A Red Deer woman with disabilities, who was told she was no longer allowed to use her electric scooter at a Red Deer Tim Hortons drive-thru, says it really was the best way for her to access the local restaurant.
MicKaylehea Kien, who requires the scooter due to multiple sclerosis, said she has been a regular customer at her local Tim Hortons, located at 6802 50 Ave. But about two weeks ago she said she was told she couldn’t use the drive-thru anymore.
“I have been using drive-thru probably two, or three, years,” Kien said.
She said using the narrow doorway damaged her scooter, and trying to balance a drink while holding onto her cane was too difficult.
A new sign at the take-out window said the drive-thru was only available to motorized vehicles, she said.
“I consider my little scooter motorized. Just because you do things differently, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”
She has not returned to the restaurant since.
In a statement, Tim Hortons said for safety reasons, only vehicles licensed under relevant motor vehicle legislation can be served at the drive-thru windows at Tim Hortons restaurants. Licensed vehicles include cars, trucks, vans and motorcycles.
“The safety of guests both in restaurant and in our drive-thrus is a top priority at Tim Hortons,” the statement said.
“We strive to make our locations fully accessible and welcome guests to order inside any Tim Hortons restaurant as a safer alternative.”
Kien said she is very careful and always watched out for vehicles at the drive-thru, and would let them go ahead of her in the drive-thru line. She has also used drive-thrus at KFC and Dairy Queen.
Kien got her scooter in 2003 and said she is determined to keep living her life, and never take anything for granted.
“I believe you can either crawl in your can, put the lid on, and forget about life. Or else you can find out new ways to do things. I’m not handicapped. I’m a limited edition. There’s only one of me.”
She said most businesses are starving for customers because of the pandemic, and she was not hurting anybody by using her electric scooter at the drive-thru.
“If I had an electric car, I could go through the drive-thru with no problem. I can’t afford an electric car.”