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Archived Story

Some ‘machines’ shouldn’t be on roads

Published 9:11am Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I recently read in The Tribune that our city leaders were going to look into the subject of golf carts on the city streets. Even though the State of Ohio has some legislation in place concerning these machines, it is a good thing to be looked into.

But there is another issue on the Ironton streets.

Have you ever prepared to turn your vehicle from one street into another and suddenly saw a small, low, slow moving machine in the path of your car?

Chances are that small, low , slow moving machine was going the wrong way on a one way street or traveling on the “wrong” side of the street.

I am referring to motorized wheel chairs.

I am aware that many of the folks using these machine on the streets say this is their only way to get around, but the fact remains that these are not street machines.

These machines are very low. Most of them do not come up to the windows of an automobile. They do not have tail lights or turn signals. They are very hard to see and they create a danger to their operators and others on the streets.

I realize that all corners are not constructed with ramps from the sidewalks to the street, but even in the downtown area of Ironton where there are ramps, the motorized wheelchairs are using the streets.

Sooner or later an operator of one of these machines is going to get hit. The injuries, whether great or minor, one thing is certain. Everyone will be sorry and be asking the question, “Why didn’t we do something?”

I think it is well past time for us to do something to keep people from being hurt or killed.

W. Richard Walton

Ironton

 

  • bleedingheart

    Motorized wheelchairs are FOR THE HOME ONLY!!! Medicare only approves payment for the chairs for in home use. They are not and never have been for street use. They are dangerous and I believe those riding them in the streets should be cited.

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  • Poor Richard

    Good observation Mr. Walton. I find it sad that those folks in the motorized wheel chairs probably have no other means of getting to where they need to go. A community should note this. Maybe it would be helpful if the city spoke with some of them and asked them what might work to keep them safe and also see that they get to the stores or other places they need to go.

    Some cities/towns have a bike lane that might work, maybe it would have to be expanded to bike, wheel chair and golf carts but I noticed Huntington WV put a bike lane in their downtown area.

    Some communities, like beach communities, allow golf carts, but that is not here. I don’t think golf carts, ATVs or other recreational vehicles should be on any roadways. We pay a lot of insurance for the use of our vehicles so we are covered in case of an accident. I doubt those folks in golf carts and ATVs are covered by any type of insurance that would protect them in a liability law suit or cover a victim of an accident caused by them. There is a reason that Ohio has a law regarding insurance coverage on vehicles.

    (Report comment)

  • swampcreature

    This new ordinance is about helping ‘the right people’ legally drive around town in their golf carts.

    I have a huge issue with kids driving these carts around. The law in Ohio is you must have a driver’s license. No golf course will let people drive a cart without a driver’s license. Yet, we all know kids will be driving these around like some flashy toy.

    It’s a huge safety issue. These carts have no business on 2nd Street where the speed limit is 35 m.p.h. Yet, this goofy town is going to turn the golf carts loose and see what happens.

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  • mickakers

    W. Richard Walton; You are correct in your observation. I live in a gated retirement community where automobiles, golf carts and people use the street. This is a dangerous situation, especially when those of advanced years are involved. Golf carts have there place, on the Golf course and people should walk on the sidewalks. The street is for Automobiles. Safety First!!!

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  • Geronimo

    I don’t usually comment in agreement with some here , but I must say BILCO , you raise a good point on cell phones and texting. I drive 141 and 243 , its getting more scary
    each day , with more cell towers being built and idiots talking and texting on those crooked roads , because of the many more places that you have signal , and can use those things. I nearly have a head on collision every time I’m out. Our law enforcement needs to start concentrating on ticketing left of center drivers more. I guess that’s still an infraction of the traffic laws?

    (Report comment)

    • mikehaney

      If ever rt 93 and Pedro area get cell service it will be even more scary.
      3 days ago, a pickup truck was a foot left of center, double yellow, coming my way. I blew my horn to complain, and apparently the deputy sheriff in a cruiser behind me didn’t see it. I wished it was a State Trooper.

      (Report comment)

  • BILLCO

    Yes, and the one that hit them will probably be texing or talking on their cell phone. I think that is more unsafe than wheel chair or golf carts in the streets, we just have to watch out for them, that’s the only way for some too get around. I bet you people would think different if you were disabled. those people pay the same taxes we do.

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  • Digi

    I agree that the golf carts are not needed on the streets. It’s bad enough with people stopping thier cars to visit with thier neighbors why do you need a golf cart for this? And as for saving anyone gas money, it will only save money for those who actually have the money to buy golf carts, so this law is only going to benefit Ironton’s wealthier golfing citizens. Or some festival goers that have golf carts for getting around at those.
    And as for the electric wheel chairs, yes the streets are horrible, but I am pretty sure when you get those typs of chairs they are for use in your homes and not the streets. They have the scooters for the streets that handle bumps and cracked sidewalks better. But what I do not understand is that your mobility is more important than your safety? Having the electric wheel chairs does not entitle you to the street where a car might hit you! If you feel that way then you must be law suit hungry thinking if you get hit the drivers insurance company will settle with you and you will have a chunk of cash! Well cash does you no good if you happen to get killed in the accident! What if a huge 4×4 truck turns a corner and just doesn’t see you? Then what? People need to stop and think about thier actions even if they do feel entitled to do something. If it can cause serious injury or death is it worth doing just because you want to prove you can?

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  • TribuneSubscriber

    As a response, THE CITY OF IRONTON IS RESPONSIBLE FOR MAINTAINING THE SIDEWALKS ALONG WITH PROPERTY OWNERS.

    IN THE CASE OF BROKEN AND UNEVEN SIDEWALKS SOME OVER
    6″ AND MORE CLOSER TO EVEN A FOOT IN UNEVENNESS, THE
    CITY SHOULD ENFORCE THE CODE TO MAINTAIN SIDEWALKS.

    THEY DO NEITHER. RELUCKTANTLY, THE OPERATORS MUST USE
    THE ”’ONLY MEANS”’ THEY HAVE AT GREAT RISKS TO THEMSELVES
    AND OTHERS IN VEHICLES IN ORDER TO CIRCUMNAVIGATE THE
    UNSAFE STREETS AND SIDEWALKS OF IRONTON.

    ONLY ABOUT HALF OF THE SIDEWALKS IN DOWNTOWN EVEN ARE
    NOT…. IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ””AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES ACT””

    THE IGNORANT PEOPLE OF THE CITY WILL WASTE HUNDREDS OF
    THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS FOR DOZENS OF STUPID STREET LIGHTS
    WHEN A SINGLE TRAFFIC CONTROL LIGHT WOULD SUFFICE…..
    AND THEY IGNORE THEIR DISABLED AND SENIORS …….

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  • Ozzy

    Many communities across the united states allow the citizens to drive Golf Carts on the streets. It is time that Ironton does this as well. This is a great way to save gasoline saving our environment and a way for us to more interact with our neighbors making Ironton a more friendly town.
    I am glad to see that this council can treat it citizens like free adults and pass this resolution.
    Is it possible for someone to get hurt? Sure it is, but I could get hurt walking into the library.

    (Report comment)

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