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)
March 3, 2007
Memo to: Ontario Mayors and Councilors
Copy to: Interested PartiesSubject: Segway Revisited
Reference: 5 –Year Segway Pilot Project – Reference Ontario Regulation 488/06
Made under the Ontario Traffic Act – October 19, 2006
From : Innovative Mobility (The student Research Group dedicated to studying new yet responsible solutions to today’s transit problems)
No doubt as municipal leaders you are aware that the Ontario Ministry of Transportation
under the Liberal government passed a 5 year Pilot Project for Segways
on October 19, 2006 aka Ontario Regulation 488/06 under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. You may not be aware that this regulation does not fully open the door to Segways on Ontario’s public infrastructure whether roadways or sidewalks.Who is allowed under Sc 5 and Sc 6?
1. “A police officer may, in the course of his or her duties, operate a Segway” 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, operate a Segway” 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, conditions or functional impairments” Sc 6Where can the Segway be operated Sc 8
1. “Where sidewalks are provided --- a Segway shall only be operated on the sidewalk and not on the roadway” Sc 8(1) BUT only if municipal by-laws permits under Sc 4 (2)
2. “Where sidewalks are not provided on a (Provincially regulated) highway” Sc 8(3)
(a) “if there is a shoulder on the highway, on the shoulder as close to the right edge of the shoulder as possible” Sc 8 (3) (a)
(b) “if there is no shoulder on the highway, on the right side of the roadway as close to the edge of the roadway as possible” Sc 8 (3) (b)
(c) Municipal roadways are still under municipal by-law authority. “A Segway is a motor vehicle for the purpose of a municipal by-law” Sc 1(3); Councilors check your local by-laws to determine if they permit what has been described as “toy” vehicles on your roadways. Segways are still prohibited from being ridden on the sidewalk
1. Segways may not be used on sidewalks where municipal by-laws prohibit the operation of motor vehicles. Ref MTO site New and Alternative Vehicles
To the best of my knowledge, with one exception, no municipality in Ontario permits motor vehicles on the sidewalk other than motorized wheelchairs and medical scooter that are treated in the same way as pedestrians.
2. “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.” Reference Sc1 (3)
3. When there has not been a specific municipal by-law passed to allow even those permitted users under fore mentioned Sc 5 and Sc 6. Reference Sc 4(2) “Subject to any municipal by-law, a person may operate a Segway on a sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground in accordance with this Regulation”.What then are the rules then when a Segway can be ridden on the sidewalk?
From the Municipal perspective it is mandatory that both Municipal Councils and Municipal Police Departments understand that Segway are only allowed to be ridden on the sidewalks and pedestrian infrastructure by even those permitted user: Canada Post letter carriers, police officers and persons with a mobility disability if there is a specific by-laws permitting such use.
• Sc 4(2) In Review: “Subject to any municipal by-law, a person may operate a Segway on a sidewalk, trail, path or walkway or in a public park or exhibition ground in accordance with this Regulation” and
• Sc1(3) In Review “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.”Are Segways allowed on municipal roads?5 year Pilot Project for Segways
approves Segways under Sc 4(1) “A person permitted by section 5 or 6 to use a Segway may operate a Segway on any roadway or on the shoulder of a highway in accordance with this Regulation”. This section is specific to Provincial roadways and highways; municipal roadways and streets are still under municipal by-law control!
Under Sc 1(3) “a Segway is a motor vehicle for the purpose of a municipal by-law”, if local by-laws permit what has been described as “toy” vehicles on their roadways then be prepared for the ensuing criticism from your local police services. The following is from the London Police Service
• “It is difficult enough dealing with licensed drivers driving inappropriately without dealing with unlicensed, inexperienced operators driving dangerous toy vehicles”.
• “Until such time that these motorized contraptions are legalized they have no place on our roads, sidewalks or public pathways”.What are the fines provided for riding a Segway?
1. On roadways where the MTO has jurisdiction, reference to attached document by the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation “any one caught riding a Segway who is not a pilot participant will be subject to fines ranging from $250 to a maximum of $2500”. (Ref 6549.signed.pdf)
2. On sidewalks where the municipality has jurisdiction – the fines will vary with the municipality, understanding that:
(a) “Segways may not be used on sidewalks where municipal by-laws prohibit the operation of motor vehicles” Ref MTO site.
(b) Even for “individuals aged 14 and older with a disability that impairs their mobility, Canada Post employees delivering mail door-to-door, and police officers” they are not allowed on the sidewalk unless there is a specific municipal by-law permitting such Segway use. Ref Sc 4(2)
It is the opinion of Innovative Mobility that the Ontario’s Liberal government has made a flawed decision to approve this Segway pilot project for everyone except by police officers. We believe that police officers should be given every advantage in fighting crime including the use of Segways in any way that their respective Police Services Board sees fit! As far the Canada Post employees riding Segways “while engaged in door-to-door delivery of mail” [Sc 5(2)], it would simply be another bureaucratic boondoggle both in terms of equipment costs, liability, Occupational Health and Safety Act considerations and the “popsicle on a stick” humour. But it is the “persons who are14 years old or older may operate a Segway if his or her mobility is limited by one or more disabilities, conditions or functional impairments” that is the real farce.
Under the “Pilot Project for Segways”, Ontario has made it legal now for 14 year olds with disabilities to ride their Segway on Ontario’s roadway and with the exception of the City of London, Ontario
(Ref. pg 14) what municipality would permit 14 years olds to ride on the public pedestrian infrastructure.
