Macon Man Concerned About Motorized Wheelchairs
A Macon man is speaking out about what he calls unsafe practices by people driving motorized wheelchairs in the middle of busy roads.
Lee Martin said he watches a woman nearly every day take her motorized wheelchair down Georgia Ave. to eat at Church's Chicken.
"She rides down the center lane and has almost caused numerous accidents," Martin said.
Martin took a picture of the woman in the street and said his business neighbor contacted the Macon Police Department to file a complaint but nobody showed up to take a statement. A spokesperson for the police department said nobody was available on Saturday to talk with WGXA about the incident but they did send an e-mail last month outlining the rules of the road as far as motorized wheelchairs are concerned. State law says wheelchairs may only be used on the road if there's a path or bike lane on the side of the road. Also, motorized wheelchairs cannot be on a road where the speed limit is more than 35 mph. In addition, the person operating the motorized wheelchair must travel in the same direction as traffic on the road. Martin said the lady does not obey the laws and refuses to listen to him or anybody else.
"She says that it’s everybody else's fault if she causes a wreck and if she's handicapped than nobody is going to arrest her," Martin said.
However, it’s not just on Georgia Ave. Martin said he sees this happening on many streets in Macon.
"I've seen them up on Vineville near Holt Ave.” he said. “I've seen other people up near Lake Street on Vineville Ave. I've seen them on Walnut Street. I mean, they're all over town."
Although some people in motorized wheelchairs may be breaking the law, Martin said the problem also lies with the roads themselves.
"It's too fast, there needs to be bike lanes."
Martin said he wants the city to fix the roads to accommodate motorized wheelchairs before something happens.
"I don't know what else to do,” he said. “I know it’s a concern to some people, but fixing things in this town, they just don't move very fast and this needs to be done soon."
Martin says he's contacted Macon Police Chief Mike Burns asking him to send somebody to the assisted living facilities to remind people who operate motorize wheelchairs the rules of the road. However, Martin said the chief has not gotten back to him yet.