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I am not allowed to access a Va.state park walking & riding

Customer Question

I am not allowed to access a Va.state park walking & riding trail on my golf cart . Iam wheel chair confined : I have lost my right leg (complete amputation) I can however transfer onto my golf cart which has been modified for left leg / foot gas acceleration.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to hep you.

Virginia law only allows for electric personal assistance mobility devices..

An electric personal assistive mobility device is a self-balancing two-nontandem-wheeled device that is designed to transport only one person and is powered by an electric propulsion system that limits the device's maximum speed to fifteen miles per hour or less. Such devices must be equipped with a system that will enable the user to bring the device to a controlled stop. These devices may be operated on highways with a maximum speed limit of 25 miles per hour or less if no sidewalk is provided or if use of the sidewalk is prohibited. Operators must be at least 14 years old or under the supervision of a person who is at least 18 years old. An electric personal assistive mobility device is considered a vehicle when operated on a highway.

Please don't shoot the messenger here.You certainly can write your legislator to expand the definition here to include carts.But presently as you can see they are not included.You can use your electric chair or scooter here.Please don't shoot the messenger, its the law that needs modifying here.

I do appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 10 months ago.

Here is extra information about golf carts on public roads --again understand you are asking about state parks..

Virginia

-

"Golf cart" means a self

-

propelled vehic

le that is designed to transport

persons playing golf and their equipment on a golf course.

107

A golf car is deemed a

motor vehicle and likely is considered a “passenger car” when used on public streets.

108

No person shall be required to obtain the registratio

n certificates, license plates or

decals, or to pay any registration fee, for any golf cart or utility vehicle that either (i) is

not operated on or over any public highway in the Commonwealth or (ii) is operated on

or over a public highway as authorized b

y Article 13.1 (§ 46.2

-

916.1 et seq.) of Chapter

8 of this title.

109

No person shall operate a golf cart or utility vehicle on or over any

public highway in the Commonwealth except as provided in this article.

110

A. No portion

of the public highways may be des

ignated for use by golf carts and utility vehicles

unless the governing body of the county, city, or town in which that portion of the

highway is located has reviewed and approved such highway usage.

B. The governing

body of any county, city or town may by

ordinance authorize the operation of golf carts

and utility vehicles on designated public highways within its boundaries after (i)

considering the speed, volume, and character of motor vehicle traffic using such

highways and (ii) determining that golf car

t and utility vehicle operation on particular

highways is compatible with state and local transportation plans and consistent with the

Commonwealth's Statewide Pedestrian Policy provided for in § 33.1

-

23.03:001.

C. Notwithstanding the other provisions of t

his section, no town that has not established

its own police department, as defined in § 9.1

-

165, may authorize the operation of golf

carts or utility vehicles. The provision of this subsection shall not apply to the Towns of

Claremont, Irvington, Saxis, o

r Urbanna. D. No public highway shall be designated for

use by golf carts and utility vehicles if such golf cart and utility vehicle operations will

impede the safe and efficient flow of motor vehicle traffic. E. The county, city or town

that has authorize

d the operation of golf carts or utility vehicles shall be responsible for

the installation and continuing maintenance of any signs pertaining to the operation of

golf carts or utility vehicles. Such county, city or town may include in its ordinance for

de

signating highways the ability to recover its costs of the signs and maintenance

pertaining thereto from organizations, individuals or entities requesting the designations.

The cost of installation and continuing maintenance of any signs pertaining to the

operation of golf carts or utility vehicles shall not be paid by the Virginia Department of

Transportation. F. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, employees of the

Department of Conservation and Recreation may operate golf carts and utili

ty vehicles

on those portions of public highways located within Department of Conservation and

Recreation property and on Virginia Department of Transportation

-

maintained highways

that are adjacent to Department of Conservation and Recreation property, pro

vided the

golf cart or utility vehicle is being operated on highways with speed limits of no more

than 35 miles per hour.

111

A. Golf cart and utility vehicle operations on designated public highways shall be in

accordance with the following limitations: 1.

A golf cart or utility vehicle may be operated

only on designated public highways where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or

less. However, a golf cart or utility vehicle may cross a highway at an intersection

controlled by a traffic light if the

highway has a posted speed limit of no more than 35

miles per hour and in the Town of Colonial Beach may cross any highway at an

intersection marked as a golf cart crossing by signs posted by the Virginia Department

of Transportation; 2. In towns with a p

opulation of 2,000 or less, a golf cart or utility

vehicle may cross a highway at an intersection conspicuously marked as a golf cart

crossing by signs posted by the Virginia Department of Transportation if the highway

has a posted speed limit of no more t

han 35 miles per hour and the crossing is required

as the only means to provide golf cart access from one part of the town to another part

of the town; 3. No person shall operate any golf cart or utility vehicle on any public

highway unless he has in his p

ossession a valid driver's license; 4. Every golf cart or

utility vehicle, whenever operated on a public highway, shall display a slow-

moving vehicle emblem in conformity with § 46.2-1081 112

; and 5. Golf carts and utility vehicles

Copyright 2013 International Light Transportation Vehicle Association, Inc.

Atlanta, Georgia

Page

32

shall be operated upon the

public highways only between sunrise and sunset, unless

equipped with such lights as are required in Article 3 (§ 46.2

-

1010 et seq.) of Chapter

10 for different classes of vehicles.

B. The limitations of subdivision A 1 shall not apply to golf carts and ut

ility vehicles

being operated as follows:

1. To cross a highway from one portion of a golf course to

another portion thereof or to another adjacent golf course or to travel between a

person's home and golf course if (i) the trip would not be longer than on

e

-

half mile in

either direction and (ii) the speed limit on the road is no more than 35 miles per hour;

2. To the extent necessary for local government employees, operating only upon

highways located within the locality, to fulfill a governmental purpose,

provided the golf

cart or utility vehicle is being operated on highways with speed limits of 35 miles per

hour or less;

3. As necessary by employees of public or private two

-

year or four

-

year

institutions of higher education if operating on highways withi

n the property limits of

such institutions, provided the golf cart or utility vehicle is being operated on highways

with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less;

4. On a secondary highway system

component that has a posted speed limit of no more than 35

miles per hour and is

within three miles of a motor speedway with a seating capacity of at least 25,000 but

less than 90,000 on the same day as any race or race

-

related event conducted on that

speedway; and

5. To the extent necessary for employees of the D

epartment of

Conservation and Recreation, operating only on highways located within Department of

Conservation and Recreation property or upon Virginia Department of Transportation

-

maintained highways that are adjacent to Department of Conservation and Rec

reation

property, to fulfill a governmental purpose, provided that the golf cart or utility vehicle is

being operated on highways with speed limits of no more than 35 miles per hour.

C. The governing body of any county, city, or town may by ordinance impos

e additional

restrictions or limitations on operations of golf carts, utility vehicles, or both, on public

highways within its boundaries, provided that the restrictions or limitations imposed by

any such ordinance are no less stringent than the restrictions and limitations contained

in this article. In the event that any provision of any such ordinance conflicts with any

provision of this section other than subdivision B 5, the provision of the ordinance shall

be controlling