Courts & Crime

Missouri municipality bans motorists from harrassing bicyclists, wheelchairs

Motorists of Independence: There will be no more harassment of people using wheelchairs.

Or riding bicycles. Or running. Or walking.

Anyone cited for such behavior runs the risk of a $500 fine and jail time.

Independence on Monday night became apparently the third Missouri municipality to approve a measure prohibiting such behavior. Columbia and Greenwood, in southern Jackson County, have similar ordinances.

Jim Schultz, Independence City Council member, said his concern grew out conversations with residents over the past summer.

"I understand that there are some issues with some folks throwing coins, throwing QuikTrip drinks, bottles at not only pedestrians but people in wheelchairs and bicyclists," Schultz told fellow council members Monday night.

Motorists harassing people using wheelchairs? Really?

Yes, really, said Schultz, an insurance agent who maintains an office just off Independence Square. He said he has seen occasional instances of motorists crowding wheelchair users as they tried to navigate crosswalks.

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