Editorial: Golf Cart Safety vs. Dogs On The Beach Violations

By / Editorials / Wednesday, 21 June 2017 04:00

By WILLARD KILLOUGH III
Managing Editor

The Carolina Beach Town Council will discuss the issue of golf cart safety and enforcement of regulations governing cart use in Town during their June 27th, workshop meeting. (See report on page 1-A)

During a recent Council meeting, Councilman Shuttleworth spoke of feedback he's received from members of the community regarding safety of golf carts. He said, "I'm just suggesting that as a community between now and the end of the summer Michael I would hate to have to be making an action because there was an accident. I haven't seen it this bad in the past. I'm seeing them on Dow Road. I'm seeing them all over and seeing a lot of small, and I mean 10 and under, children sitting in the back seat, sitting in laps, babies on laps."

The Town recently adopted new rules allowing people to have their dogs on the beach before 9am and after 5pm. Enforcement has been largely absolute with $250 tickets written on the spot rather than issuing a warning to encourage compliance.

If the Beach Ranger (Police) is empowered to write a citation on the spot rather than giving a warning, perhaps the Town Council should apply that same philosophy and start writing $250 tickets when people violate the rules governing golf carts.

Since the Council's new philosophy appears to be absolute enforcement in order to beat the masses into compliance by clearing $250 from their wallets for a dog citation, and they believe that's the most effective method, they should be willing to apply that same level of enforcement upon violators of the golf cart rules. Certainly the Council doesn't believe that a lady walking a dog on the beach after 9am is more dangerous than a person driving a golf cart with a baby sitting on their leg or a cart overloaded with small children and no safety restraints. Of course the Council shouldn't levy such large fines without first giving a warning.

That's the point. $250 fines for a tourist walking Rover on the beach at the wrong time of day without first issuing a warning simply because they should have seen a sign near the walkway is absurd. Let's see how the Town steps up enforcement of golf cart rules. Comply or pay up!

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