LaFave wants to repeal wheelchair law

LANSING — State Rep. Beau LaFave testified before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in support of his legislation to ensure people with disabilities can operate an electric wheelchair without a driver’s license.

A disability mobility vehicle would be defined as a wheelchair or other mobility device designed to carry a single passenger that is powered by a battery, fuel or engine and would be exempt from the driver’s license requirement.

“I have a prosthetic leg and knee that uses a battery, hydraulic cylinders and a computer to help me walk. Under my reading of the current law, I need a driver’s license to walk down the side of the road,” said LaFave, of Iron Mountain. “This bill is a simple fix that would allow people with physical challenges to operate a disability motor vehicle without government getting in the way.”

LaFave said people with mobility, circulatory, respiratory or neurological disabilities use many kinds of devices for mobility. Some use walkers, canes, crutches or braces. This legislation will allow people to use wheelchairs or electric scooters freely.

“I hope this legislation grows legs and strolls through the House quickly,” LaFave said.

House Bill 5834 remains under consideration by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.

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