Man On Scooter Denied Drive-Through Coffee Service

Here’s pretty much the same story about a customer on a motorized scooter not being allowed to use the drive through, this time at a Tim Hortons coffee establishment in Nova Scotia. He’s not going to sue, but plans to appeal to Nova Scotia‘s Human Rights Commission.

The attendant wouldn’t serve him because of a company policy banning pedestrians, bicycles, and wheelchairs, including motorized scooters, from using the drive-thru. Matthews says that means no coffee for him, because he can’t manoeuvre his scooter through the front door.

“It would take three people to get me in. And I don’t even know if I’ll be able to turn around when I get inside. And, if I don’t run over somebody inside trying to back this up, it would be a small miracle,” Matthews said.

What do you think? Should restaurants make an exception for disabled customers on scooters, or is the ban practical?

“Deprived of his Tim Hortons coffee, N.S. man will make human rights appeal” [CBC] (Thanks to Andy!)


Edit Your Comment

  1. dreamsneverend says:

    No coffee does sound like a human rights issue.

    • mariospants says:

      @dreamsneverend: Yes, but Davros here will certainly make it into a war.

      • Jacob Morgan says:

        Davros? Really?

        • mariospants says:

          @Jacob Morgan: Well, there’s got to be a back story, right? A young Davros, spurned by the pretty barista at his neighborhood Tim Horton’s – hell, he can’t even get thru the front door – vows revenge upon all life and spends the rest of eternity designing the perfect warrior race… all the while pining for that double double served by the girl with the doughy tits and the perfect red finger nail polish.

    • Jetts says:

      @dreamsneverend: This isn’t just coffee, it’s Tim Hortons Coffee. I miss that stuff more than my family when I travel out of Canada.

  2. Skin Art Squared says:

    I’ve been outfitted with a Gen 1 Iron Man combat suit, and I can’t fit through the door. Do they allow evil man-robots in the drive-thru?

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @BZMedia: Well, in an Iron Man combat suit, you can just make your own entrance. Problem solved!

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @BZMedia: I was going to say Iron Man wasn’t evil, then I remembered Civil War…

      Flame on!

    • PencilSharp says:

      @BZMedia: I dunno… does it transform into a crappy little yellow VW bug?

      Oh, and @RecordStoreToughGuy, Iron Man has gone thru several distinct evil phases in his life:
      1. His flirtations with demon whiskey,
      2. Teaming up with Black Sabbath,
      3. Having Stan Lee as his agent (now that dude is evil…)
      and most importantly,
      4. Allowing the West Coast Avengers to exist.

      Not flame on, flame out!

      • trujunglist says:


        Not to mention the brainwashing and basically being a complete dick to everyone, including – but not limited to – every single member of the Avengers.

  3. gStein_*|bringing starpipe back|* says:

    oh, when i first read the headline and quote, i thought that it meant something like a Vespa, which would have been stupid…
    i don’t know how i feel about motorized scooters. they are not allowed on the roadway, and are designed for increased mobility (not decreased)

    if he drove there, he should have stayed in his car; if he “walked” (rode the scooter from his house/ public transit dropoff) then i don’t know what to say – the scooter should be small enough and maneuverable enough to fit inside a normal doorway (at least, all of the ones i’ve seen are)

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @gStein: Let’s not mince words here: the proper term is “scooted” – he scooted to the drive thru.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @gStein: Or the doorway should be large enough to accommodate scooters. I don’t know how strong Canada’s protections for the disabled are, but America’s are pretty much the highest standard in the world, so we get pretty used to things like doorways that can accommodate standard wheelchairs down here in the states and we forget that in other countries that isn’t always the case. :)

      • Zenatrul says:

        @Eyebrows McGee (now with more baby!):
        Canada is very extreme on discrimination of any kind.
        I can understand why they wouldn’t let him go through the drive thru but they should have big enough doors for a scooter.

        I know here there are some Tims thats I doubt a scooter could get in and I know others that would be prefectly fine, the only ones kinda have single doors or ones with a beam in the middle.

        • Absent minded or just absent says:

          @Zenatrul: It may be true that Canada is extreme on discrimination, but, unlike the US, Canada doesn’t have any national form of disabilities act or standards. The Canadians appear to be working on such an act, but they’re not moving too quickly with it.

          • B1663R says:

            @Absent minded or just absent: OH HELL NO!!

