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Golf Carts Outlawed

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Gold carts are a legal mode of transportation on streets in Manteno, IL but in Yorkville, Il a man is fighting to keep driving his golf cart. In September of last year, Manteno passed a local ordinance to allow the usage of golf carts on local streets. But in Yorkville, the city approved a new ordinance that outlaws golf carts on public property such as sidewalks, bike paths and more just last month.

There is one man that is fighting the ordinance. Andrew Graham uses a gold cart for transportation due to his disability. In 2009, Graham was diagnosed with Ankylosing spondylitis, a form of arthritis that causes inflammation and spinal joints to fuse together. This makes it painful and difficult to move around, let alone drive a car or truck. He was forced to stop working as a truck driver because the pain was too much.

Graham uses the golf cart to drop-off and pick-up his children from the bus stop. Sometimes he's asked by the neighbors if he could also pick up their kids in his golf cart. Last August, he was issued a citation for violating the state law that prohibits golf carts on public streets and sidewalks. Now he's received a letter from the police chief stating that if he drove his golf cart again, he could get ticketed again.

The city attorney said Illinois law authorizes any local government to prohibit the use of non-highway vehicles which includes golf carts on any roadway if public safety is jeopardized. So it is at the discretion of the city or town to permit or prohibit the vehicles.

In Yorkville, the ordinance specifies that golf carts are not allowed on any city property, which includes easements, sidewalks, parkways, green areas, walkways, bike paths, and alleyways. That means that Graham can't use his golf cart.

During one Yorkville's city council meetings argued the ADA allows the city to make an exception for a person with a mobility disability. He further informed aldermen that he has filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice alleging disability discrimination. Graham hopes his challenge through the Department of Justice will set a legal precedent to protect other disabled individuals in his situation.

The city responded to Graham's statement concerning the complaint he filed with the Department of Justice and the Yorkville City Administrator Bart Olson said, "We think the ordinance is legal."

More info on this story can be found here.