Police in One Nearby Community Say Golf Carts are Not for Teenage Joyrides

Jun 11, 2024 at 02:21 pm by WGNS News


FRANKLIN, TN - In nearby Williamson County, there is a growing issue with residents driving golf carts on the roadways. In years past, we've seen similar issues in some neighborhoods located in Murfreesboro, but not to the same extent as Franklin.


Due to an increased number of complaints, the Franklin Police Department has had to resort to asking residents to review laws in Tennessee concerning golf carts and other low-speed vehicles. The PD has even sent a news release to area media outlets highlighting the different laws.

The growing issue appears to involve drivers that have yet to grow old enough to drive. Franklin officials say that in recent weeks, area residents have reported seeing an increased number of unlicensed teenage drivers traveling through subdivisions on golf carts and a variety of low speed vehicles. In response to those complaints, the police department is increasing patrols and stepping up enforcement to curb the problem.

For those who may be confused about the laws surrounding teen drivers, no matter what they're driving, authorities have released further details about the rules that parents should be enforcing. But due to a lack of parental enforcement and a need to abide by the actual law, Franklin Police have released the following:

(55-1-123) Golf Cart: A motor vehicle that is designed and manufactured for operation on a golf course for sporting or recreational purposes and equipped with safety belts installed for use in the left front and right front seats, and that is not capable of exceeding speeds of 20 mph.

  • Anyone caught operating a golf cart on a city street, except to cross at a 90-degree angle, will be cited.

(55-1-122) Low-Speed Vehicle: Any 4-wheel electric or gasoline vehicle, excluding golf carts, whose top speed is greater than 20 mph, but not greater than 25 mph, including neighborhood electric vehicles. Low speed vehicles must comply with USDOT standards in 49 CFR 571.500.

  • Anyone caught using a low-speed vehicle on a public way must comply with Tennessee child restraint laws; violators will be cited.

  • Unlicensed drivers caught operating a low-speed vehicle on a public way will be cited.

  • Anyone observed operating a modified golf cart that fails to meet each of the requirements in 49 CFR 571.500 will be cited.

Low speed vehicles registered with the State of Tennessee may be operated only by licensed drivers, and only on streets with a 35 mph or lower speed limit. Low speed vehicles must be equipped with the following:

  • Headlamps

  • Front and rear turn signals

  • Tail lamps

  • Stop lamps

  • Red reflectors on both sides and the rear

  • Mirrors on the driver’s side and either interior or passenger side exterior

  • Parking brake

  • A windshield that conforms to the Federal motor vehicle safety standard on glazing materials (49 CFR 571.205)

  • A vehicle identification number that confirms to the requirements of part 565 (Vehicle Identification Number) of this chapter, and a Type 1 or Type 2 seatbelt assembly conforming to Sec. 571.209 of this part, Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No., 209, Seat Belt Assemblies, installed at each designated seating position.


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