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,
M7A 128 M7A 128
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 http://www.segwaypilotproject.blogspot.com/) 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 http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/dandv/vehicle/emerging/index.html.
Thank you again for bringing your concerns to my attention.
c: The Honourable Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
Disclaimer: “without prejudice”
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.”
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.”