf carts on major roadways in Youngsville after 2 a.m. driven by adults who are heading home after the bars close.

And we have allowed it to happen. I think it needs to go back to them staying inside those subdivisions.

Fast-forward to this weekend and officials in Youngsville are now strictly enforcing the "zero-tolerance" policy when it comes to golf carts as we enter the summer months. Police Chief Boudreaux tells The Advocate that all the warnings are over and moving forward, law enforcement will take action on golf carts that aren't in compliance.

I have given all the warnings that I'm going to give. My officers have been instructed zero tolerance for that. They will pull the golf cart and ticket the parents. From this point on, there's going to be citations issued and golf carts towed.

On Sunday (Jun 5.), Youngsville will host an event from 9-11 a.m. in Sugar Mill Pond that will inform residents about the compliance requirements.

For instance, every golf cart will need to be registered with the city of Youngsville and must have a specific registration sticker on display.

We encourage everybody to register and to get a sticker on their golf cart. If it doesn't have a sticker, it's not legal. It can't be on the roadway.

In addition to their golf carts, owners are asked to bring proof of insurance to the event in order to set up or renew their registration. According to Boudreaux, the "majority" of the golf carts in Youngsville are currently not registered with the city.

Mayor Ritter wholeheartedly believes that citizens will abide by any rules that are made clear and enforced properly and consistently.

I trust our people. When they're given the right information, when they're told what the ordinance is, I think the majority would abide.

Boudreaux did not mince words when asked what would happen if the "reckless golf cart practices" don't subside in Youngsville.

It's becoming a nuisance for everybody. If it doesn't change — as much as I hate to do it because I'm a golf cart owner — we'll ask for it to be abolished. It's in the interest of public safety.

If you can't make the event on Sunday, golf cart registration will be available on the Youngsville city website.

Check out the details, penalties, and of the ordinance along with the full story here via The Advocate.

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