Without the benefit of:
o No driver's licence required
o No driver’s test required
o No written test required
o No vehicle registration
o No plate required
o No requirement for insurance.
o No helmet required over the age of 18
o No qualification of disability
o No specification for the “bell” requirements
o No specification for the front and rear “light” requirements other than the rear light may be attached to the personAnd NO WE ARE NOT KIDDINGAvoid the knee jerk reaction rush to accommodate the disabled that has occurred in the City of London Ontario:
It is the opinion of Innovative Mobility that the City of London, Ontario without consideration of the precedents, consequences or liability re. approving Segways (2006 Accessibility Plan
Ref pg 14) for the disabled on sidewalks after a poignant presentation by a 14 year old of disability. Our group believes no municipality in Ontario should pass a similar flawed and poor judgment by-laws permitting “individuals aged 14 and older with a disability that impairs their mobility” to use their Segways on municipal pedestrian infrastructure without first considering:
1.) The huge liability issues to the municipality considering that the aforesaid “no kidding” list of non-requirements.
2.) The precedents for the City of London under both the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001)
and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
. When pushed to the limit(s) the London precedent will lead to unreasonable expectations of accommodation both in the public and private sectors under these Acts respectively.
3.) What exactly does the term “disability” mean under the Segway Pilot Project
Regulation mean when it says under Sc 6 “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, conditions or functional
impairments”? I think that you would have to agree that this definition is nebulous at best.
4.) In the case of the London by-law that says “only people with disabilities will be able to use the Segway on City sidewalks and paths” is totally unenforceable and opens the door to anyone to be able to use a Segway by simply claiming a ‘weak ankle’, ‘bad back’, ‘fibromyalgia’ or ‘diabetes’ because these afflictions while ‘invisible’ under the both the Disabilities Acts 2001 and 2005 (Ref Sc 2) are legitimately a ‘limited’ disability.
5.) For a more complete and fully encompassing definition of “disability” that would inevitably be the standard on review or at trial, I would refer you to the definition under Sc 2 of both the Ontarians with Disabilities Act (2001)
and the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005
“(a) any degree of physical disability, infirmity, malformation or disfigurement that is caused by bodily injury, birth defect or illness and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, includes diabetes mellitus, epilepsy, a brain injury, any degree of paralysis, amputation, lack of physical co-ordination, blindness or visual impediment, deafness or hearing impediment, muteness or speech impediment, or physical reliance on a guide dog or other animal or on a wheelchair or other remedial appliance or device,
(b) a condition of mental impairment or a developmental disability,
(c) a learning disability, or a dysfunction in one or more of the processes involved in understanding or using symbols or spoken language,
(d) a mental disorder, or
(e) an injury or disability for which benefits were claimed or received under the insurance plan established under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997
What, where, when, how and who in your municipal office is going to qualify and quantify acceptable disabilities for approval as being Segway suitable?
6.) How do you stop individuals from gaming any proposed by-laws under the Segway Regulation? You can’t! It was for exactly the same reasons Disney in 2004 banned Segways due to what they saw as Segways legal problems arising from potential safety issues. Not even the disabled are allowed the use of Segways due to the problem of identification of the truly disabled and those who are looking to game the system and take advantage of accommodations for the disabled.The catch-22 of London’s bylaw
is that while it was intended as an admirable egalitarian effort to increase the quality of life for people of disability:
• It is essentially an elitist by-law when you consider 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.
• It now puts people with disabilities both visible and invisible at risk due to Segway collisions on the sidewalk and other public pedestrian infrastructure. To allow Segways on provincial highways and roadway is simply absurd and ill-advised.
• It is totally open ended, unenforceable, subject to abuse and puts both the Corporation of the City of London and its citizens under tremendous liability because of all the “no kidding” non requirements to be allowed to operate a Segway. Even the London Police Service site says in reference to motorized ‘toy’ vehicles i.e. Segway
o “until such time that these motorized contraptions are legalized they have no place on our roads, sidewalks or public pathways”.
o “in order to be licensed and allowed on Ontario roads, vehicles must pass numerous stringent safety tests. These ‘toy’ vehicles don’t and therefore are not safe to be on the roads.”
o “driving a motor vehicle on a street is a serious matter; it is difficult enough dealing with licensed drivers driving inappropriately without dealing with unlicensed, inexperienced operators driving dangerous toy vehicles.”What the National Safety Council has to say about Segway Safety
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 an 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)
Thank you for you consideration of the foregoing and please consider the consequences of approving any municipal by-law that would allow Segways on municipal pedestrian infrastructure and if you are considering allowing Segways on municipal roadways under your authority consider the reaction of - Robyn Reisler, owner of Segway of Ontario as quoted in the Globe and Mail (10/21/06 Oliver Moore, “Ontario pilot project gives Segway green light”) “It (Segway) is designed to be pedestrian-friendly and go on the sidewalk; it is not built to go up against 3,000-pound cars (and trucks) that can go 10 times faster”
Please note that this document will be published in its entirety at Segway riders face stiff fines in OntarioFor full and complete review of all of Innovative Mobility’s publications see:
1.) 6549.signed .pdf Feb 13/2007 letter from Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation to Bill Brunton, Innovative Mobility
2.) March 3 mayors and councillors.pdf This document with the subject “Segway Revisited” in pdf formatReference sites for this document:
7.http://www.e-laws.gov.on.ca/DBLaws/Statutes/English/01o32_e.htm “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.
” Now under the McGuinty government’s Segway Pilot Project that allows unlicensed, inexperienced 14 year olds with disabilities to drive their “Segway on any roadway or on the shoulder of a highway” [Sc 4(1)]
is simply unconscionable ill conceived legislation. Please also understand that Segway is a big money lobby group!