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WWII vet’s golf cart banned from streets



Published: Thu, September 29, 2011 @ 12:03 a.m.

By Amanda C. Davis

news@vindy.com

COLUMBIANA

Richard Newell served his country in World War II, returned to the city where he grew up, raised a family and wants the freedom to come and go as he pleases.

That freedom is compromised by an Ohio law that makes it illegal to drive his golf cart on city streets. Officials here say they want to help Newell but can’t legally do it because golf carts don’t qualify as low-speed vehicles, which are legal.

His daughter, Patty Newell Humlie, says she understands but wishes there was some way Newell could maintain some independence.

Newell, a decorated World War II veteran, is 86 and suffers from congestive heart failure, diabetes and limited mobility. Newell Humlie, of Seattle, said her father can’t walk more than 5 feet without pain in his legs.”

Newell was riding his cart on West Salem Street on Aug. 19 when he was stopped by Police Chief Tim Gladis and warned he was no longer allowed to ride on city streets.

Newell Humlie and Maureen Nesselrotte, her father’s caregiver, addressed city council twice this month, asking for special consideration or for an ordinance to override the Ohio law.

Gladis has recommended council not adopt new legislation because of safety issues. The city’s growth in recent years means there is heavy vehicle and truck traffic in certain areas, which create a danger to motorists and operators of smaller motorized vehicles, he said.

He explained that low-speed vehicles, such as scooters, can operate within the city if they’re titled and insured, and have seat belts, a windshield, rearview mirrors, a horn, turn signals, headlights and brake lights.

Newell’s cart is insured and equipped with many safety features, but Gladis said it doesn’t qualify as a low-speed vehicle and the city can’t make an exemption for one person.

“I don’t have the authority to give someone special permission to violate state law,” he told The Vindicator in a recent phone interview.

Gladis said the department has received complaints when Newell was out driving and noted it’s a “hot topic” that elicits strong feelings on both sides.

Newell likes to watch football games and drive his cart at Firestone Park, which abuts his property on Park Place.

His father, Earl Newell, helped engineer the design of the park, and as a boy, Newell held measuring rods for surveyors.

Councilman James King has suggested the city might be able to provide Newell with an EMS transport to football games if he wants to attend, but Newell Humlie said a caregiver could take him.

Newell spent his engineering career building bridges throughout Ohio and was active in Columbiana and the local Rotary.

Gladis told council Newell is “one of the finest guys you can meet” but added his status in the community can’t be a factor when it comes to enforcing law.


Comments

1lee(544 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

You don't need to give him permission just don't bother giving him tickets, it's called desecration.

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2CassAnn(252 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

He is 86 years old. All Gladis had to do was leave the little old man alone- he wasn't hurting anyone.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

"He explained that low-speed vehicles, such as scooters, can operate within the city if they’re titled and insured, and have seat belts, a windshield, rearview mirrors, a horn, turn signals, headlights and brake lights. "

The Amish bring horse buggys on city streets and leave behind piles of dung . Nobody cares . I'm sure that this old man with the golf cart could be accommodated .

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4CassAnn(252 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Have you ever been to Columbiana Hella? I doubt it. The speed limit through most of it is 25 mph and IS 25 mph around the park where he lives. Going around a golf cart isn't much different than going around someone who is riding a bicycle except the golf cart is probably more visible.

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5kman55(7 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Would you want your father to drive and he has all these health problems.

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6LawDoc(38 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

"Newell’s cart is insured and equipped with many safety features, but Gladis said it doesn’t qualify as a low-speed vehicle and the city can’t make an exemption for one person"

Maybe you should read the article again, Pyroc. The man is a safety issue, no other way around it. When he gets smashed by a speeding SUV, everybody's tone will change and ultimately the city itself will be held liable for allowing him to drive the unauthorized vehicle on the roadway.

CassAnn, you've obviously never seen a vehicle v. bicyclist or vehicle v. pedestrian at even 25 mph.

Laws are Laws, everybody follows them, WW2 vet or not.

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7LawDoc(38 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Vindy, what does his career or his veteran status have to do with him breaking the law and trying to find ways around it??

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8DwightK(1256 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Skateboard? Legal
Bicycle? Legal
Scooter? Legal
Golf Cart? Safety Hazard!!!

I don't get it.

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9southsidedave(4780 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

An accident waiting to happen!

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10DOLE2(594 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

Will someone tell his kids/grandkids get out of the local pub and give grandpa a hand?

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11CassAnn(252 comments)posted 2 years, 11 months ago

LawDoc you miss the point entirely. By using your logic NOTHING should be driven on the road because accidents happen. Duh!

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