In re: So long segway?

Segway’s were hyped up, so much so that they were supposed to change the world. Instead they’ve remained only a strange, niche product that you see only on the rarest of occasions. That was at least until they opened a Segaway store (dealer?) on High St. here in Columbus. Since then I’ve seen at least 8, count them 8 (4 were driving together) riding around the town. Part of the huge appeal of the Segway is that they are legal to drive on sidewalks, seems logical, but then you are walking through the park with your dog and you hear shouts behind you to watch out and you are forced to step off the path to allow two Segways to pass whizzing by at high speed (the 12 mph is a lot faster in the park then you’d think). So the question begs to be asked are these really safe for sidewalks? Of course when there are three people in your whole city driving the things its no problem, but imagine 100 of them whipping by on the sidewalk and the possibility for pretty severe injuries when one of these things whacks someone in the head.

Just while I was going through all this exciting thinking someone sent me a link to a story about England and how they recently changed the laws on Segways, banning them on sidewalks and effectively destroying a future for them. On a side note I once was suckered into looking into renting a Segway up in Montreal, but the store despite its 40 foot high billboard had gone under (or away) and we were left walking. I later thought that actually the Segway might be a good way to site see for those who wanted to see a whole lot in a day, at their own pace but faster then walking and without burning those pesky calories.

In Britain, the Department for Transport has welcomed the scooter with a double whammy, invoking the Highway Act of 1835 to ban it from sidewalks and EU vehicle-certification rules to keep it off roads.

See the story “Blow to inventors as Segway banned” in Times online (UK)

Interesting legal note, that they actually didn’t pass a ban, but instead a strict reading of an old law on the books concerning highway transportation was actually the source of this.

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One Response

  1. Sorry you missed us. We must have been closed (we don’t open when it rains) or closed for the off season. We are still located in the Old Port of Montreal and people can still come and train and rent out Segways to cruise around the Old Port. This year (2007) will be our 4 year of operation. Hope we don’t miss you on your next visit.

    Jeremy
    Segway Rentals Montreal

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