Illustration for article titled Is A Motorized Wheelchair Operator A Pedestrian Or A Driver?

After a 59-year-old man died in a collision between his scooter and a motorized wheelchair, police in St. Petersburg, Fla., have to decide whether the wheelchair's operator was a pedestrian or a driver; if he's driving, he could face charges.


The accident late Tuesday happened when Thomas L. Wiemken's scooter hit the wheelchair of Robert W. Kurczaba, who was crossing the street in the middle of the block. Wiemken wasn't wearing a helmet and was thrown from his scooter.

Police and lawyers say if Wiemken is considered a pedestrian, than the strongest charge he might face would be jaywalking. But if his wheelchair qualifies as a vehicle - a decision that may hinge on details such as the size of its motor and batteries - then he could face reckless driving charges. []

Share This Story

Get our newsletter