Segway riders face stiff fines in Ontario

Anyone caught riding a Segway in Ontario on a highway, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground are subject to fines ranging from $250 to $2500. This is the law in Ontario under the Highway Traffic Act with few exceptions!!! "without prejudice" All CCRF, 1982 Sc2(b)

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Some of the reasons that Segways are illegal on Ontario's sidewalks.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Attached letter from the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation, Province of Ontario

Ministry of Transportation
Office of the Minister
Ferguson Block, 3rd Floor
77 Wellesley St. West 77,
Toronto, Ontario
M7A 128 M7A 128
416 327-9200

FEB 13 2007
Mr. Bill Brunton

Dear Mr. Brunton:

Thank you for your e-mail of October 29, 2006, regarding Ontario's Segway pilot. ( ref I appreciate your comments and welcome the opportunity to respond.
As you mention, the government launched a five-year Segway pilot that will expand mobility options for persons 14 years of age and older with mobility disabilities, as well as Canada Post letter carriers and police officers. Allowing the use of this two-wheeled electric personal transportation device is in line with the Ontario government's commitment to removing and preventing barriers for people with mobility disabilities.

I want you to know that the safety concerns you raise were considered during pilot development and appropriate safeguards were taken. A critical part of the five-year
pilot test is a safety evaluation of the Segway and its safe integration with pedestrians,bicycles and other road users.

Segway operators (approved under the forementioned Pilot Project) will not require a driver's licence to operate their device nor will they be required to have motor vehicle liability insurance, registration or plates for their device. However, Segways must have proper lights and a bell. Operators under the age of 18 must wear an approved bicycle helmet.

Segways are prohibited from highways where pedestrians and bicyclists are prohibited by provincial regulations and municipal bylaw. Segway pilot participants are expected to operate their device on sidewalks where these are available. When used on sidewalks, Segways should travel at a walking speed. Where a sidewalk is not available or where Segways are prohibited by murnicipal bylaw on sidewalks, a Segway may be operated on the shoulder of the road.

Under the Provincial Offences Act, the set fine for most bicycle offences is $85 plus a victim fine surcharge of $20. Anyone caught riding a Segway who is not included as a pilot participant will be subject to higher fines ranging from $250 to a maximum of $2,500.
Expected outcomes of the pilot include improving mobility and accessibility for persons with a mobility disability, gathering information, and assessing the effects of the Segway on sidewalks and public roads to determine how Segways should be legislated in the future.

For more information about 'the Segway pilot project, I invite you to visit my ministry's website at

Thank you again for bringing your concerns to my attention.
Donna Cansfield

c: The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario

Friday, February 16, 2007


Flawed and Poor Judgment Legislation

Innovative Mobility sees the Ontario Highway Traffic Act Regulation 488/06 –
Pilot Project for Segways
as being flawed and poor judgment legislation that
puts everyone at risk whether the Segway operator and/or sidewalk and roadway
stakeholders. Now 14 people of handicap will be allowed to ride their Segways
traveling at 12.5 km on roadways with 50 km plus speed limits.

1. NO driver training required
2. NO written test
3. NO licence plate
4. NO vehicle registration
5. No requirement for insurance
6. No helmet required for those 18 plus
7. No requirements for physical fitness
8. No light specifications other than the rear
light may be attached to the person
ONTARIO REGULATION 488/06made under the
Made: August 24, 2006
Filed: October 19, 2006
Published on e-Laws: October 19, 2006
Printed in The Ontario Gazette: November 4, 2006

Pursuant to "Segway 'Pilot Project under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act" Segways permitted users are:
1. A police officer may, in the course of his or her duties ( Sc 5.1)
2. A letter carrier who is an employee of Canada Post Corporation may, while engaged in door-to-door delivery of mail (Sc 5.2)
3. A person who is 14 years old or older may operate a Segway if his or her mobility is limited by one or more disabilities (Sc 6)

In reference to forementioned letter from the Honourable Donna Cansfield dated Feb./13/07 and the Segway- Pilot Project Regulations of Aug./24/07 each municipality is still in control of the use and operation of Segways on public “sidewalks, trails, paths or walkways or in public park or exhibition ground” within their respective municipalities under municipal by-laws. Ref Sc 3.1 Segway Regulation “a Segway is a motor vehicle for the purpose of a municipal by-law that governs or prohibits the operation of motor vehicles on or along any sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in any public park or exhibition ground, unless the by-law provides otherwise.”

Innovative Mobility would not recommend any Municipality pass a bylaw permitting
any motor vehicle including Segways on municipal sidewalks or paths due to the
huge liability issues that the municipality would face.

