A new form of personal transportation that has grown in popularity in recent years is the use of a Segway. This is a powered, two-wheeled device that provides upright transport for individuals, as opposed to using a bicycle, skateboard, etc.
Overview of the Laws Governing the Use of Segways
Many people are surprised to discover that Segways are not deemed “motor vehicles” under federal law. As a result, Segways are not regulated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Instead, these transport devices are regulated by the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission and are simply categorized as consumer products. As a result, the use of Segway devices are generally regulated at the state and local level. For example, New York outlawed the use of Segways on public streets. In contrast, California voted to legalize the use of Segways, but only in bike lanes.
As of 2015, approximately 45 states, along with the District of Columbia, enacted legislation that allowed for the use of Segways and other types of “electric personal assistive mobility devices.” However, five states (specifically Arkansas, Kentucky, Maryland, North Dakota and Wyoming) have not passed legislation addressing the use of Segways on public property, including public roads, sidewalks, or bike paths.
Some states prohibit the use of any type of electronic device to be operated on public sidewalks or bike paths. Additionally, some states have included provisions allowing towns and cities within the state to pass stand-alone legislation that can prohibit or permit the use of Segways in specific areas.
In most areas, there are ordinances in place that allow the use of Segways on sidewalks, but the applicable rules and regulations will fluctuate depending on where you reside.
Internationally, the U.K. banned public use of Segways, allowing them only on private property with consent of the owner.
Injury Risks Associated with Segway Use
Public data indicates that 1 out of every 4 injuries involving a Segway were serious enough to require a trip to the hospital, according to the Washington Post. If that was not bad enough, many of the reported trips to the hospital were due to riders and/or pedestrians suffering serious head injuries.
Segway Use in Las Vegas
If you are planning to visit Las Vegas and are concerned about colliding with a reckless Segway user, you can put your mind at ease. There is an ordinance on the books in Clark County which expressly prohibits the use of Segways on or around the Las Vegas Strip. In Clark County, Segways are in the same category as rickshaws and pedicabs. The reason behind the ban is public safety. Officials in Clark County recognized the serious risks associated with letting Segway users loose on the Las Vegas Strip’s crowded concrete walkways.
Despite the prohibition, private companies are working to try and overturn or amend the Clark County ordinance. For example, a company called “Segway Las Vegas” was reportedly trying to collect petition signatures reflecting support for overturning the ordinance and allowing Segways on the Strip. The company is also contemplating whether to try and apply for a special-use permit so Segways can be utilized for tours of the Strip, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
As you can tell, the use of Segways is growing in popularity, but there are serious safety risks that need to be taken into consideration and local laws, especially in Las Vegas, that prohibit the use of Segways in specific areas.
If you’ve been injured by a Segway anywhere in Nevada, it’s best to contact a lawyer who will deal with this situation — LV Criminal Defense, 400 S. 7th St #401, Las Vegas, NV 89101, 702–623–6362, www.lvcriminaldefense.com