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Old 10-04-04, 07:34 PM   #1
Da Tinker
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Segway 'driver' ticketed!

That's right, an operator of a SHT (can I buy a vowel?) was ticketed for multiple violations of the motor vehicle code in Ontarios. Kaman & company need to decide what their SHT actually is: a vehicle or a high-dollar novelty toy. If it is a vehicle, then these citations are righteous and should stand. If it is a toy, then get it off the roads.

Sound familiar? Fortunately, bikes have legal standing. Plus, bike makers aren't asking for the rights to run the sidewalks, malls, & airports.

http://www.cbc.ca/story/canada/natio...ay_041004.html

Segway driver will fight $8,000 in fines
Last Updated Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:39:41 EDT
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. - An Ontario man is determined to fight $8,000 worth of fines he faces for driving his high-tech Segway scooter on the road in the southern Ontario city of Niagara Falls.

At first, Pierre LeFeuvre thought police were joking when they pulled him over in early September for motor-vehicle violations including:


Driving without a licence.
Driving without insurance.
Making an illegal left turn.
To his knowledge, Segways are not considered motor vehicles. He couldn't get a licence if he tried, which he did after police stopped him. People at the motor vehicle registry laughed when he asked about applying for a Segway driver's licence, said LeFeuvre.

The real estate agent, who is among a handful of Canadians who own the scooters powered by a combination of electricity and body movements, plans to fight all three tickets at an Oct. 28 court hearing.


FROM DEC. 4, 2001: Self-balanced scooter unveiled amid hype

The outcome may help answer the question of exactly how to classify the Segway when it is introduced into Canada on a larger scale.

Though it isn't on the Canadian market yet, a Segway can be purchased south of the border for about $6,000 US.

The futuristic-looking, two-wheeled scooter was launched in the U.S. with great fanfare three years ago. Microsoft's Bill Gates was one of those who predicted the Segway would revolutionize how humans moved.

But sales have not taken off, partly because of the confusion about where they should drive on sidewalks or roads.

Late last month, New York City officials began meeting to sort out that very question.

As it stands, the Segway isn't allowed on most North American sidewalks, including those in Ontario.

But the New Hampshire-based company argues Segways belong on the sidewalk and even indoors, in large shopping malls and airports, because they were designed to harness human balance and reduce traffic congestion in an energy-efficient way.

Critics say the fact that they can reach speeds of up to 20 km/h makes them a danger to pedestrians on sidewalks.

The company says LeFeuvre is the first case it has heard of in which a Segway user has been ticketed.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:03 PM   #2
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You can drive scooters without a license as long as they are not capable of I believe 50 mph speeds. A Segway does not travel at anywhere near that speed so even being motorized it is not necessary to have a license to drive it. Segway insurance does not exist. The only charge that could stand is the illegal left turn. No matter how you feel about these revolutionary vehicles you have to agree that these charges are complete bull.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:20 PM   #3
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NY State has some odd laws when it comes to transpertation, ie:



Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.nydmv.state.ny.us/dmvfaqs.htm#motor
Motorized Scooters, Mini-Bikes, Dirt Bikes, Go-Karts, Motor Assisted Bicycles

You cannot register any of the motorized devices from the list below in NYS. You cannot operate these devices on sidewalks, public streets or highways in NYS. These devices are motor vehicles, but they do not have the correct equipment or design for operation on roadways.

Motor-assisted Bicycle - a bicycle to which a small motor is attached. A motor-assisted bicycle does not qualify for a registration as a motorcycle, moped or ATV and does not have the same equipment.

These devices are not allowed on any street, highway, parking lot, sidewalk or other area that allows public motor vehicle traffic. You are subject to arrest if you operate one of these motorized vehicles and do not have a registration, driver license, inspection, insurance or correct equipment. The DMV can not provide any information about operation of these devices on private property. Contact the local authorities and property owners.
Larue, the scooter comment you make (50mph), depends on each state, in Utah, you need a license for any size scooter, a few years back, you did NOT need a license if you were over 16yrs of age, and the scooter was under 49cc in size.

None the less, a $8000 ticket is BS.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:26 PM   #4
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Yep, even for Canada.
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Old 10-04-04, 08:26 PM   #5
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You can insure yourself against anything that isnt illegal. The only problem is finding an insurance company that will give a quotation without a bank of historical data to assess the risk.