            Disability acts in Canada are currently a Province wide mandate meaning that each province has its own rules when it comes to disabilities.

            in Ontario it’s over the top nutty as to what we have to do. for example in an government building that is currently under construction we have to be able to accommodate hospital stretchers into a jury box (just in case)

            handicap accessible washroom prison cells. emergency exits with braille, you name the disability we have to accommodate it. in some cases they contradict each other but that’s what you gotta do.

            if anything gets renovated it MUST be handicap accessible the only exception is a private residence.

            hell, our stupid wheelchair access doors need a button that is a minimum diameter of 10″ and include tactile feedback for the visually impaired (outline of a wheel chair)

            i’m pretty sure nova Scotia is the same way.

    • karmaghost says:

      @gStein: I don’t know how these prohibitions are worded, but I’ve always thought that drive-thrus are for motor vehicles, which legally these scooters for people with disabilities are not.

      As long as the building is accessible to those with disabilities and his scooter is some-sort of approved vehicle for a person with disabilities, there’s no reason why he shouldn’t be going into the store to get his food/drink. Drive-thus were “invented” to speed things up, so of course they’re going to want to limit traffic by banning peds, bikes, and any other non-vehicles.

      I believe in laws enacted to protect those with disabilities from discrimination, but I do not believe that these laws afford such individuals preferential treatment. In fact, I’ve had many personal encounters where certain individuals with disabilities do not want preferential treatment and would be angry at someone trying to get such treatment by taking advantage of their situation.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @gStein: I just read the article, and interestingly, it does not list his disability. Therefore, I can only assume that his disability is related to being overweight. If this is indeed the case (and I am operating on outright speculation) what if the door still could not accommodate him were he on foot?

      And he is wrong; it is not a human rights issue, unless you count not getting run over to be a basic human right.

      • suzieq says:

        @RecordStoreToughGuy: Not everybody on a scooter is overweight. My mom has MS and has a scooter. Have you ever seen Little People Big Word on TLC?

      • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

        @RecordStoreToughGuy: Oh, very nice. Character assassination by jumping to the conclusion that since the OP rides a scooter, he must be fat. There are other debilitating conditions that could affect his mobility and/or motor skills but no, since that detail didn’t make it into the story, he MUST be fat! Hide the donuts, the fat people are coming!

        Presumptuous, ignorant, boorish…you go, “Tough Guy”.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          @suzieq: @LadySiren: I will, thank you. I said right up there I was operating on rampant, unadulterated speculation with absolutely nothing to go on. I’m open to other theories, sure. But it seems like if he can’t fit because of the scooter, and it would take three people to get him in the door, that he may be a little on the big side.

          I’m probably a jerk for thinking of that first, admittedly, but I don’t think it’s ‘character assassination.” That’d be if I said he used his scooter to run over puppies for fun.

          • RandomZero says:

            @RecordStoreToughGuy: You’ve obviously never been to a Tim Horton’s. There’s a perfectly good reason it takes three people, other than weight – two of them would have to hold the doors open. Most Tim’s vestibules (including the one in the picture) require a hard 90 inside them, and have just enough space for a single person to stand and open the door. His scooter is almost certainly too long for him to do it unaided – even if it had powered doors, which it probably doesn’t.

            It’s an endemic issue across most full-size Tim’s locations. The solution, unfortunately for them, involes a major redesign of their properties. Fire regs, I’m told, require doors to open outward around here, and the vestibules can’t be expanded without encroaching on either drive-through or dining-room space.

            As for your rather rude assumption about the cause of his disability, I’ll get back to you if I can get a local paper while I’m at lunch.

        • Bailen says:

          @LadySiren: While I agree that jumping to the conclusion that the individual the story is about is overweight is a very unfair assumption, ToughGuy raises an interesting question. If the individual was morbidly obese and on foot and could not fit through the door, could that be seen as any form of discrimination? Is obesity covered under the ADA? I live in Canada and as such am not very familiar with the act, but ToughGuy did peak my interest with that one…

  4. "I Like Potatoes" says:

    The other day I saw a man on one of those scooters driving in the center turning lane of a 4 lane road. After my initial astonishment, it made me wonder how far those things can actually go before the battery dies. It also made me wonder what it must feel like to be in the suicide lane on a mobility scooter when an 18-wheeler goes by.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @changed my name: When an 18 wheeler goes by me on the road, my heart stops a little! And I’m in 2,000 pounds of steel!

