An official has warned the COVID-19 pandemic has spurred an epidemic of children driving golf carts in The Villages.
“Because of the pandemic, we are seeing kids here continuously. Usually, we see them at Christmas or Easter. But now, because so many of them are involved in online instruction, they can do it anywhere,” said Supervisor Gail Lazenby at Friday’s Community Development District 3 meeting at Savannah Center.
Lazenby, who worked for many years with The Villages Public Safety Department, said because more children are in Florida’s Friendliest Hometown many of them are being spotted driving golf carts.
“We see more and more kids who are 10 and 11 years old behind the wheel of a golf cart with grandpa sitting next to the them,” Lazenby said.
You must be at least 14 years old to drive a golf cart in Florida.
He said the penalty for driving underage is “pretty Draconian.”
The offenders can be issued tickets that could come back to haunt them.
“They are so eager to get that driver’s license. They may be in Pennsylvania or wherever, but they’ll learn they can’t get their driver’s license because of that ticket they got in Florida,” Lazenby said.
He also said that Villagers who allow their underage grandchildren to drive their golf cart may be in for a shock if the child is involved in a crash involving property damage or injury.
“You’re out of luck with insurance,” Lazenby said.