I think it would meet the legal definition of a motorized bicycle, since it has two wheels and a motor. I dont think the laws state how the wheels have to be arranged. In Quebec bikes with wheels 20" or less may be ridden on the sidewalks.
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Old 10-04-04, 09:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Tinker
Microsoft's Bill Gates was one of those who predicted the Segway would revolutionize how humans moved.
I hate to put on gloves against His Highness Bill Gates, but I have to ask: what does Bill mean, that Segway would revolutionize how humans moved, or if humans moved?

From what I gather, humans won't be moving much at all eventually, except without the help of some automatic machine.

Oh, I forgot--exercise will always be plentiful in the spa (for a monthly fee.)
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Old 10-04-04, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I hate to put on gloves against His Highness Bill Gates, but I have to ask: what does Bill mean, that Segway would revolutionize how humans moved, or if humans moved?

From what I gather, humans won't be moving much at all eventually, except without the help of some automatic machine.
I think that's what Mr Gates was referring to. When these things first came out, I heard one news report claim they would make walking "obsolete". Yeah right.

However, I think most of the charges above are a lot of rubbish -- apart from the illegal left turn. Now that, depending on the circumstances, may well be quite valid.
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Old 10-04-04, 09:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris L
I think that's what Mr Gates was referring to. When these things first came out, I heard one news report claim they would make walking "obsolete". Yeah right.

However, I think most of the charges above are a lot of rubbish -- apart from the illegal left turn. Now that, depending on the circumstances, may well be quite valid.
Really, I never stopped to think exactly how Segways would be categorized under traffic law. Interesting that a brilliant inventor like Dean Kamen didn't seem to bother with the question. Maybe he designed them for Disney World and other attractions where people have to walk long distances, something that might interfere with having a "good time."

But I confess I never thought of anyone operating them on the street. However, I have seen a rollerblader "taking the lane" on more than one occasion, something that makes even me quiver. (A left turn on a Segway? I just can't picture it... )

Now you ask, "What makes a Segway different from a bicycle?"

Good point. I'm not sure, maybe it's the funny-looking design...
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Old 10-04-04, 09:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Really, I never stopped to think exactly how Segways would be categorized under traffic law. Interesting that a brilliant inventor like Dean Kamen didn't seem to bother with the question. Maybe he designed them for Disney World and other attractions where people have to walk long distances, something that might interfere with having a "good time."
When I think of the term "brilliant inventor", I tend to think that the first word of the expression has to do with their prediction of market forces, more so than their ability to answer practical questions.
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Old 10-04-04, 09:59 PM   #10
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I thot those things were illegal...yet I've seen a couple people riding 'em around here...including a cop
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Old 10-05-04, 08:42 AM   #11
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People are missing the key aspect that makes a bike a bike. Pedals.

A person can drive a low speed scooter here without a license or insurance so long as there are PEDALS on it. For example, if you put one of those electric motor assist devices on a bike it is legal since the bike has pedals. Take off the pedals and that same bike is now illegal without a plate/insurance.

I know it's very simplistic, but this is really the only thing that separates a motorcycle from a bike in the laws here. In Ontario, the definition of 'moped' includes any motor assisted bicycle that weighs less than 120 pounds, does not have an engine displacement greater than 50cc, cannot have a hand/foot operated clutch or gearbox and its speed cannot exceed 30mph. The big thing is that a moped MUST have pedals that are attached to it at all times. So long as those conditions are met, the bike or scooter is street legal and requires no plate/insurance.

Without pedals there is no way the Segway would be legal, so tickets are not surprizing. Changing the definition of scooter to that of a device without pedals is not simple, since it would be open to abuse.

Right now the Segway can only be driven on private property that is owned by the owner. (or that they have permission to ride on) I don't see it changing anytime soon since the provincial government is busy with other things right now.