      • Kogenta says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Especially if it has all the dangerous goods signs that proclaim flamable, explosive, deadly slapped all over the vehicle. Honestly, the big tanker trucks that look brand new and sparkly clean stainless steel are more terifying than the McDonalds truck that’s almost three times as big as it goes by.

      • Verucalise (Est.February2008) says:

        @pecan 3.14159265: Try riding in one. 7 months pregnant. With a psycho driver who is intent on scaring the hell out of you.

        …. after they pulled me out of the fetal position, changed my pants, and gave me valium, I had a better appreciation for the truck driver.

    • acasto says:

      @changed my name: “It also made me wonder what it must feel like to be in the suicide lane on a mobility scooter when an 18-wheeler goes by.”

      Probably a bit like this.

      • benko29 says:

        great link. particularly ‘Yeah, I’m fine. I just went for a little ride.’

      • Karita says:

        @acasto: Oh lol I completely forgot about that story!!

        I don’t know how far those things can go, but I do know they can go FAST. I had to jump into the street once when some kid on one came barreling down the sidewalk. He was going as fast as the traffic, and it was very distressing.

  5. socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

    This article and the one about the woman and white castle just seem dumb. A waste of time, unless it finally sets the issue to rest.

    I can see the wheel chair access thing. Thats all fine and dandy. But the scooters are just, like this gentleman Matthews says, is just too big. I see people on them at the grocery store, and places like target. They are the size of the shopping carts. They don’t really belong in a small space.

    And again, they are still dangerous because they are meant to assist in walking. You can throw out a car is meant to assist in walking, but wheel chairs and electric mobility scooters don’t go much faster than a walking pace, where as a car can go far and fast.

    It’s not that difficult, if possible, to ask someone in a car to buy you something through the drive thru, or even in his case a patron in the shop. I had a gentleman ride up to me one night on his bike and ask me to buy him something with my order at the drive thru. He gave me cash, I ordered it, gave him his food, he thanked me. Simple enough.

    • "I Like Potatoes" says:

      @socalrob: They ARE quite large – it reminds me of when we took the kids to Disney World and it was quite a chore to make sure they stayed out of the paths of those scooters. There are a ton of them there!

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @socalrob: I also feel like motorized scooters, going much faster than anyone walking, or even pushing a cart, could pose a hazard in small spaces such as a fast food restaurant, where there isn’t much space for a person to maneuver to avoid one coming. That isn’t to say you shouldn’t be in one, but if you can’t fit, you can’t fit.

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @socalrob: All snark aside (I used it up in the other thread), some of the people I’ve seen on those scooters are not much smaller than the scooters themselves.

      • SadSam says:


        If this fellow has any complaint it is that he cannot access the inside of the store in his motorized wheel chair, that might be an issue as the store might not be handicap accessible.

        • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

          @SadSam: Indeed. If he can’t access the store even without the scooter, there may be a more to the issue.

        • RandomZero says:

          @SadSam: That IS the primary issue from what I’ve seen on it (which is a bit more extensive than what’s here). He would prefer going to the counter, but Tim’s designs really don’t allow it, so he tries the drive-through as a backup.

  6. henwy says:

    As long as we pass a law saying that none of them can sue no matter what injuries might befall then in using the drive-through window, I’m fine with it. I’m sure the policy is there so that no one in a wheelchair gets his butt run over because some driver didn’t notice him. Not to even get into the whole thing about what happens if he spills the coffee all over himself while trying to retrieve it from the window.

  7. HiPwr says:

    His money’s green. It’s not in their best interest to turn him away. Then again, do they have any liability if some yahoo in an SUV runs him over in their drive thru?

    This was probably already addressed in the White Castle story, but I didn’t read that one. Sorry.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @HiPwr: Yes, it’s a liability and no, it doesn’t serve their best interest to serve him – not if it means he may get hit by a car and sue and the restaurant gets in trouble with the law and corporate because they weren’t supposed to be serving non-vehicles at the drive thru window in the first place.

    • henwy says:


      Of course they have liability. If this guy did get his @$$ run over he’d sue claiming negligence. They allowed him to use the same drive-through as people in SUVs knowing there was a chance they could not see him and run his @$$ over.

      • pecan 3.14159265 says:

        @henwy: Some fast food joints in my area are right off really busy streets, and with traffic whizzing behind you at 45 miles per hour, you really want to get in that turn lane quick and turn into the parking lot – and sometimes that means you end up right near the drive-thru window. If someone doesn’t see the guy in the motorized scooter (not being reasonable car level) they might hit the scooter.

