When we hit Manhattan Beach last week to get some photos, we came across an unexpected sight: a go kart zooming up and down Exeter Street.
Three people were playing around with the noisemaker, jotting around the dead end block. It was around 3:00 p.m., and no one else seemed to be around, so I just watched them go up and down, up and down. We didn’t get any of the good parts on film, like the miniature Tokyo Drift-style nonsense or the 180-degree spins they were doing.
For the most part, they didn’t seem to be bothering anyone.
But then they did something really stupid. Two of the guys got in the white car and took off. The third stayed in the go kart, sped to the mouth of Exeter Street and turned onto Oriental Boulevard. They zoomed at full speed towards the college, disappearing beyond my view. He never returned.
Again, this was around 3:00 p.m., and the boulevard was busy with buses and cars going to and from the school.
We decided to ask around with local leaders and law enforcement to see if this was a common occurrence. The 61st Precinct told us they never heard a complaint. Ditto Community Board 15 and the Manhattan Beach Community Group.
But apparently leaders of Manhattan Beach Neighborhood Association are well aware of the problem, and say it’s a dangerous nuisance for residents.
“They go up the streets the wrong way, they’re extremely loud, and they’re low to the ground,” said MBNA spokesperson Edmond Dweck. “I feel sorry for the car that hits them. [The car's driver will] probably be blamed and get locked up.”
Dweck said the issue has come up a “couple of times” at MBNA meetings.
Because go-karts are not designed for street use, and are not subject to the same safety standards and regulations as permitted motor vehicles, they are illegal on all streets, highways, parking lots, sidewalks and any other area, according to the Department of Motor Vehicles. Violators can be arrested.
“It’s not just a violation of traffic law, it’s the children and other drivers,” said MBNA President Alan Ditchek. “It’s dangerous. You just can’t see them.”