Four young Maumelle pre-teens escaped serious injury last Saturday when the golf cart they were joy riding in crashed into a mailbox at 128 Calais Drive around 2:29 p.m.
Maumelle police officer Casey Canady said that when he responded to the 911 call he found the owner of the golf cart, Charles Lloyd, who told him his 10-year-old son, of Maumelle was driving the golf cart southbound on Calais Drive near his own street, Miramar Drive when he lost power in the electric golf cart while climbing a hill. Lloyd told police the cart started rolling backwards out of control and crashed into a brick mailbox.
The mailbox was totally destroyed, police said.
Police said they notified the homeowner, Charlotte Randel, about the destruction of her mailbox.
The elder Lloyd was issued a citation for operation of a golf cart on a city street. He then removed the golf cart from the scene.
The 1996 Yamaha Pacesetter was not equipped with all of the necessary equipment that will be required to operate the vehicle on city streets when the new law goes into effect next week, 30 days after its passage.
Several opponents of the relaxing of the current law that restricts golf cart use to driving to and form a golf course only predicted the new law would result in more accidents.
Both Mayor Mike Watson and Maumelle Police Chief Sam Williams opposed the ordinance strictly from a concern over public safety.
Word of the accident quickly spread around town and the overwhelming consensus was how lucky those four youngsters were that no one was seriously injured.
One golf cart owner said the shutdown of an electric motor under the stress of climbing a hill is not uncommon and he also said the inability to stop a golf cart rolling backwards is also not uncommon because the braking system is not designed for heavy duty breaking, especially with the added load of four passengers.
The new ordinance prohibits having more than two people on the cart and it also prohibits its operation by anyone younger than 16. It is scheduled to become law this week.