        And it doesn’t even have to be an SUV. Against a motorized scooter, even a Mini Cooper could be deadly.

    • ngwoo says:

      @HiPwr: This was a Tim Hortons in Nova Scotia. Odds are, his money wasn’t green.

    • Eyebrows McGee (now with double the baby!) says:

      @HiPwr: He’s Canadian. I think his money’s like pink or something.

    • varro says:

      @HiPwr: Unless he wanted to pay for his coffee with a C$20, his money *isn’t* green…

    • RandomZero says:

      @HiPwr: Speaking as someone who’s gotten into an accident in a fast-food parking lot in the same city, I don’t think it actually IS a liability issue. I was told by both the first responders and my insurance company that anything involving moving vehicles on private property is an automatic 50/50 to be settled between those involved. I expect a moving vehicle and a pedestrian would be the same case at worst, possibly 100% liability for the driver. I know for a fact that the owner of my local Timmy’s serves walkups on a discretionary basis (ie, don’t be staggering drunk or look like you’re gonna stab the drive-through guy and you’re fine).

  8. Damocles57 says:

    IF these establishments want to make money and IF they provide a window for people in cars to make a purchase, how difficult would it be to provide a Walk-Up Window in addition to a Drive-Up Window?

    Do they only want to sell to people in vehicles?

    Sounds like an opportunity for some local business to promote walking or biking and claim some “Green” benefit by discouraging the use of fossil fuel consuming vehicles.

    • henwy says:


      It’s not wroth it. Why spend 5-10k (just guessing) knocking another hole in your wall to set up a walk-through window when 1) you take orders at the counter and 2) the number of people in wheelchairs/scooters who probably come in on a daily basis is less than 10.

    • coren says:

      @Damocles57: Apparently one of the major reasons they disallow walk up drive through orders, aside from liability of course, is an increased likelihood of robbery

    • socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

      I see your point and it makes sense. But you can still get hurt this way.

      In my city we have a In N Out burger that is extremely busy, and dangerous, due to poor design choices. Its old though so take it as you will. Anyhow, they have a walk up window but it crosses paths of the 2 drive through lanes exits. I’ve been through that drive through and to the walk up window, its dangerous either way. Blind spots for both pedestrians and motorists exiting.

      Its safer at night especially to just not serve walk up people. There are places like 7-11 where you can go grab a burrito or something at.

    • redkamel says:

      @Damocles57: it would be more convenient if the Walk up Window was inside, so then people wouldnt have to freeze/sweat and they could have somwhere quite to be.

      oh wait, that would be the counter.

  9. Decubitus says:

    It’s an insurance liability issue. If the coffee shop let him use the drive-thru and the next car in line ran into him, I’m guessing the insurance policy says they would not cover the loss. That’s the reason I was given when my bank wouldn’t let me use the drive-thru while I was on roller-blades. :)

  10. oldtaku says:

    Honestly, is it really that bad to let these people use the drive through window? You really don’t want them in the store if they’re that ginormous, for all the reasons he himself gave. Just let them drive through: these daredevils take their scooters on the roads, let them take the biiiiiig scassssssssry risk of the drive through if they really want to. Seriously, the food is the real risky bit of this whole proposition.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @oldtaku: It’s a liability. Especially for this guy, if he has a piping hot cup of coffee and puts it in his motorized scooter’s cupholder, and spills it on himself…who is to say he won’t sue because the coffee is too hot and the lid wasn’t on properly or it just spilled on him cause he hit a bump in the road.

      And then the restaurant will be in trouble because they weren’t supposed to serve him through the drive thru window anyway. If they served him through the regular counter, that’s one thing – they’re allowed to do that. But it’s against the rules for them to serve him at the drive thru because they don’t consider his scooter a car.

  11. Shivved says:

    Do you realize how these human rights commissions work in Canada? Tim Hortons would be better off if they sued. At least then they could try to recover legal fees when it is ruled a frivolous lawsuit and could actually face their accuser.

    The HRCs in Canada are basically the thought police, with almost no accountability. Ask Ezra Levant or Maclean’s magazine who they would rather be up against, an HRC or a court. I have a feeling both would rather deal with a court.

    • RandomZero says:

      @Shivved: Which is why the NS HRC ruled in favour of the guy who wanted to put a satellite in his (apartment building’s) yard so he could get Al-Jazeera, right?

      Oh, wait.

