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Old 10-19-2019, 12:00 PM   #1
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WARNING -- Virginia is discriminating against handicap folks

This is a post I really didn't want to make. However, yesterday it became official. Virginia State Parks do not allow OPDMD's to operate in the park, unless they are on specific trails.

My wife cannot walk any distances without incurring pain. She has a handicap placard and the condition is permanent. When we were camping at Claytor Lake State Park, my wife wanted to take a shower she took the OPDMD (a.k.a. Cricket, which looks like a miniature golf cart) down the same path that allows RV's to get to the sites and she was informed by the park manager that this was not allowed in Virginia. The reasoning is that it is a state road and OPDMD's are not allowed on state roads. Of course this is stretching logic to the point of idiocy as children were at play on the path, folks were casually strolling, bicycles were riding by, and there was extremely little traffic on the rock filled road path that every park that has RV's in them has.

I called about a dozen ADA folks, both federal and state, and everybody was like well that's silly. I also filed an ADA complaint to get it changed throughout the state. Yesterday we got the official letter stating that the state was right and we were wrong, despite what the 30 year ADA federal law states.

I have included a link to an excellent explanation. If anybody from Virginia is reading this and is embarrassed by their states lack of concern please let your governor, newspaper, TV station, just somebody know the hurt being done by your state to those less fortunate.

The real irony of this is that my wife gave half her adult working life to advocating and fighting for the mentally handicapped to have access to the community and here is the state where we raised our children, where our grandchildren reside, where one of our children still reside, now discriminating against her in something that practically every other state in the country allows.

BOO ON VIRIGINIA! NO CANDY FOR YOU!

ADA Requirements: Wheelchairs, Mobility Aids, and Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices

This explains what a Cricket is
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:50 PM   #2
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I agree with you 90 percent but what you wrote in your second paragraph, last sentence is the reason why she or anyone else on a motorized cart are not allowed on that trail. You stated certain trails were marked as accessible to you, why did you not choose a camping site there.

It is what it is and you can fight it if you like.

I am not being negative.
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Old 10-19-2019, 12:51 PM   #3
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So this begs the question:

Is a true mobility scooter allowed?
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Old 10-19-2019, 01:08 PM   #4
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Cricket's web site calls it an "RV Golf Cart" and no where on the site is it classified an ADA mobility scooter. I am also considered permanently disabled and I can understand why my home state says no to the cricket. It is a 2 seat minature golf cart.

Thank you Virginia for getting this right.
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Old 10-19-2019, 02:54 PM   #5
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We all know it would never stop.
Today someone wants a golf cart type vehicle that is possibly not what the op wants us to believe it is, tomorrow I'll need my
'comfort pet moose' to ride with me in my 'comfort dragster' while cutting through a wedding reception at the park.

There has to be a line. EVERYONE reasonable understands ANY limitation be it not eating the whole bag of holloween candy or limiting vehicle types in any area or ponies shouldn't be comfort animals on airplanes. Yet the line is challenged by that six year old, that vehicle owner and that, entitled above all others, pony owner.

I'm not so selfish as to need a comfort dragster. Some people are. Your State is wise in knowing this.
Almost everyone on this forum knows of length restrictions on rv's. If I need that extra length due to claustrophobia do I stomp my feet or do I comply to the unreasonable and arbitrary(to me) length limit?
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:48 PM   #6
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Isn't this kind of harsh on Commonwealth of Virginia?

I think if you step back from the personal way this law impacts you and your family, you will see that it is done in the name of safety, the greater good and not to discriminate against handicapped.

Imagine if that motorized cart did result in some god forbid unexpected accident / injury? Not only would you and your family be liable, the State of Virginia would be as well for the negligence in allowing.

I will take your example of a knock on them preventing specific parks as unsafe by an extreme analogy for illustrative purposes. If the Grand Canyon Park was in Virginia and managed to make the list of exclusions for motorized vehicle would that surprise you?

Take care and give kudos to your wife for all of years of service advocating for the community of those that may be disabled & handicapped. I hope she keeps up the good fight and maybe find other ways that may allow her and others to enjoy the great outdoors that don't pose a safety hazard to others.
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Old 10-19-2019, 03:56 PM   #7
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As far as I know Texas law is similar. We can walk or ride a bicycle on roads (except interstates), but motorized vehicles must be street legal. Occasionally Iíve seen golf carts, ATVs, or mini-bikes on roads, but they are probably subject to a fine if caught.

Thereís probably a lot of grey area though ó now or in future. Electric bikes and scooters come to mind. I have no idea if they are technically legal or not.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:16 PM   #8
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Mobility scooters are allowed practically everywhere, golf carts are not. I have had two SILs that have used mobility scooters and they have never been told to get off the path. I suggest you get a true ADA compliant mobility scooter and avoid the future headache.
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Old 10-19-2019, 05:46 PM   #9
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I'm sorry for the problems that this is causing you.
But it doesn't matter what anybody else calls the Cricket: it's what the State classifies it as...
Perhaps some contact with Virginia's Public Officials would change their minds about it. They may just not know enough about them: to classify them properly.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
I agree with you 90 percent but what you wrote in your second paragraph, last sentence is the reason why she or anyone else on a motorized cart are not allowed on that trail. You stated certain trails were marked as accessible to you, why did you not choose a camping site there.

