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  1. #1
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    Woman in motorized wheelchair gets ticketed after driving it on the road

    NORCROSS, Ga. -- The morning commute to work became a bit more complicated Monday for a Gwinnett County woman.Rhonda Wilson, who has cerebral palsy, was riding her motorized wheelchair to work when a police officer pulled her over and gave her a ticket for driving with an expired license.“This is my wheelchair. This is my legs,” Wilson said.Wilson uses the chair to travel the mile from her house to the dental office where she works.
    Wilson said the officer didn’t impound the chair but he did give her the ticket and told her she would be arrested if she drove the chair down the road again.“It’s crazy. This is a wheelchair. It gets me from point A to point B,” Wilson said.Gwinnett police said for the past two years they've received complaints about Wilson as she tools down the street. There are no sidewalks and officers said her wheelchair impedes the flow of trafficWilson insists the ticket is not valid because she's not driving a car or a moped. “I want to be a productive member of society,” Wilson said.Wilson said Thursday that she will not pay the ticket. But she will begin paying for city transit to pick her up.

  2. #2
    Cross240 is offline Temporarily Civilianized
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    I'm going to hell, but for some reason that cracked me up a bit. I do feel sorry for her, its just a mental picture of a traffic stop on a wheelchair...... I wonder what the radio traffic sounded like?
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  3. #3
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    This has actually gotten a lot of media coverage, and the media has come to her defense.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cross240 View Post
    I'm going to hell, but for some reason that cracked me up a bit. I do feel sorry for her, its just a mental picture of a traffic stop on a wheelchair...... I wonder what the radio traffic sounded like?
    There is a humorous aspect to it, and it IS a strangely unique situation....
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    I think she has a legitimate argument. If person "A"" can walk down the road, then handicapped person "B" should be able to roll down the road, as long as she can stay as far to the side as possible or on the sidewalk.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cidp24 View Post
    I think she has a legitimate argument. If person "A"" can walk down the road, then handicapped person "B" should be able to roll down the road, as long as she can stay as far to the side as possible or on the sidewalk.
    I'm on the fence.

    a) your argument makes sense. if no sidewalks are 'supplied,' and that is her only reasonable way to get to work, she has no reasonable, convenient option but to use the road.

    b) however, she is impeding traffic and causing potentially hazardous situations by doing so. Why should potentially hundreds of people be inconvenienced because ONE person would be inconvenienced by finding an alternate method to get to work.

    Then...lets assume it is perfectly legal to walk down a main road. So...some dumbass decides to dress in all black and walk down the road at night. He gets turned into a hood ornament. Who is at fault? Even if the driver doesn't face legal ramifications, two lives are ruined.
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  7. #7
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    i am sorry but there has to be something else that officer could have done....
    people in miami are in their hover rounds all over the friggin place.. on roads off roads...
    it is how they WALK!!!

    a jay walking ticket perhaps????
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    We have several people in wheelchairs who in certain areas have to ride on the street and I have had deputies call and ask if they can cite them and I agree with CId on this that it is how they "walk" so they are legal in what they are doing.

    Now when one decided to ride it down the main 4 lane highway I thought that was to much but still did not cite but had him move off of the road.

    We have had an incident where one was struck by a vehicle and they were found to be at fault due to there being sidewalks that they should have been using.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjlaw View Post
    Now when one decided to ride it down the main 4 lane highway I thought that was to much but still did not cite but had him move off of the road.
    You probably would have done the same to a person walking down the same roadway.