  12. ugadawg says:

    No. The point is that they don’t allow ANYONE disabled or not to receive service at the drive thru window for safety reasons. I think if the restaurant portion wasn’t ADA compliant (or Canada’s equivalent) then that would be a problem. Otherwise there’s no case.

    • Steven Urich says:

      @ugadawg: From the way the story was written, it sounds like it isn’t ADA (or equivalent) compliant. “because he can’t manoeuvre his scooter through the front door.” The scooters don’t seem to be any wider than a standard wheelchair so if he can’t get it in the door, and he can’t get served at the drive thru, it is most definitely discrimination.

      • supercereal says:

        @Steven Urich: Depending on the age of the establishment and level of effort involved in compliance, they may not be in violation of any discrimination or disability laws. The ADA, for example, has a handful of loopholes and exceptions for “handicapped accessibility.”

        • RandomZero says:

          @supercereal: This is a new-build establishment, opened very recently. The problem is that Tim Horton’s standard building layouts are either way too cramped or require maneuvering that that scooter is too long for, and most don’t have powered doors.

  13. pecan 3.14159265 says:

    This guy and the ex-stripper who can’t get her White Castle should meet, get together, and go rampaging through fast food establishments together…at 35 miles per hour, they’d be the slow lane’s Bonnie and Clyde.

    • MooseOfReason says:

      @pecan 3.14159265: Most fast food restaurants have the door on a kind of porch or sidewalk. McDonald’s even has railings. They might have trouble getting to the door, let alone going fast enough to ram through it.

      I still had a good laugh at your comment, and thank you for it. ;)

  14. dbshaw says:

    I’ve walked thru a latenight drive thru before, when the doors were locked. Didn’t have a problem.

    Still, being overlooked is the larger issue which is if a fast food restaurant refuses to server you, THEY’RE DOING YOU A FAVOR! If anyone had a reason to sue it would be the people that got served.

  15. wvFrugan says:

    Besides a fuck you to these businesses and their authoritarian tripped employees that fail to address disabled folks with any concept of equitable compassion, I am sick of these drive up only things: my local Chase Bank branches only have drive thru ATMs, there are multiple Chase ATMs at drive up locations, but not a single walk up ATM anywhere. I like to save a bit of driving & walk when downtown, but no luck for banking.

    • henwy says:


      Umm, you know no one stops you from walking up and using the ATM, right? It’s just as good as driving up to one. They’re unmanned and no one gives a flying frak what you do.

    • Matthew Berkhan says:

      @wvFrugan: Uh, I don’t know about where you live, but down here in Florida ATMs, even drive up ones, aren’t technically sophisticated enough to tell if you aren’t in a car and you really can just walk over and slide your card in.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      @wvFrugan: Also, some of the banks have ATMs inside the buildings. Just a suggestion.

    • wvFrugan says:

      Sorry all, but there are NO inside ATMs here inside these banks or lobbies. Also, you CAN NOT just walk up to the auto ATMs during the day (banking hours) as the drive thru ATMs are located along with the drive thru tellers and they DO religiously yell at walk ups. I yell back after asking the location of a walk up ATM (they confirm there is none).

      • pop top says:

        @wvFrugan: Wait, so you’re there during the day when you can go inside and get money from a teller, but you’d rather rage against the machine by putting yourself in harm’s way and yelling at the workers inside?

    • sophistiKate says:

      @wvFrugan: I am not so good at motivating myself to walk instead of drive, but when I do, I am continuously dismayed by the inconvenience of walking in most parts of my city (Portland, Maine), as well as many I’ve visited. Most notable is the lack of walk-up ATMs. I’ve never been yelled at for walking through a drive through, but as many people have pointed out about the fast food drive through, I don’t feel at all safe standing in what is an essentially (albeit slow) driving lane.

  16. Matthew Berkhan says:

    “It would take three people to get me in. And I don’t even know if I’ll be able to turn around when I get inside. And, if I don’t run over somebody inside trying to back this up, it would be a small miracle,”

    It’s Canada for god’s sake, they’re bred to be nice about things like this.

    • ngwoo says:

      @Matthew Berkhan: Oh no. Our Tim Horton’s is serious business. Anything that would slow down our access to Timbits could potentially escalate into thermonuclear war.

    • unobservant says:

      @Matthew Berkhan: Dude. They don’t even take debit cards because they slow the line down. You think they’ll spare a pouring hand?

