Round Two: Golf carts on Lake Lanier roads

Published 11:03 pm Thursday, October 15, 2015

To the editor:

I wrote a letter recently outlining my ongoing concerns about the increasing use of golf carts, ATVs, various “off-road” vehicles that claim use of these so called “secondary roads,” specifically roads around Lake Lanier, as their personal playgrounds and that they can drive (or give permission to their children/tots) on them anytime they want.

I omitted detailing the many times I have had close calls involving these vehicles. I will only relay what happened today, Oct. 13 at 4:30 p.m. on a nice day. I set off for a local grocery. I took the shortest route out of the lake area called Lake Road. At the risk of mincing words, it is the most dangerous one-mile stretch of road in a thousand mile radius that I drive on a daily basis. Very steep, curvy and slippery, even on the best summer day with hint of morning dew. The hint of snow or ice sends any 4×4 or SUV scrambling for any other road.

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Imagine my surprise cresting this hill and seeing a golf cart coming towards me with an adult male driving, with three children. I would guess they all were less than 12 years old. He waved jovially at me as I approached him.

I gave him a one fingered salute … not my index finger either! I drove on to the store and drove home the same route. Imagine my surprise when I met the same cart coming back up the same steep, curvy road. No helmets, no gloves, no seat belts.

I stopped and asked him what the hell was he thinking? I knew right away I was in for a confrontation, just the look on his face told me. He told me that he had every (#deleted#) right to be on this road! He lived here (#deleted#), and he had a sticker on his golf cart to prove it. It cost $5 and says he can ride his golf cart anytime he wants. Never mind that golf carts have no lights, turn signals, brake lights, air bags, seat belts, child seats, doors, a roof. I said his sticker did not give him a license to be a complete idiot and endanger the lives of those children or himself, or me.

He backed up his golf cart, on a hill to get closer to my truck to tell me why he had a right to be anywhere he wanted. He told me that he had my license number and would find out who I was!

I am mad at him. I live here, too. I am required by law to have a valid license, proof of insurance, a DMV registration/plate and decal, a road worthy vehicle and education on how to use that vehicle on any legal road. I am not required by law to have common sense!

People who use these vehicles for their own joy on public roads really set me off and put my life in jeopardy, not to mention their own kids or loved ones. Use your golf cart on a golf course!

I place the blame for this terrifying situation directly at the feet of the adults that allow their children to see or participate in this “pleasure activity.” I think it’s criminal behavior and adults who give permission or the keys to these kids need to be hauled before a judge.

And yes! I have heard the laments and commiserations of friends, relatives, neighbors who say, “Call the police!” Maybe in an hour from Greenville County since Landrum or Tryon Police can not come here unless it’s a real emergency.

The Lake Lanier Civic Association? A joke. They treat this lake like a toilet and  flush almost anything. Maybe I will just buy some plywood and make up my own sign saying anything I want. After all, I live here too.


William Squires
Landrum, S.C.