Scottsdale police warn party-goers about 'Gypsy Carts' - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Scottsdale police warn party-goers about 'Gypsy Carts'

SCOTTSDALE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

Scottsdale has the highest concentration of "golf cart" taxis of any city in the country. And police are warning that some of them may not be licensed or have insurance.

"Special event weekends, spring training, we get a lot of these carts that we would call 'gypsy carts,'" said Scottsdale Police Officer Eric Bolles. "They want to come in and make a quick buck. They're the ones who are driving recklessly, no seat belts, transporting improperly. And they're the ones we really go after," he said.

The consequences of riding in an unlicensed cart can be disastrous. In September, Robert McRae was riding in a party cart in broad daylight on a Saturday, when the cart either abruptly accelerated or decelerated. McRae fell from the cart and struck his head. He died two weeks later.

"We were really shocked at what happened and how it happened," said McRae's sister, Ida. "If there's regulations for these golf carts, how did this happen?" she said.

The cart McRae was riding in did not have the required insurance.

"People call us and either their family members have been injured or in a case like this one where they have been killed," said attorney Marc Lamber, a legal analyst at Fennemore Craig, P. C.

Lamber has handled other cases involving party cart injuries.

"Don't think of these as golf carts. These are vehicles," said Lamber.

There are ways to make sure you are traveling in a licensed party cart, rather than a gypsy cart. The driver should be able to show you the license on the spot. The rates need to be clearly posted. And the front seats should have seat belts.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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Morgan  LoewMorgan Loew is an investigative reporter at CBS 5 News. His career has taken him to every corner of the state, lots of corners in the United States, and some far-flung corners of the globe.

Click to learn more about Morgan .

Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

Morgan’s past assignments include covering the invasion of Iraq, human smuggling in Mexico, vigilantes on the border and Sheriff Arpaio in Maricopa County. His reports have appeared or been featured on CBS News, CNN, NBC News, MSNBC and NPR.

Morgan’s peers have recognized his work with 11 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards , two regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for investigative reporting, an SPJ First Amendment Award and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Last fall, Morgan was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle, in recognition of 25 years of contribution to the television industry in Arizona.

Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona journalism school and Concord Law School. He is the president of the Arizona First Amendment Coalition and teaches media law and TV news reporting at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

When he’s not out looking for the next big news story, Morgan enjoys hiking, camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats and spending time with his family at their southern Arizona ranch.

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