      • Matthew Berkhan says:

        @unobservant: I don’t know. I’d never heard of a Tim Hortons before now. I assumed it was like any Starbucks, Caribou, or any other coffee shop we have down in Florida.

        • Zenatrul says:

          @Matthew Berkhan: Its like the complete opposite of Starbucks, they sell normal black coffee and tea. They do have the fancy stuff but yeah its mostly coffee and tea. They sell donuts and Timbits(munchkins) the closest thing to Tims would be Dunkin Donuts in the states.

        • unobservant says:

          @Matthew Berkhan: I thought Tim’s had made its way to the States. My bad.

          Seriously, though… never get between a Canuck and his Timbits. Especially when you live in a town called Lower Sackville.

          • dragonfire81 says:

            @unobservant: Tim’s is in the states, but only in the northeastern areas as far as I know. The farthest south and west I’ve seen them is Ohio, but they may be in other states that border Canada out west.

      • majin_chichi says:

        @unobservant: I think that’s an eastern thing. I very happily use my debit card at Tim Horton’s out here in Alberta

  17. Anonymous says:

    These scooters are not “required”, they are for assisting someone who still can walk, if he was disabled to the point of not being able to walk, then he would be in a wheelchair, which would definitely fit through the front door and have no trouble maneouvering within the store.

    He’s just plain lazy and feels entitled to things the way he wants, not the way they should be.

    • Brian James Schend says:

      @DevinMite: That’s right, Stephen Hawking, quit being such a lazy ass in your scooter and walk, dammit!

    • sporks says:

      @DevinMite: Precisely. Whenever I see them in the road, I get angry. If your disability is being a fatass, get up and walk to the bus stop. Even my crappy little city has public transit, and if you have any kind of justifiable disability, they’ll take you from point to point for fifty cents. Stop clogging up the road with your dangerous little machines and do something about the fact you can’t walk without getting lightheaded. I don’t usually blame the consumer, but Tim Hortons didn’t force Timbits down his throat, he did. Not my problem that he’s clogging up the road and his arteries.

      @Brian James Schend: Yeah, what a lazy asshole, what with his ALS and whatnot. That fancy wheelchair and computer voice is because he’s too fat to walk and talk, not because he lacks the ability to move due to an incurable disease.

  18. a_pink_poodle says:

    Is he genuinely disabled or just fat?

  19. harleymcc says:

    From Nova Scotia…Hello all!

    We also had a case of a man on a horse going thru the drive-thru.


    The Timmie in question has offered to have 3(!) employees help him any time he wants, but buddy thinks that isn’t enough, and wants double automatic doors installed.

  20. Aaron Greenberg says:

    I am gonna call it, this is guerrilla marketing.

    • guspaz says:

      @Aaron Greenberg: Guerrilla marketing for Tim Hortons is not required in Canada; it’s already a national institution. If a Canadian isn’t eating at Tim Hortons, it’s not because they don’t know about it.

  21. Mykie Gunderson says:

    But can I still get a cup of coffee on my Scooty Puff Jr?

  22. coren says:

    Do they allow pedestrians to utilize the drive through (almost surely not). Wheelchairs are considered pedestrians, I think. (I may be wrong, in which case, pretend this comment doesn’t exist).

    In that case, there should be no onus on the store to accommodate him in the drive through. However, he should most assuredly be able to use the “walk in” portion of the store – if he can’t get in, there’s the place to focus his energy

  23. maztec says:

    Require a walk up window.

  24. ChuckECheese says:

    Scooter? I thought they all drove lobster boats there.

  25. komodork says:

    haha, he should of done what he said.

    Honestly, if a company is trying to send a message out of going green ( recycle those cups or bring in your own mug) then why are you stopping a man who is driving a scooter from not using the drive thru. It is more greener than driving the car.

    The policy needs to be changed – especially if you like to drink your coffee at night and the front entrance is closed. Your company policy is going to reject the customer because he isnt driving a car? I remember a few days ago when I went to mcdonalds late at night (yes i know but everything else close by was closed), some guy started walking up to my car while i was in line at the drive thru. I was scared but then he came up and said could you please get me a coffee because they closed the front door. I ended up getting him the coffee.

  26. Chuck Thorne says:

    My cousin tried to walk-thru once and was denied. A person behind him rolled down their window and repeated the order to the employee. Again, Canadians are nice, I am surprised no one offered to do this. I’ve been told that the reason drive-thrus refuse walkers is that they could stick up the restaurant and run away.

