Crowsnest Pass council decided during the June 8 meeting to deny a senior citizen’s request for municipal permission to use her golf cart as a mobility aid.
Vivian Strandquist had originally written to council in March and presented as a delegation in May, asking the municipality to redesignate her golf cart to a mobility aid or handicap vehicle, which would allow her to travel as she pleases in Blairmore. Ms. Strandquist said typical mobility aids, like electric scooters, do not provide enough protection from the sun, which she is sensitive to.
Golf carts are categorized under the Alberta Traffic Safety Act as miniature vehicles, which can be operated only on private property and are prohibited from roadways. The municipal exemption would change Ms. Strandquist’s golf cart designation from a miniature vehicle to a mobility aid, thus allowing her to use it in Blairmore.
Protective services communicated with the RCMP and Alberta Registries, both of which confirmed that using a golf cart on public streets and sidewalks contravenes the Traffic Safety Act. Since golf carts cannot be insured under an auto insurance policy, Ms. Strandquist would not have liability insurance, subjecting both herself and the municipality to significant risk.
Although reiterating the Traffic Safety Act, it is worth noting that neither explanation from the RCMP or Alberta Registries addressed whether redesignating a golf cart from a miniature vehicle to a mobility aid was possible. A request for clarification from Alberta Transport was not received by press time.
Information on the Alberta Traffic Safety Act can be viewed online at bit.ly/sm_vehicle-law and bit.ly/AB-traffic.
Sean Oliver, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Shootin' the Breeze