(ABC News) — Golf carts are becoming so popular in some communities that cities are taking measures to try to keep people safe, including Carolina Beach.
A Good Morning American investigation into a surprising hazard on roads across the country, golf carts. They’re not just popular on the course or at resorts, but now they’re even showing up on highways raising serious safety concerns
“It’s pretty hazardous out on the roads and being out on a golf cart makes it even more scary,” Debbie Hersman, President of National Safety Council, said.
There were an estimated 18,000 golf cart injuries filling up emergency rooms across the country in 2017, according to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
16-year-old Drew Pelkowski suffered a major brain injury in 2016, after the golf cart he was riding in on the street flipped on its side.
“The doctors reassured us that he had less than a 10 percent chance of making it,” mom Lauri Pelowski said.
Luckily, Drew beat the odds.
“He’s a fighter and a survivor,” Pelowski said.
“It’s an issue that absolutely needs to be made safe,” Carolina Beach Police Chief Chris Spivey said.
Earlier this year, this coastal community raised the bar on golf cart safety, requiring everything from turn signals to seat belts.
GMA investigates was there as officers enforce the new law.
In just an hour, GMA witnessed a steady stream of people in golf carts on the roads some breaking the new rules. One officer wrote four tickets. In Carolina Beach, golf cart drivers are allowed on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles-per-hour or below, but laws vary from town-to-town across the country.
In South Carolina, golf carts are seen driving through heavy traffic.
“As a safety professional, this makes me really uncomfortable!” Hersman said.