Using a Segway in Public

There are many different ways to travel from point A to point B quickly, but none of them are as eye-catching or as stylish as when one uses a Segway. Whether it be the classic two wheeler with the handles and basket, or the straight out of a sci-fi movie one-wheeler, a Segway is hands down the sleekest way to move on pedestrian travel-ways.

But what exactly are the rules and restrictions that need to be known before you purchase your own electric personal assistive mobility device? Each state has differing laws and regulations, but here are the most common laws and ordinances on Segways, sidewalk speeders, and other pedestrian vehicles.

 

On average, legislation in a vast majority of states allow a Segway and other pedestrian vehicles (legally defined as “electric personal assistive mobility devices”) to be used anywhere a bicycle is permitted. On sidewalks, bike paths, and even on certain roads and highways. So if you’re nervous whether or not you’re allowed to ride, look for bicycle permission signs.

If used in a place where pedestrians are known to travel, you must have your electric personal assistive mobility device be equipped with three things: a light strong enough that it can be seen from 300 feet, reflectors, and a horn or other audible warning to alert unaware pedestrians of your incoming presence.

Although it is a motorized vehicle, it does not need to be registered or insured, nor is a driver’s license required to be presented. However you are required to be over 16 years of age to operate in most states.

You must keep the speed of your electric personal assistive mobility device under 8 miles per hour while on sidewalks for the safety of other foot pedestrians, but if you want to push your speed up, you are permitted to ride in the bike lane of highways that have signage displaying a top speed of 25 miles per hour or less.

Although many of the laws and regulations on a Segway and other electric personal assistive mobility devices are the same in many states, there some states that have laws that greatly differ from the others, and even then all states are prone to update and change their regulations as time goes by, so for an updated list of laws and permissions, check your state and local vehicle codes.

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