Golf cart allegedly driven by a 10-year-old in Palm Bay slams into car, sending child to hospital

People are worried about young kids driving golf carts in Central Florida after a 10-year-old child was allegedly driving a golf cart before colliding with a car in Palm Bay.

Palm Bay Police are still investigating the crash that happened on Tuesday afternoon, but FOX 35 confirmed a 12-year-old child was airlifted to the hospital after the crash.

On Wednesday, police did not provide an update on how anyone involved in the crash was doing. It happened near the Dollar General on Degroodt Road Southwest. 

Neighbors say a helicopter landed in a nearby church parking lot to transport the child to the hospital. People who live nearby are also worried more kids could be in danger because young drivers are everywhere. 

From the Dollar General parking lot, Natalie Smith captured video of the chopper taking a child to the hospital after Palm Bay police say a golf cart, driven by a 10-year-old, slammed into a car. 

"I see it on a regular basis. Children driving golf carts down DeGroodt, down Bayside Lakes Boulevard," said Lisa Snow who lives near the location of the accident. 

She’s sad but not shocked.

"A lot of time when I see them, they’re small children," she added. 

Snow isn’t the only homeowner who’s been concerned about young kids driving golf carts. 

"They could fall off and hit their head or what happened yesterday, there could be a collision," said Natalie Smith who has young kids herself. 

Natalie Smith saw the helicopter take off, and she’s worried about her family’s safety because she always sees young kids driving golf carts in her neighborhood. 

"I’ve never lived somewhere where I worry this much about my kids playing in the front yard," said Smith. 

What these neighbors are noticing could actually be illegal in Florida. 

"You have to be 15 or 16 with a learners permit to operate a golf cart on a public road now, that’s the new law," said Tim Babiarz who’s a Central Florida lawyer. His law firm deals with a lot of cases involving golf cart accidents. 

The new state law Babiarz is referencing started last October. HB 949 also says if a person driving a golf cart on a public road or street is 18 years or older, they must have a form of government-issued photo ID. 

Babiarz said the state increased age restrictions because golf carts are everywhere, and these accidents can be tragic.

"I don’t think people even know what the law is. I think they just allow their children to get on these golf carts and drive all over town," exclaimed Snow. 

FOX 35 asked attorney Babiarz what needs to change for parents to respect the law and also for people to get a greater understanding that golf carts are still a vehicle and they need to be handled in a safe way?

"I think you’re doing a great job of that. It’s public education. It’s getting the word out there that these things can hurt people very significantly," he concluded. 

FOX 35 asked the Palm Bay police department who was at fault in this accident and if anyone was arrested, but on Wednesday afternoon did not have an update. If you’re looking for another reason to follow the law, breaking it and driving a golf cart underage could leave you with a fine or ticket from law enforcement.