Flawed and Poor Judgement Bylaw Enactment

Liability Issues Are Huge For Any Municipality:
To my knowledge only the City of London Ontario has established such a by-law under the City of London 2006 Accessibility Plan“the City’s Streets Bylaw was amended to permit the Segway HT as a personal assistive mobility device. Only people with disabilities will be able to use the Segway on City sidewalks and paths.”
A. We believe that this was a huge mistake by the city of London Ontario because “now by default or precedent wherever wheel chairs and medical scooter are allowed under the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001), the Segway is allowed.The
Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001
) applies to the Government of Ontario and a range of public sector and publicly funded organizations, including:
o Municipalities.
o "Public transportation organizations", a defined term which includes a wide range of entities specified in the Act.
o Hospitals.
o School boards.
o Colleges and universities.” (Reference letter of 12/7/05 to London City Council by Innovative Mobility)
I We believe that London’s Segway by-law as it is written currently without conditions, qualifications or quantification of what in fact is a disability suitable for Segway approval:
• It presents the city with a huge potential liability from London’s pedestrians who now have the potential to be injured in a collision with a Segway in what was formerly considered a safe zone from motorized vehicles
• The precedent of recognizing the Segway as a “personal assistance mobility device” will present undue hardship for London’s private sector under the
Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
• There is simply too many unanswered and open ended question to permit the use of Segways on the City of London’s public pedestrian infrastructure.
• While an admirable egalitarian effort by Council to increase the quality of life for people of disability, the $5000 plus purchase price and the seasonal “on and off” usability results in Segways having limited appeal to the majority of people with disabilities.

The catch-22 of London’s bylaw is that it now puts people with disabilities both visible and invisible at risk due to Segway collisions on the sidewalk and other public pedestrian infrastructure. Our blog,
Segway Caveats for Municipal Council Consideration

Segways are not Disability Devices
, you will see that even disabled groups are against the Segway because:
• People of disability like other pedestrians are not regulated traffic and do not travel in a straight line.
• Fast moving vehicles on the sidewalk would be especially dangerous to those with visual impairments.
• There is no viable way to enforce safe operation of Segways on the sidewalks.
• Segway users are not required to have insurance, though the devices are demonstrably dangerous to operate on a sidewalk. Who would be responsible for disability and medical claims in the event of a Segway collision?
• Segways are virtually silent, and therefore a serious menace to the visually impaired.
• There is no way to expect police to enforce a speed limit on our sidewalks. It is difficult enough for them to enforce the speed limits on our roads.
• How do you licence only people with true and Segway suitable disabilities --- and weed out those who are trying to game the system?
The most important consideration from the safety perspective whether for the able bodied or the disabled is the risk to other sidewalk stakeholder due to braking distance and energy exerted on collision impact. For the able bodied:
• The National Safety Council has determined that the average reaction time for an emergency braking situation is three-quarters of a second. At even 12mph, a Segway would therefore travel an average of 13 feet before the user would even initiate braking. Segway claims that the device could then be stopped in an additional 5 feet (which would be a remarkable 1g of deceleration if true) for a total stopping distance of 18 feet. Again, this would be completely unsafe for sidewalk use.
• Energy increases with the square of velocity. This means the energy expended in a crash of a rider on a 80 lb Segway scooter going 12 mph would be approximately 25 times greater than for a person walking.
• It should be noted that braking distances may be substantially longer for “persons of disability” depending on exactly what their disability is. I don’t believe any municipality should get into qualifying and quantifying Segway suitable disabilities due to the potential for claims of insensitivity and claims of discrimination. ((Reference letter of 1/17/06 to London City Council by Innovative Mobility)

For a full spectrum evaluation and analysis of all Innovative Mobility's Segway concerns please visit all our sites at:
1.) "Segway for Ontario (an antithesis)"
2.) "Segway Caveats for Municipal Council Consideration"
3.) "Segways are not Disability Devices"
4.) "Pilot Project For Segway In Ontario Is A Mistake"
"Segway Riders Face Stiff Fines In Ontario"

The word “segway” has come to mean a whole myriad of “fun” sidewalk toys in todays lexicon. Whether it is a two, three or four wheel --- electrically or gas powered ---“personal assistance vehicle”, “personal mobility device” or whatever --- under the trade name Segway, Embrio, Nolet Electric Cruiser, Rad2Go Electric Chariot --- or colloquially as “ginger”, “ruth” or “fred”, --- they do not belong on the sidewalk. Innovative Mobility does not see these vehicles, regardles of what they may be called, as evil but rather innovative and amazing technology that belong on the roadways and not on public pedestrian pathways where they present a clear and present risk to pedestrians and other City stakeholders. Our mantra is pure and simple to all municipalities and regulating bodies “Please keep the sidewalks safe and do not provide preferential sidewalk access to the wealthy” by allowing them to use the sidewalks as their playground”; “there is simply too many open ended and unanswered questions to allow even limited trials of these sidewalk SUV’s or to approve only for use by persons with disability.”

“without prejudice”
The aforesaid is the opinion of Innovative Mobility based on the best available information available today. As we have said before “Segways are not evil, we believe that they are innovative and phenomenal technology – but they do not belong on the sidewalk or any public trails or pathways used by seniors or children. Redefining the accepted definition of “pedestrian” for the benefit of a single company is outrageously inappropriate.

Bill Brunton for Innovative Mobility


February 2007   March 2007  

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