    I didn’t think scooters were wider than regular wheelchairs. The restaurant offering to have three employees help the customer is a fair option (though I’d just have a worker with a headset walk outside and handle the order).

    • RecordStoreToughGuy_RidesTheWarpOfSpaceIntoTheWombOfNight says:

      @Chuck Thorne: Might not be an issue of wider, but longer. Most wheelchairs have a pretty short wheelbase, and can pivot in one spot. Depending on the scooter, it might have a much larger turning radius.

  27. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Drive-thru service windows are meant for cars. It’s not because business owners are cruel and heartless and dislike pedestrians and people on scooters, it’s to keep big metal 4000 pound cars from rolling over 200 pound humans. Skin is nice and everything, but it offers no protection from huge rolling steel objects and it’s no match for a Hummer (or even a Yugo). Come on, the same people bitching because they can’t scooter up to the drive-thru would be the first ones hiring a boat-load of lawyers if they even got their hair messed up by a blast of hot Hummer exhaust.

    They don’t serve people on stilts, pogo-sticks, surf-boards, hippity-hops, skis, stilts, dogsleds, toboggans, tauntauns, or rolling coal-mine cars full of TNT either. What’s next? Claims of discrimination from the national pogo-stick league because they couldn’t get their coffee and sliders from the drive thru?

    I definitely agree with having the walk-in part of the store be accessible or (as a favor) having one of the employees walk the guy’s coffee out to him.

  28. tenfour says:

    It’s a safety issue to have scooters in traffic…someone will eventually get hit by a car and sue. Stores can only go so far to serve every type of disability before it becomes economically infeasible.

  29. Bog says:

    Even though this was 25+ years ago, I worked at a fast food place for short time. When we had someone at the “drive up” and the inside was closed we would serve anyone at the window who had money.

    I firmly think that even now – if the “drive up” is open and the walk in is closed then the place should serve anyone who comes to the window – car or not.

    I would rule against the restaurant.

  30. Snowblind says:

    I don’t get it. They were be pretty pissed if I drove my Vespa through the front door like some yuppie version Meatloaf from Rocky Horror.

  31. arcticJKL says:

    Stores should be allowed to refuse service for any reason they want. Would-be patrons should go somewhere else, protest, boycott etc.

    The store shouldn’t be forced to serve him or anyone else.

    • MMD says:

      @arcticJKL: Any reason at all? You may want to refine that statement…

      • Anonymous says:

        @MMD: No! Please don’t refine that statement. A business is a private enterprise in business for the purposes of the owner. Business is not a public service and shouldn’t be forced to serve anyone for any reason.

        If this was a government-owned coffee shop, things would be very different. But it isn’t. If I owned that Tim Horton’s and this customer tried to bully me, I’d close shop. And be very open about the reason. I wonder how long Mr. Scooter would last in a small Nova Scotia town after forcing Timmy’s to shut it’s doors.

      • arcticJKL says:

        1. Patron is forcing you to follow through with what you promised or implied.
        2. Patron is me.

  32. Sarcasmo48 says:

    “He’s not going to sue, but plans to appeal to Nova Scotia’s Human Rights Commission.”

    aaaand that’s pretty much the difference between the U.S. and Canada.

  33. swagv says:

    Nothing trivializes the plight of people with disabilities more than “drive-thru” access to fast food.

  34. Edgar Nackenson says:

    Clearly they are willing to block access to handicapped people beacaus it says that they ban wheelchairs.

  35. airos4 says:

    The policy, such as it is, is to “protect” the workers by having no walkup people allowed at the drive through window. Because that way random drunks can’t stagger to the window and cause trouble, and theoretically you can’t rob the joint without having a convenient license plate tag in the camera. It’s a joke.

  36. bishophicks says:

    A drive-thru is a stop and go line of cars being driven by distracted drivers (dealing with kids, taking passenger orders, shouting in the clown mouth, getting money, change, dealing with bags and drinks, etc.). If you allow pedestrians, bicyclists, wheelchairs and mobility scooters to mix with the cars in the drive-thru, sooner or later someone is going to get bumped by a car. When a car hits another car at 5mph in the drive-thru, it’s not a big deal and no one is going to sue the restaurant. If a car hits a guy in a wheelchair, it’s a disaster and there’s going to be a lawsuit.

    I never worked at a fast food place, but I’ll bet cars bump into each other there on a regular basis.