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Old 10-05-04, 09:00 AM   #12
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We have a Segway rental out fit here in Vancouver and on it's legal issues page @http://www.segwaybc.com/page5.htmlit says,

"At present the Segway is able to operate on Sidewalks and Streets in about 43 of the 50 states in the USA. There is pending legislation in some and the remaining states have given their respective towns, cities and municipalities the powers to regulate...Legal opinions with respect to the "Motor Assisted Cycle Regulations Act" suggests that the Segway is allowed on Streets and Bicycle Paths."

A recent article on this issue in a local paper @
http://www.vancourier.com/issues03/0...052103nn6.html said,

"The operator of Canada's only Segway rental business is fighting ICBC over whether or not the innovative human transporter can be used on city streets...However, ICBC spokeswoman Moira Wellwood said riding a Segway on a public road is against the law. "A Segway wouldn't qualify as a motor assisted bicycle," said Wellwood, adding there is no section of the Motor Vehicle Act that governs Segways...When you get right down to it, there are no [specific] rules and regulations governing the use of Segways in Vancouver or Canada...Until we clarify what the laws are, we don't know where we stand on it"
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Old 10-05-04, 09:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Really, I never stopped to think exactly how Segways would be categorized under traffic law. Interesting that a brilliant inventor like Dean Kamen didn't seem to bother with the question. Maybe he designed them for Disney World and other attractions where people have to walk long distances, something that might interfere with having a "good time."

But I confess I never thought of anyone operating them on the street. However, I have seen a rollerblader "taking the lane" on more than one occasion, something that makes even me quiver. (A left turn on a Segway? I just can't picture it... )

Now you ask, "What makes a Segway different from a bicycle?"

Good point. I'm not sure, maybe it's the funny-looking design...
Segways are good for say a mailman who has to walk 1/8th between houses in the suburbs. He could probably complete the round a lot quicker. OTOH, give him a bike and he could probably do the same thing. Kinda like how no one really NEEDS a microwave but it sure is faster over using an oven.
I've seen rollerbladers in traffic in NYC and they hit around 20, which is good enough to keep up in some areas. Last month my gf saw a mailman in her neighborhood on a trek mtb with a postal uniform (the tight spandex version) delivering mail. I thought that was kind of cool.
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Old 10-05-04, 10:05 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Da Tinker
Segway driver will fight $8,000 in fines
Last Updated Mon, 04 Oct 2004 13:39:41 EDT
NIAGARA FALLS, ONT. - An Ontario man is determined to fight $8,000 worth of fines he faces for driving his high-tech Segway scooter on the road in the southern Ontario city of Niagara Falls.
...

Driving without a licence.
Driving without insurance.
Making an illegal left turn.
How can the mere act of operating a Segway on a public road possibly justify $8K Canadian ($6K U.S.) worth of fines? This is (evidently legal) highway robbery by the government.

I understand the anti-Segway arguments many of you have posted, but I still think the Segway represents a useful transportation option for some of the people some of the time. (The nearest bus stop is 1.6km/1mi from my office. If I were temporarily or permanently unable to walk or to ride a bicycle, I would want the option of using a Segway.) We do have to regulate Segway use in a manner which protects and respects the safety and rights of pedestrians and bicyclists; licensing might be a start.
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Old 10-05-04, 10:11 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris L
I think that's what Mr Gates was referring to. When these things first came out, I heard one news report claim they would make walking "obsolete". Yeah right.
...

Plus it makes anyone who rides one look like a complete dork. I don't think that was part of Dean Kamen's design strategy!
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Old 10-05-04, 10:23 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by John E
How If I were temporarily or permanently unable to walk or to ride a bicycle, I would want the option of using a Segway.)
I would have thought you'd have trouble standing on, balancing and controlling the Segway if you can't walk.
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Old 10-05-04, 10:50 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
Now you ask, "What makes a Segway different from a bicycle?"

Good point. I'm not sure, maybe it's the funny-looking design...
Really, I mean think about it... it is a two wheeled vehicle, that balances on it's own... So the differences from a bicycle are that the rider does the balance work and provides the power... but they are both two wheeled.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:10 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe Gardner
NY State has some odd laws when it comes to transpertation, ie:





Larue, the scooter comment you make (50mph), depends on each state, in Utah, you need a license for any size scooter, a few years back, you did NOT need a license if you were over 16yrs of age, and the scooter was under 49cc in size.

