Can You Ride a Go Kart on the Sidewalk?
Go-kart racers often have their own go-karts and are looking for places to drive them, apart from the usual race track. If you’ve done your research, you may have found out that driving your go-kart on public roads is not allowed, unless your kart is registered and road legal. Now, you’re probably looking for other places to ride your go-kart.
A sidewalk at first glance may sound convenient. There are no cars, only pedestrians and bicycles. Sidewalks are also about 5 feet wide, which sounds perfect for a go-kart. So, the question is: can you ride a go kart on the sidewalk? The answer is quite simple and straightforward: No! You can’t ride your go-kart on the sidewalk.
Even though you may think that a sidewalk is a convenient place to ride your go-kart, you should definitely not do this. I’ve personally seen people get pulled over, had their go-karts impounded or caused serious injuries to others. Don’t do it!
What Are the Concerns With Riding Go-Karts on Sidewalks?
There are several reasons why you shouldn’t ride your kart on a paved walkway. The main concerns are mostly regarding safety, legality and practicality. I would like you to understand the reasoning behind this, so let’s take a closer look!
1. It’s Illegal to Ride Go-Karts on Sidewalks
One of the most important reasons why you shouldn’t ride your go-karts on the sidewalk is because it’s not legal. Go-karts are only allowed to be driven on private property or race tracks. There are exceptions where certain off-road go-karts are allowed to be driven on public roads, but at no point are go-karts allowed on sidewalks.
Public walkways are meant for pedestrians and bicycles. If you are caught driving a powered go-kart on a sidewalk, you’ll most likely get pulled over, get the go-kart impounded and will have to pay a fine.
2. You Will Put Pedestrians in Danger
Sidewalks or walkways are strictly designed for pedestrians and bicycles. This means that they’re usually rather narrow at about 5-foot in width. If you ride your go-kart on a sidewalk you will put all pedestrians in your path at risk. People who are walking on sidewalks will not expect to see a go-kart and will have a hard time avoiding it.
There have been many injuries reported between pedestrians, bicycles and electric scooters on footpaths. Now, imagine what a go-kart can cause.
3. Riding Go-Karts on Sidewalks Is Impractical
You may be under the impression that sidewalks are an ideal location for riding your go-kart. Even from a practical point of view, this is not entirely true. Let me explain to you why.
As sidewalks are designed for walking, you’ll notice that most of the intersections are not entirely flat. The intersection with other sidewalks are either at a 90-degree angle or will be bumpy. On the other hand, a sidewalk intersection with a road will often have a sloping curb ramp and a lip, which makes it impossible for your go-kart to pass.
What Are the Exceptions?
As with most things in life, there are always exceptions. As motorized go-karts are not allowed on sidewalks, you may be allowed to ride an electric go-kart (classified as a personal mobility vehicle/device) or hoverboard go-karts. This depends on the country and the state that you live in. It’s always important to check your local laws, if this is allowed.
Additionally, pedal go-karts are toys and are also allowed on sidewalks. Although they are usually meant for kids, there are adult pedal go-karts that are commonly allowed to be used on sidewalks. Again, it’s best to check what the local laws are in your city, state or country.
What's the Alternative?
I hope it’s now clear that you shouldn’t drive your go-kart on sidewalks. It’s illegal and you don’t want to endanger others. So, what are the alternatives?
Well, you should only be riding your go-kart on a karting track. They are designed for racing and you can fully unleash your racing instincts. You are also allowed to drive your go-karts on private property, if you happen to own a large paved area.
Remember to be safe, thanks for reading and keep your go-kart off the sidewalk!