Town May Allow Man to Drive Utility Vehicle on the Street

By Chris Coffey
|  Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014  |  Updated 7:14 PM CDT
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Disabled Man Fights for Right to Drive Utility Vehicle on Village Roads

Dale Carr should soon be able to take his utility vehicle onto the streets of Union.

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Disabled Man Fights for Right to Drive Utility Vehicle on Village Roads

State law allows municipalities to permit non-highway vehicles to drive on roads with posted speed limits of 30 MPH or less if it’s determined not to pose a threat to safety.
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A disabled father of two may soon be driving his utility vehicle on the streets of Union nearly a year after the village took away one of his only means of getting around town.

NBC 5 Investigates has learned the village board recently approved an ordinance authorizing people with mobility disabilities the use of non-highway vehicles on village streets where the posted speed limit is 35 miles per hour or less.

Dale Carr said he was told to stop driving his Gator UTV by the Village of Union last year due to safety concerns. Carr, who lost the use of his legs more than 25 years ago, had used the vehicle to run errands around the village.

Carr filed a complaint with the Attorney General and cited numerous other Illinois towns that allowed non-highway vehicles. His family also started a social media campaign to spread the word of his fight against the village.
Aug. 23, 2013: Disabled Man Fights For Right to Drive Utility Vehicle
The new ordinance does not come without a price. Carr must pay an annual fee of $150 and his UTV must meet inspection requirements.

"If they tell me I'm fine, I guess there's no issue," Carr said. "If they come back with a checklist of things that I need to modify, then the ordinance missed its goal."

Carr said he plans to keep fighting to make Union comply with federal disability regulations. He showed NBC 5 Investigates parts of the village infrastructure that appeared difficult for people in wheelchairs to navigate.

"I do this, not for me, but for the child in a wheelchair; the citizen who uses a walker and the person who needs an alternative means to travel," Carr said. "I will continue to fight this battle because it is the right thing to do."

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