The main issue the department is seeing is an increase in minors and pre-teens operating golf carts on the streets. “The city of Youngsville has a golf cart ordinance that was designed to allow people to use golf carts on the roadways inside of their neighborhoods; inside of their subdivisions,” says Youngsville Police Chief Rickey Boudreaux.
Each subdivision has a green space area for the residents. “The ordinance read that you’re not to drive on or across a roadway that the speed limit goes over 35 or above,” said Chief Boudreaux. “We have kids from the age of 6 to 14, 15, driving around with other kids on it with them and no responsibility, no adults anywhere to be found, and that’s strictly against the ordinance.”
Chief Boudreaux said he has been giving warnings since he took office in 2015. He admits the police department has been lenient in the rules. “We as a police department have kind of turned a blind eye to it for a while because we’re allowing residents to kind of explore a little bit,” he said. “Enforcing it has been a little difficult because of the growth of the city. Keeping up with everybody that has golf carts has gotten kind of out of hand.”
Boudreaux says the department would enforce a zero-tolerance policy. “It’s time for me to enforce, and that means ticketing the juvenile. Ticketing the parent for allowing an unlicensed juvenile to operate it, and then I’m going to toll the golf cart,” said the chief. “By the time you’re done with the cost and how much you’re gonna have to take off for work and all of that, it’s almost going to be the price of a new golf cart.”
Chief Boudreaux explains it is not something he wants to do, but the safety of the public is the main focus. “The easiest thing to do is follow the rules, then you won’t have to hear from me, and it won’t cost you any money,” he said.
In addition, Chief Boudreaux said the golf carts should be registered to be in operation. That includes having seatbelts, turn signals, mirrors, and head and tail lights. If it is not registered with the city, you are not supposed to have it on the roadways. Sunday morning, from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m., the police department will allow the public to get your golf cart registered.