segway license, turn signals, and no sidewalks?

(relevant paragraph in bold below…)

House votes tighter curbs on minibikes

By David Abel and Elise Castelli, Globe Staff and Globe Correspondent | August 20, 2004

The Legislature took a major step yesterday toward cracking down on minimotorbikes, the 2-foot-high motorcycle imitations that have driven pedestrians and motorists from Boston to the suburbs crazy as they squeal through the streets and swerve between cars in snarled traffic.

The bill, which passed the House of Representatives yesterday, would require drivers of minimotorbikes and Segway scooters be at least 16 years old and have a valid driver’s license. They would also be required to follow the rules of the road, such as staying off sidewalks and bicycle paths, driving on the proper side of the street, and using turn signals.

Moreover, scooter operators would not be allowed to exceed 20 miles per hour or drive after dark.

''Every state legislator in this building has received call after call from concerned citizens awoken at midnight to what sounds like a lawn mower zooming the wrong way down the street, playing Russian roulette with oncoming traffic," said state Senator Jarrett T. Barrios, a Somerville Democrat who chairs the Joint Committee on Public Safety. ''Young people are using them in great number and with reckless abandon."

Since the Senate already has adopted the measure, the bill requires only some minor procedural action by both chambers and Governor Mitt Romney’s signature before it becomes law. With the Legislature now in informal session, however, one lawmaker could block its progress, although sponsors said they did not expect any opposition.

Local police chiefs, who strongly support state regulation of the popular vehicles, applauded the lawmakers’ action.

Waltham Police Chief Edward Drew said he has seen a dramatic rise in the number of minimotorbikes on local streets over the past few months.

''These things are basically creating havoc," Drew said. Their riders ''think they can go from street to sidewalk to street indiscriminately. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen."

Since 2000, nearly 85 percent of motorized scooter accidents have involved children under the age of 15, said Anna Waclawiczek, a legislative aide to Representative Robert F. Fennell, a Lynn Democrat who sponsored the bill.

''They just don’t have the experience and sense of the road when they’re scooting along at 25 miles per hour without a helmet," she said. ''We didn’t want to wait for something terrible to happen to file legislation. We’re trying to be proactive and put in guidelines so the roads are safe."

A spokeswoman for Romney declined to comment on the bill.

''We’ll be happy to review it," Shawn Feddeman said.

Officials in Boston, which last month imposed similar restrictions, said they have seen everyone from young teens to adults do too many dangerous things on minimotorbikes. ''Sometimes you have to legislate common sense," Councilor John Tobin said. ''I can’t imagine a street in the Commonwealth that these types of things would be safe on."

Not everyone supports the bill, however.

Robert Brown, 38, is an assistant manager of PepBoys in Dedham, an auto supply store that also sells the mini-motorbikes. He said that if the bill becomes law, some youngsters who now rely on them would have trouble simply getting around. Instead of exploring other neighborhoods, he said, they would be stuck close to home.

''There are two sides to everything," Brown said. ''There are some people out there that use them for transportation. That takes away any right they have to get around."

When told the bill applied to any ''two-wheeled device" that has handlebars and is powered by an electric- or gas-powered motor, he said: ''That means you have to register riding lawn mowers."

The Legislature also sent the governor a bill yesterday that would require anyone 16 or younger to wear a helmet while riding bikes, scooters, skateboards, or in-line skates. It would also require businesses that sell or rent such items to post signs informing customers of the new law.

''Every year scores of children and young teens are hurt in preventable accidents because they were not wearing a safety helmet," said state Representative Timothy J. Toomey Jr., a Cambridge Democrat who chairs the House Public Safety Committee. ''Without the proper equipment to protect themselves, our children are going to continue to sustain serious injury."

Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what Dean wanted? And he worked so hard to let them be allowed on sidewalks and trails!

I’d like to meet the person who alters their Segway to sound like a lawnmower, and then plays chicken with a Mack truck. Yee haw.

Yikes- Now lets see what segway does about it.

:eek: I got really scared when reading this, so I quickly switched to my Segway Chat window. There are current discrepancies as to whether or not all of the information is actually valid from the Globe. A possible retraction may be printed in the future for lumping Segs in with the “scooters”.

Awww another SC poster!

This is the thread(s) she is talking about

Apparenltly (after reading the threads) whether or not these restrictions apply to the segway depends on how the segway is classified in your state. Some have it as a pedestrian, others not so. Also, what about motorized wheelchairs and ‘amigos’ (as my grandma calls them) for the impaired? Are they included in this bill?

So, let me get this right, if Segways are lumped in with motor scooters, etc. then they can’t drive on the sidewalk, which means that they have to drive on streets, right? I don’t think that Segways can go that fast, I think it’d be much more dangerous to have Segways on streets than sidewalks.

This article is pretty interesting…

One problem with the Segway is that it sits on the fence between a “replacement for walking” and being a motorized scooter. The article points out that the last thing you want coming at you down a narrow Boston sidewalk is a person, driving his 75 pound Segway, at 13 MPH straight at you.