  37. thrashanddestroy says:

    Well, the article’s title is a little misleading…kind of gave me the impression that the man denied was some self-righteous prick on a Segway. A motorized wheelchair or mobility scooter, however, is a different case entirely.

    Still, its always been a given — at least here in the states — that if you aren’t riding inside two tons of metal or on a motorcycle, the drive-thru isn’t for you. Either way, they should have given him the coffee that would have taken less than a minute to pour as a courtesy but inform him that next time, he’d need to go inside.

  38. Foneguy says:

    Drive in through the front door, knock over some garbage cans on the way, hit a few employees, bust the plaster walls, etc. until they offer to assist you to a table and bring you the coffee. Then do the same trying to use the bathroom before you leave. Break the glass in the front door on your way out. A-holes.

  39. gggtur says:

    O Canada! If it were me, I’d take my scooter and ram the front door a few times. Then, they’d have to find a way to get me my coffee. But no, this guy’s taking the Canadian route and writing a strongly worded letter!

  40. Anonymous says:

    Mobility scooters are one of the vehicles permitted on roadways by Nova Scotia’s provincial legislature. This is true for other provinces as well.

    It seems clear to me that this is discrimination; he is on a road-worthy vehicle in a drive-through lane and the only reason he is being turned away is the nature of his vehicle (which would not happen to anybody else), which he uses because of his disability. He doesn’t even have to make excuses about indoor use, all he has to say is this:

    “The province of Nova Scotia permits me to use my vehicle on the road, and I am being turned away at the drive through for it, which would not happen if I was not disabled.”

    Period, end of story, Tim Hortons is wrong (but their French Vanilla is so right).

  41. shepd says:

    A motorized scooter is NOT a motor vehicle according to the law. The drive thru is for motor vehicles. Case closed.

    This has NOTHING to do with disabilities and EVERYTHING to do with driving a non-roadworthy vehicle on a road. Sure, it’s a PRIVATE road, but the government is NOT going to give a private person a hard time for using their private roadway the same way the government uses theirs. And I don’t see any reason why we should set a double standard for such things.

    All the late-night drive thru Tim Horton’s I’ve seen have the “dining room” open as well. And that’s even at 4 am. He should have used that. If he couldn’t, he should know that this place has decided that they are only going to serve people in a motor vehicle at night and called a cab/friend to help him.

    I even recall a TV ad from a few years back that jokingly showed someone on a bicycle NOT using the drive thru for this entire reason.

  42. korybing says:

    I want to know how giant this scooter is if it can’t get through a door of a Tim Hortons.

  43. Parapraxis says:

    @squinko: I think he’s talking about the suicide booth in New New York.

    (if anyone gets the reference, I’d love you forever)

  44. The_Red_Monkey says:

    So this guy must be enormous for the scooter not to fit. I have never seen one of those mobility scooters that would not fit through a regular door, its kinda their design to do that.

    He has not right to Tim Horton’s. He can make coffee at home its its a problem.

  45. Benny Gesserit says:

    I smell a corporate policy rat. This is the same company that fired (and subsequently rehired following public outcry) a worked for giving a doughnut-hole (Timbit) to a child.


  46. Jeff asks: "WTF could you possibly have been thinking? says:

    Timmy’s is just avoiding the potential lawsuit when the poor bastard gets robbed by a crack head hiding in the bushes. They figure you are safer in a car and if you do get robbed, your auto insurance becomes the PIP (primary insurance provider) and they don’t have to cover you.

  47. Justifan says:

    so much whining over nothing. they are not obligated to serve you if you aren’t in a car. it is dangerous to let pedestrians or other non cars into the drive through. if its drive through only hours they don’t accomadate walk ups either. so stop whining about this as if its an issue.

    you should have seen the woman who had the same complaint earlier, she was a fat b****. she could have skipped a burger or two and been fine…

  48. Bs Baldwin says:

    FTA: “It’s clear stupidity. That people can’t be that tolerant [about] people’s condition,” he said.

    It’s clear stupidity that this guy can’t understand reality. You are in a scooter, not a car, you can’t use the drive-thru. I bet this guy will sue Tim Horton’s if he got hit in the drive thru. ” They couldn’t maintain the safety of all of their customers”

  49. MasterShazbot says:

    I tried taking my bike through the drive through and the coffee jockey gave me crap saying that it was for cars only. I replied by stating that according to the Highway Traffic Act of Ontario, a bicycle is a vehicle and has to follow all the rules of the road. Their brain exploded and they gave me my coffee