By Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Without the ability to go where they want, individuals are severely limited in their ability to do what they want. Mobility creates independence.

Such was the argument Vivian Strandquist of Blairmore presented to Crowsnest Pass council during the May 11 council meeting.

Ms. Strandquist originally wrote to council back in March requesting a municipal exemption for her golf cart so it could legally be considered a mobility aid or handicap vehicle, like the electric scooters typically used by senior citizens.

Council had replied that the municipality could not give Ms. Strandquist permission to drive her golf cart around town because the Alberta Traffic Safety Act categorizes golf carts under miniature vehicles, which can only be operated on private property and are prohibited from being used on roadways — though a special permit can be granted for use on a highway, which is legally defined as any means of thoroughfare like streets, roads and alleys.

Ms. Strandquist decided to appeal council’s decision because of a misunderstanding: she did not want permission for her golf cart to act as a vehicle, but to be considered a mobility aid. Under the act, mobility aid users are considered pedestrians and so do not require any licensing or insurance.

Although mobility aids can be driven on the street, staying on sidewalks is recommended. In comparison, miniature vehicles can be used in a pedestrian-like manner but are not legally considered pedestrians.

The problem with a regular mobility aid, said Ms. Strandquist, was its lack of a rooftop to protect her from the sun’s heat. The golf cart’s roof provided a convenient solution to her needs.

This item is reprinted with permission from Shootin the Breeze. For the complete article, click HERE

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