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Society

Man In Wheelchair, Slow To Cross Street, Gets Ticket (Photos)

| by Sarah Zimmerman

A Colorado man in a wheelchair was given a ticket for disobeying traffic laws and not crossing the street fast enough.

Kyle Wolfe said he began making his way across a street in downtown Denver after the signal gave him the green light. But he couldn't make it fully across the street in the 20 seconds allotted to pedestrians, according to KDVR.

He was still 5 feet from the curb when he was hit by an SUV, leaving him covered in scratches and bruises and his wheelchair totaled. Wolfe said he was taken aback when a police officer approached him and handed him a ticket for not crossing the street fast enough.

"I was very shocked that a pedestrian that has the right of way got a ticket," he said.

Wolfe said he needed more time to cross the street because he was in a wheelchair. He was also crossing with a lap full of stuff, and items kept falling into the street.

"When you are moving, everything is falling. I need to pick it up. People don't want to stop," he said.

At the street where Wolfe was given a ticket, a pedestrian is given approximately 20 seconds to cross. The time limit is based on the width of the street, as well as federal regulations that say that a person travels at 3.5 feet per second. 

But Wolfe says the time limit doesn't take into account people with disabilities.

"That is not fast enough for a handicap person to get across a cross walk," he said.

He also takes issue with the police officer who cited him, saying that the officer should have been more sensitive about his disability.

"I hate when people think a handicapped [people] are the same as normal people," he said. "They are not."

It's unclear what Wolfe was cited with and whether it was legal for him to even receive a citation in the first place. According to Colorado traffic laws, if a person has not completely crossed a designated crosswalk in the allotted time, they still have the right of way. 

The law says that "any pedestrian who has partly completed crossing during the 'Walk' indication shall proceed to a sidewalk or to a safety island, and all drivers of vehicles shall yield to any such pedestrian."

A police spokesperson said Wolfe will be able to fight the citation in court, according to KDVR.

Sources: KDVR, FindLaw / Photo credit: Richard Drdul/FlickrKDVR

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