Villages church getting help dealing with passing golf carts



SUMTER COUNTY, Fla. - The largest church in the Villages is getting some help with a concern over golf carts passing by their church.

Those who attend New Covenant United Methodist Church in the Villages have faith that all who come and go will be safe and sound. But they said it doesn't hurt to take extra precautions.

"A stop sign -- a big, legal stop sign -- will tell the people, 'You got to stop,'" said church trustee Mike Ryan.

Ryan said the problem involves golf cart drivers on the path that runs in front of the entrance to the church property.

There are a couple of small posts with "Stop" printed on them, but church members said the posts are ignored.

Channel 9's Berndt Petersen watched as golf cart after golf cart passed by the signs without slowing down.

"Oh, (they go) blowing right through. They don't stop. They don't even put on signals to turn in or nothing. You really got to be aware," said Villages resident Vaira Ozols.

After far too many near-misses, church trustees took their complaints to the Villages Board of Supervisors. On Friday their request for cart path speed bumps was rejected, but official stop signs were approved.

Sumter County sheriff's officials said once the signs are in place, any golf cart driver caught running the signs will get a $166 ticket.

Church members said they hope it will help all involved avoid a tragedy.

"The worst nightmare is me hitting a golf cart with a car," said Ryan.