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 on the CBS 5 Investigates team. His reports have landed crooks behind bars and led to changes in state law.

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Morgan Loew
CBS 5 Investigates

He has exposed conmen who prey on the elderly and predators who target women and children. Morgan combines his legal training with the experience he’s earned over 20-years of news reporting in Arizona to break big stories and dig beyond the headlines. His stories about education, consumer scams and crooked politicians have gone on to make national headlines. Among his favorite investigations are the ones that take him undercover. In addition his hidden camera investigations on drug and human smuggling, Morgan infiltrated some of the most dangerous militia and vigilante groups in the southwest. Members were later charged with crimes that range from murder to child molesting. Over the years, Morgan’s work has appeared on CBS News, CNN, NBC, MSNBC, and NPR. Morgan won ten Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for investigative reporting, the Society of Professional Journalists’ First Amendment Award, and a commendation from the Humane Society of the United States. Morgan is a graduate of the University of Arizona School of Journalism, earned his Juris Doctorate at Concord Law School, teaches media law at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University, and is the president of the First Amendment Coalition of Arizona, Inc., which advocates for open records and open government. When he’s not working, Morgan enjoys camping, cheering for the Arizona Wildcats, and spending time with his family at their ranch in southern Arizona.

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