The Tyler Police Department is addressing questions and concerns about golf carts on roadways in residential neighborhoods.

A discussion surfaced recently on the Nextdoor neighborhood message board, drawing dozens of comments from residents in Hollytree and other nearby neighborhoods.

Residents reported that inattentive juveniles have been driving golf carts on the roadways in Hollytree and other subdivisions while they are talking and texting on their cell phones, with some residents indicating the issue has been going on for several years.

A letter from Tyler Police Chief Jimmy Toler, dated June 13 and addressed to interested parties, was posted on the message board and indicates the purpose of the letter was to remind people of the legal requirements regarding operating golf carts on public roadways.The letter cites the section of the Texas Transportation Code that defines a golf cart as a motor vehicle, with the legal requirements for motor vehicles applying to their use on a public roadway - including that an operator be a licensed driver and obey traffic laws.

Toler's letter says a golf cart may be driven on public roadways under limited conditions. The golf cart can only be driven on a roadway with a posted speed limit of 35 mph or less, during daylight hours, for no more than two miles from where the golf cart is normally parked and for transportation to and from the golf course.

"The Tyler Police Department is concerned about the operation of golf carts on public (city) roadways," the letter states. "Although golf carts are allowed under limited circumstances, they are not designed to withstand collisions with cars and do not provide the driver or passengers with adequate protection."

The letter said individuals are criminally and civilly responsible for the operation of golf carts on public roadways in violation of state law or permitting juveniles to violate this law.

Tyler Police Department Public Relations Officer Don Martin said he would not answer questions about the issue until a news release about it was reveiewed and signed by Toler.