    Quote Originally Posted by kjlaw View Post
    We have had an incident where one was struck by a vehicle and they were found to be at fault due to there being sidewalks that they should have been using.
    I know how that is. One of the worst a$$ chewings I ever issued without an arrest or cite was a bicyclist that weaved in front of me going down the road. This City has spent God knows how much money on a bike/jogging trail that is very nice and very long. This dunba$$ was riding on a road that the trail runs along. He was less than 10 feet away from an empty bike trail.
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  10. #10
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    I had a similar situation in my previous patrol area. There was a local who would ride his motorized wheelchair in the road, going the opposite direction (to see traffic coming at him). He would do that a few times a week between his home and a store about 3 miles away. Parts of the road had no sidewalk, were narrow, on a hill and curvy with limited sight distance. The dispatcher would get numerous calls that he was obstructing traffic and causing a hazard. I stopped him a few times and gave him an ass chewing. Finally I was able to get in touch with a relative who said they'd make sure he took the bus instead. I was about to pull my hair out and just give him a ticket for an unregistered motor vehicle instead. If I wrote him I bet the papers would have made me look like a royal asshole. When you take the whole situation into perspective though it is one individual causing a serious safety hazard for others, just because it's more convenient (and cheaper) for him.
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  11. #11
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    We had one who was out and about all the time 24/7. This was in the Adam 3 patrol district and he was often on a major 5 lane hiway. We got constant complaints about him but could never get him to understand how dangerous it was. Finally got a prosecutor to help us but the judge blew the case off. The guy finally ended up as a hood ornament on a Kenworth. Sorry about that but at least it solved our problem.
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  12. #12
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    I see both sides of the argument however my only issue is with the actual ticket itself. Expired license? Due to her condition that's definitely reaching...
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  13. #13
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    Operating a motorized conveyance on a public road without a valid license would fit the bill, but I wonder if she just talked her way into this or decided that her daily commute needed to be taken in the middle of the lane.
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  14. #14
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    I don't see how it's any different from walking, riding a bike, or riding a horse for that manner. None of the above require a license. A bike you can drive on the road, if you obey the rules. But you don't need a license. But, she must have done something wrong to get pulled over anyway, so for that she should get a ticket. But an expired OL? Come on.
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    Terminator's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 213th View Post
    I don't see how it's any different from walking, riding a bike, or riding a horse for that manner. None of the above require a license. A bike you can drive on the road, if you obey the rules. But you don't need a license. But, she must have done something wrong to get pulled over anyway, so for that she should get a ticket. But an expired OL? Come on.
    Everyone should keep the differing state laws in mind. In North Carolina, if you're doing 'x' mph in a moped on the road, then you're required to have a drivers license (where normally you would only have to be 16 to operate one on the road, without license), insurance, an inspection, and registration, just like a vehicle. I am guessing that is similar to what this case is. Now, whether you agree with the officer charging her for it, that's a different story. But it's likely he had a legal right to do it.

  16. #16
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    Definition in CT-

    "Motor vehicle" means any vehicle propelled or drawn by any nonmuscular power, except aircraft, motor boats, road rollers, baggage trucks used about railroad stations or other mass transit facilities, electric battery-operated wheel chairs when operated by physically handicapped persons at speeds not exceeding fifteen miles per hour, golf carts operated on highways solely for the purpose of crossing from one part of the golf course to another, golf-cart-type vehicles operated on roads or highways on the grounds of state institutions by state employees, agricultural tractors, farm implements, such vehicles as run only on rails or tracks, self-propelled snow plows, snow blowers and lawn mowers, when used for the purposes for which they were designed and operated at speeds not exceeding four miles per hour, whether or not the operator rides on or walks behind such equipment, bicycles with helper motors as defined in section 14-286, special mobile equipment as defined in subsection (i) of section 14-165, mini-motorcycle, as defined in section 14-289j, and any other vehicle not suitable for operation on a highway.

    So, around here, you don't need a license to "drive" a wheelchair.

    I guess I wouldn't have given her a ticket.... unless she had been going more than 15mph, then it'd have been, "Pull over lady- where's the fire!"

    I agree with the others- had she been traveling down the side of the road and not impeding traffic, I wouldn't have seen a problem. About the only thing I might do is suggest to her that she have a slow vehicle triangle or some other high-vis thingee on the back of the chair. But, that'd just be a safety issue.
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