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Fwd: Disabled man fights for golf cart use

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  • dubluth
    Some time back there was discussion on the car-free cities group concerning lawsuits for human scale access. The last with that subject line was early
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 19, 2003
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      Some time back there was discussion on the car-free cities group
      concerning lawsuits for human scale access. The last with that
      subject line was early February, I believe. This article is related
      to that subject. Enjoy.

      --- In CarFree@yahoogroups.com, "Fitzsimmons, Diane" <dcfitzsimmons@o.
      ..> wrote:
      Thought the CF group would be interested in the story below.

      Riding my bike or walking long distances have made me sensitive to the
      needs
      of those who cannot walk. In our city, we have a special transit
      service
      for the wheelchair bound, but it is not available 24-7. I had a
      former
      co-worker who had to travel a three-mile, zig-zag patchwork system of
      sidewalks via her motorized chair when rides were unavailable for
      church.

      There's nothing like being sailing along and then to come to a curb
      without
      a cut.

      Diane Fitzsimmons
      Norman, Okla.

      http://www.newsok.com/cgi-bin/show_article?ID=1121120&TP=getemail

      Man fights for right to drive golf cart
      2003-11-19
      By Jack Money
      The Oklahoman


      CLAREMORE -- A pending legal battle to allow Gene Young to drive his
      golf
      cart on city streets will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if
      necessary, his attorney said Tuesday.

      Young, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is facing a misdemeanor charge
      for
      using an unlawful vehicle on a city road. He was stopped by a city
      officer
      when he was using the cart to drive between work and home.

      He pleaded not guilty Tuesday in municipal court. A trial date is set
      for
      early December.

      Meanwhile, he will depend on friends and co-workers to help him get
      where he
      needs to go, Young said after entering the plea.

      "But they will have to take time out of their day to help me get where
      I am
      going," he said.

      Young tried earlier this year to convince elected city leaders to make
      it
      legal for him to drive his golf cart on city streets.

      The Claremore resident also already has filed a complaint with the U.
      S.
      Department of Justice, claiming his community is violating the
      Americans
      with Disabilities Act by denying him legal use of the golf cart.

      The golf cart is a mobility device for Young, both he and his attorney
      have
      said. City officials have said Young is putting himself in danger when
      he
      drives the cart on busy streets.

      Young has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth. While his upper
      body is
      strong, his legs are only somewhat functional. But in trying to lead
      an
      independent life, Young found a wheelchair only got him so far.

      Several years ago, he began using golf carts to go places that
      involved
      longer distances.

      Young's attorney, Todd W. Singer of Tulsa, said Tuesday he is taking
      Young's
      case for free. He chaffed at a requirement that Young must hire a
      stenographer for the actual trial -- a transcript is needed for
      appeals, but
      the city court is not an actual court of record.

      "This is a ridiculous ordinance based on a ridiculous state statute ..
      . we
      think they are unconstitutional," Singer said after his client's
      appearance.


      Young has said he is careful while driving the cart, avoiding highways
      and
      trying to drive as little as possible at night.

      His cart is equipped with headlights, seat belts, turn signals, brake
      lights
      and hazard lights. He said he also carries liability insurance in case
      he's
      in an accident.

      He drove his attorney to court Tuesday, and Singer told reporters
      afterward
      that he would ride with Young back to his home to discuss the case.

      "We will move forward, and we will fight this to the end," Singer
      said.
      --- End forwarded message ---
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