Sunday, September 13, 2009

Disabled Scooter Users Ticketed?

It amazes me when local or state legislators and individual business owners think they can bypass federal legislation such as ADA and prohibit people from public access. Mobility scooters and wheelchairs that fit certain dimensions are both covered by ADA (and most do fit; I gather the reason others don't is not exclusionary but simply that they won't have the same tight turning radius, there's a limit to what will fit on a bus lift or what can be lifted, etc.).

But in Florida, it's illegal to ride scooters on the street or sidewalk, though Segways are allowed. And now one man has been ticketed:
http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20090830/COLUMNIST/908301064?Title=LYONS-Scooter-ticket-shows-law-could-use-update
While the author suggests that such tickets should be banned, a sheriff's department spokeswoman said officers can't be instructed not to enforce laws. Discrimination such as this ticket is already banned under ADA, which allows people with disabilities public access. ADA is a law that is in effect in Sarasota. It's a law in place to prevent such discrimination, and simply making more laws in an attempt to bypass it is not legal. It's the Florida lawmakers and police officers who are breaking the law, not the scooter user.

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