None the less, a $8000 ticket is BS.
New York City will take away your electric scooter if they catch you riding one. I knew a bike messenger that had a gas motor and the police stopped him.

I did see a New York City police man riding a Segway last year but this was just a novelty. I haven't seen any riding them since but it did catch loads of attention.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:15 AM   #19
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I would have thought you'd have trouble standing on, balancing and controlling the Segway if you can't walk.

Certainly not in all cases. I thought the segway did all the balancing, that was the revolutionary part.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:20 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LittleBigMan
I hate to put on gloves against His Highness Bill Gates, but I have to ask: what does Bill mean, that Segway would revolutionize how humans moved, or if humans moved?

From what I gather, humans won't be moving much at all eventually, except without the help of some automatic machine.

Oh, I forgot--exercise will always be plentiful in the spa (for a monthly fee.)
The Segway never caught on because it was overpriced and no one (Malls,supermarkets, stores) would NOT allow you to ride that thing inside. Since you couldn't go shopping with it, you're only hope was to lock it outside on a bike rack. That just wasn't an option. In other words, you had to babysit this thing everywhere you went and it really limited where you could go. All that unnecessary attention really gets to you after a while.

A much better idea is a $50.00 bike, U-lock and chain (No Kryptonite)
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Old 10-05-04, 11:28 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by closetbiker
"At present the Segway is able to operate on Sidewalks and Streets in about 43 of the 50 states in the USA. There is pending legislation in some and the remaining states have given their respective towns, cities and municipalities the powers to regulate...Legal opinions with respect to the "Motor Assisted Cycle Regulations Act" suggests that the Segway is allowed on Streets and Bicycle Paths."
I've always said the Segway should have been marketed for those with disabilities. Under this condition, it would have been protected under the Americans with disabilities Act and would be allowed everywhere.
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Old 10-05-04, 11:54 AM   #22
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A SHT does not belong on a footpath because it travels faster than walking speed and is big and heavy when compared with a person. It is a hazard to pedestrians.

On the premise that roads are for moving people on all types of conveyance, I would classify a SHT as a slow moving vehicle (just like a bike).

I also think 8,000 CDN in fines is crazy and would hope that a judge will talk some sense into the local police.

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Old 10-05-04, 02:00 PM   #23
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The police at the Harrisburg Airport here in PA have them. That would seem useful, since they have to cover a lot of ground and airports are usually vast and spacious. I can understand law enforcement having them for parks and the like, but not people. To me the thing seems utterly pointless and a heinous waste of money.

As per the Canadian fines, I wonder what would have happened if he had caused an accident. Who would have been at fault? Whose insurance would have covered that?
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Old 10-05-04, 02:09 PM   #24
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Where did this moron get $4000 to buy a Segway in the first place?! If he's got that kind of money, then I say let him waste another 8 large in fines; at least that money will go to the city and do some good. Furthermore, seeing a cop on a Segway would just make me want to commit a crime out of spite. As for mailmen, what about bad weather? I don't think they'll be tooling around on these things in the snow, with all the salt and junk that can get into them. If you live in the midwest, then you know what I'm talking about; that stuff finds its way into everything. Revolutionary mode of transportation, my kiester. Nothing but a frivolous toy for rich people with no better way to spend their money. And if you own one, shame on you, too.

I know I might sound a bit caustic on this, but MAN, things like this just get me going. Sure, if I needed to walk over a mile to the bus stop, one of these things could come in handy. But for $4000?! For that kind of scratch, I'd want to use it all the time, and it's just not practical to use all the time. And I think we can agree that most people with disabilities have trouble standing, let alone walking, so it wouldn't be practical for them either. Logistically or economically. It's a solution in search of a problem.
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Old 10-05-04, 04:35 PM   #25
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I emailed the owner of the Vancouver Segway rental shop and asked about the rules situation.

He replied:

"Presently the Feds have no issue with the Segway. The municipalities control the sidewalks and it is up to each to decide. The provinces control the roads and of course the parks boards control the parks. So you can see it is a bit of a nightmere right now over power. Other than a more recent event in Niagra Falls, not one person has been ticketed using a Segway. There are just not enough of them to worry about
presently."

Maybe if Mr. LeFeuvre takes this to court, a precedent can be made.
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