Segway and other personal transporter users are now allowed on Nova Scotia’s sidewalks, bike lanes and roads, effective May 1.
Segways and personal transporters are self-balancing electric vehicles with two side-by-side wheels designed for one person and equipped with a horn and light.
Safety for both the personal transporter user and all others on the roads, including pedestrians and cyclists, was a top priority when considering changes to the Motor Vehicle Act.
The results of a two-year pilot project that tested and evaluated the safety of Segways did not raise major safety concerns for riders or the majority of road users. There were no reports of major incidents between Segways and pedestrians, bicyclists or motorists. Segways were found to be safe when ridden by those 16 and older, wearing helmets and having training.
There are strict rules for Segways and other personal transporters, including:
— using helmets
— a minimum age of 16 for drivers or 14 with a guardian’s consent for guided tours
— standing when it is in motion
— no towing another person or a device
— riding in single file
— operating at a speed no greater than 20 kilometres per hour on roads and seven kilometres per hour on sidewalks
— operating on highways with speed limits of 60 kilometres per hour or lower
Personal transporter operators are expected to share the road with pedestrians, cyclists and drivers. On sidewalks, pedestrians will have the right of way. In bike lanes, personal transporter users must operate as a cyclist and on roads, and they must stay on the far right side.
Municipalities may prohibit use of personal transporters on municipal sidewalks and roadways.
To read the Segway pilot project evaluation report, go to http://novascotia.ca/tran/publications/REVISED-Segway_Pilot_Project_Evaluation_Report_2016_FINAL.pdf.