Sure, the Segway loyalists will say “use the sidewalk key.” Tell that to some stone headed Bostonian and he’ll tell you what to use.

Go-Karts can be operated below 10 MPH, does that mean that we should drive around city sidewalks with them? Should the state set a speed limit on the sidewalk and have police run radar to catch Segway users using the fast keys? Police run radar on normal roads to keep other drivers safe from bad people. There’s nothing other than Sidewalk Police or legislation that will keep Boston’s pedestrains safe.

The Segway website lists Massachusetts as a state that does “not allow use of powered conveyances on sidewalks and bike paths.” However, I would be inclined to think that the motorized scooter used by a handicapped person wouldn’t fall under this category. I think there’s a distinct difference between someone using a motorized scooter that travels at about 5 MPH because they are handicapped and a normal person using a Segway which has the potential of traveling at 13 MPH.

Go-Karts can be operated below 10 MPH, does that mean that we should drive around city sidewalks with them? Should the state set a speed limit on the sidewalk and have police run radar to catch Segway users using the fast keys? Police run radar on normal roads to keep other drivers safe from bad people. There’s nothing other than Sidewalk Police or legislation that will keep Boston’s pedestrains safe.

There is a differnce between a Segway and a go-kart. A really big differnce. It’s gaurenteed that the Segway will never go beyond 12.5 miles per hour while with a go-kart you can go as fast as you want. This fact alone will set it apart from almost all the other vehicle that you will find except for one other vehicle that I know of from Honda. This law is odd though. What stops anyone from calling their Segway a motorized bicycle and what about motorized bicycles? Personally I think now all the Segway owners should start terrorizing the streets of Boston. Watch what happens to the law.

I usually don’t respond this tersely and ungraciously, but I lack the time today to give a high-quality answer and I just have to let it out:

Dude, you’re totally off base.

Compared to a scooter, a Segway has the approximate footprint and agility of a walking person. Compared to a Segway, a scooter has the approximate footprint and agility of a motorcycle. A Segway will not go faster than about three times walking speed. A scooter’s speed is not so limited; it will happily go as fast as its engine and the slope of its path will permit.

I hope this helps, the segway to the best knowledge of Segway LLC is not included in the law.

Link to Post

Just about to post that. Eric is a great guy- he gave me my first segway demo about two years ago when they were not for sale. He got me hooked (and he was still in college).


You’ve voiced your anti-segway opinions many times here. But again, i have to disagree with your comments.

First of all, a large part of this bill was to get rid of the “noise” of the scooters. The segway is nearly silent.

If you really feel that the segway just another version of a motor scooter, i suggest you try to take your moped or go kart into the grocery store next time with you. Last time i heard segways were welcomed in many stores. That is the very difference that sets segways apart from the “other” scooters and mopeds. They are not a nuisance. I have NEVER heard of anyone complaining about a segway’s presence the sidewalks.

The fact of the matter is, people who think like you are the ones who are absolutely killing the effectiveness of segways. You go around bad mouthing without any substance to your arguments.

Tom Schindler

Mike- you do not know what you are talking about.

I use a segway to go 12+ miles 5 days a week. The segway is not a go-cart or “motor scooter”. Why? Cause it does not move and opperate like one.

It moves and works like a human.

Why use a sidewalk key? When you can move sidewalk speed on the red key?

Do you own a segway? Do you use a segway?
You do no know what you are talking about- PERIOD

I wonder if the bill was not directed at segways and the globe just inserted that phrase to sell papers…
Just a thought.

Moderators have already taken notice of the ridiculous and outrageous displays of ‘gracious professionalism’ that are taking place in this thread.

All of you who have posted questionable articles should be ashamed of yourselves. You are being ridiculous and out of hand.

It’s also pretty sad that a thread about Segway laws should have to be closed. I’m requesting for its closure now. I hope that in the meantime, you edit your posts. I have never seen such a ridiculous and belligerent group post such materials over something of this matter, ESPECIALLY not on these forums.

No wonder ChiefDelphi is criticized for being nothing more than slanderous, inaccurate high-school material. No wonder we have awards like the WFA - for those kids that go looking for a mentor and come up with THIS.

Hang your heads in shame. This is terrible.

All the hate and slander has greatly disappionted me as well. It really is sad that people resort to attacking one another like a bunch of children. I often wonder if it is even worth it for me to be in FIRST when we have to deal with people who do nothing but try to cause trouble and be full of hate.

ChiefDelphi… no longer family friendly… :frowning:

My apologies … questionable posts removed …

Alright guys- I know stu said stuff that was questionable but… Segway Gliders get very uhhh attached to their machine and when someone puts it down its like someone is picking on your kid. Its hard to explain I guess.

Do I think it was 100% appropriate- no

Do I understand why he did it- yes

I think this is going to be a thread that we all look back at next week and laugh at. Every “family” has their fights, you learn and become a better person from them.