It is what it is and you can fight it if you like.

I am not being negative.
One can ride an OPDMD on a trail if they trailer it to the certain designated trails and then unload it. However, just going from the RV to the shower is illegal in Virginia State Parks. The ADA law emphasizes reasonableness and Virginia State Parks are nowhere being reasonable whatsoever and have no intention to change from what I've heard from our official ADA complaint.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 16ACE27 View Post
So this begs the question:

Is a true mobility scooter allowed?
A well written document from the Dept. of Justice, Civil Rights Division that contains exact federal definitions of mobility scooter in layman terms. https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkoldman View Post
I think if you step back from the personal way this law impacts you and your family, you will see that it is done in the name of safety, the greater good and not to discriminate against handicapped.

Imagine if that motorized cart did result in some god forbid unexpected accident / injury? Not only would you and your family be liable, the State of Virginia would be as well for the negligence in allowing.

I will take your example of a knock on them preventing specific parks as unsafe by an extreme analogy for illustrative purposes. If the Grand Canyon Park was in Virginia and managed to make the list of exclusions for motorized vehicle would that surprise you?

Take care and give kudos to your wife for all of years of service advocating for the community of those that may be disabled & handicapped. I hope she keeps up the good fight and maybe find other ways that may allow her and others to enjoy the great outdoors that don't pose a safety hazard to others.
If you see the implementation in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, and many other states, you will see how relatively easy it is and how it adds a whole new dimension to those who cannot get around as well as others.

The hypocrisy of Virginia in allowing park personnel and volunteers to use golf carts on the very same roads that mobility devices are used (not to mention children playing, bicycles, skateboarding, pedestrians, and practically anything else) is what really rankles me. No, friend, it is not about safety. It is about not having OMDMD's not being on the road. Here's a clear explanation of what reasonableness is according to the ADA. https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:41 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Denman View Post
I'm sorry for the problems that this is causing you.
But it doesn't matter what anybody else calls the Cricket: it's what the State classifies it as...
Perhaps some contact with Virginia's Public Officials would change their minds about it. They may just not know enough about them: to classify them properly.
The state officials are the first ones I contacted. However their "hands are tied" according to the Virginia State Law.

Code of Virginia section 46.2-916.1 prohibits golf carts on public highways
Code of Virginia sections 46.2916.2 and 4602-916.3 describes limitations on golf cart and utility vehicle operations on public highways. Section 46.2-677 addresses self propelled wheelchairs being prohibited on a public highway. All of these sections are kinda ambiguous when dealing with state parks.

However, the ADA law states differently and much more clearly that reasonable accommodations are to the made. https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm Alabama drug there heels until somebody had enough means to complete a lawsuit and the state of Alabama lost. Virginia will most certainly lose a lawsuit if somebody with enough means can bring it to a proper judgement.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:46 PM   #14
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One of the last sentences and a direct quote from the letter we received from Virginia on the official ADA complaint..."Because the roads in Virginia State Parks are part of the public highway system, only the General Assembly can change the law related to the operation of OPDMDs."

That above sentence means is a political choice by the politicians who represent Virginia's folks and why I say "Boo on Virginia" because they are choosing to directly violate Federal law.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:35 PM   #15
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My "Cricket"

https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm clearly states my motorized unit should be allowed indoors too.


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Old 10-19-2019, 09:46 PM   #16
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RVMichael, my answer to you to solve your problem is this, do not and I repeat DO NOT go to Virginia State Parks again. They apparently are following their rules and regulations and if you cannot comply with them, then don't go there and patronize their system.

Oh by the way, New York State Parks have the same rules when it comes to carts for the handicapped.
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:47 PM   #17
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Old 10-19-2019, 09:47 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OldWEB View Post
https://www.ada.gov/opdmd.htm clearly states my motorized unit should be allowed indoors too.

Not without a comfort pony it won't.

Michael, where do YOU stop?
Just far enough to include your wife, or far enough to allow that truck inside a convenience store?
Your answers seem self serving, not public interest guided.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:16 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
RVMichael, my answer to you to solve your problem is this, do not and I repeat DO NOT go to Virginia State Parks again. They apparently are following their rules and regulations and if you cannot comply with them, then don't go there and patronize their system.

Oh by the way, New York State Parks have the same rules when it comes to carts for the handicapped.
I would avoid Virginia if I could, but my grandchildren, my daughter and her husband all live there. In addition, I have relatives and friends made in Virginia during my time my wife and children spent in Norfolk while I deployed overseas defending our country. Also, the United States passed a law in 1990 saying states could not do what Virginia is doing. Additionally, there are some very nice parks in Virginia that my tax dollars helped build. And my actions may pave the way for somebody else to have an easier path to enjoy the great outdoors that belong to everybody, including the disabled.
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Old 10-19-2019, 10:19 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by cpmath View Post
RVMichael, my answer to you to solve your problem is this, do not and I repeat DO NOT go to Virginia State Parks again. They apparently are following their rules and regulations and if you cannot comply with them, then don't go there and patronize their system.

Oh by the way, New York State Parks have the same rules when it comes to carts for the handicapped.
Here's the actual regulations in New York. They look reasonable. New York State Park OPDMD
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