Sunday, February 25, 2007


A summary of Innovative Mobility's Blogs

This site "Segway for Ontario (an antithesis)" is the original document posted by Innovative Mobility, the student research group dedicated to studying new yet responsible solutions to today's transit problems. The first posting of our eclectic student group goes back to 2001. The original Innovative Mobility group participants are now widely dispersed pursing their chosen vocations while still maintaining an interest in the group's original precepts. Professor Alexander Kgemc now resides in sunny Naples, FL. Any new web site posting are being prepared either by myself, Bill Brunton, Cynthia Booker or Angela Bertoni. The only conference remaining on our itinerary is the 11th International Conference on Mobility and Transport for Elderly and Disabled Persons - TRANSED 2007, Montréal, Québec, Canada, June 18 - 21, 2007 .You can see what we have been up to by simply Googling our names. If you need to contact me for any particular reason please e-mail me at , while this is not my primary address, this is the address I used as a student and it appears on all my correspondence as Communications Integrator for Innovative Mobility.
Any one who is familiar with our web sites knows that their intended purpose was information dissemination re "studying new yet responsible solutions to today's transit problems". As a group we we adamant that EPAMD's like the Segway going up to 12.5 mph should not be mixed with either pedestrians or vehicles approved for use on roadways. For each position paper that we prepared for Municipal Councils, Works Committees or Provincial and Federal Ministry's, they were published in their entirety on individual blog sites. To date their are 5 sites in total:

1.) "Segway for Ontario (an antithesis)" the original

2.) "Segway Caveats for Municipal Council Consideration". Document entitled “Segway - A Pedestrian Friend or Foe in the Urban Environment?” was specifically prepared for the benefit of the Toronto Works Committee members and the Toronto City solicitor in their evaluation as to whether to approve the operation of Segways on Toronto’s sidewalks at their January 12, 2006 meeting. It was published because it had have relevance to all levels of government globally, in particular Municipal Councils when considering recognizing Segways for use on the sidewalks or other public pedestrian infrastructure.

3.) " Segways are not Disability Devices" Document entitled “Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices” (EPAMD) i.e. Segways –Considerations before recognition as a disability device in Ontario", was prepared specifically for the Ontario Ministry of Transport. It was published because it had have relevance to all levels of government globally when considering recognizing Segways as Electric Personal Assistance Mobility Devices [EPAMD’s], by classifying the EPAMD driver as a pedestrian just like a wheelchair user. Segways are not "medical devices”; we are justifiably concerned about bad precedent legislation that would anomalously define a Segway as a pedestrian.

4.) "Pilot Project For Segway In Ontario Is A Mistake" Is a copy of a letter of October 29, 2006 sent to the the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation requesting a review of the 5-year pilot test program for Segways in Ontario. Innovative Mobility believes that it is a mistake to allow people of disability"14 years old or older to operate a Segway if his or her mobility is limited by one or more disabilities, conditions or functional impairments". 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” requirementso No specification for the front and rear “light” requirements other than the rear light may be attached to the person

5.) "Segway Riders Face Stiff Fines In Ontario". Is a reply copy of letter received from the Honourable Donna Cansfield, Minister of Transportation, Province of Ontario that clarifies the 5 Year Pilot Project for Segways, Ontario regulation 488/06 made under The Highway Traffic Act August 24, 2006. This document will clarify any misrepresentations that Ontario has opened the doors to Segway with few exceptions:

A. Pilot participants limited to:
- "a police officer may, in the course of his or her duties,- a letter carrier who is an employee of Canada Post Corporation may, while engaged in door
-to-door delivery of mail,
- 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."

B. Even pilot participants are not allowed to operate their Segway on sidewalks where municipal by-laws prohibit the operation of motor vehicles Sc8(2). Each municipality is still in control of their sidewalks and other public pedestrian infrastructure unless they pass specific by-laws permitting pilot participants to operate their Segways on sidewalks.

C. Anyone caught riding a Segway in Ontario who is not included as a pilot participant will be subject to higher fines ranging from $250 to a maximum of $2,500.

While these documents were prepared specifically with an Ontario flavour they contain information that is for the most part generic and will have an application to any municipal council, regional or national government(s) at the global level.

Friday, October 21, 2005


Would a child survive a Segway collision?

According to the International Centre for Disability Resources:
Pedestrian injuries are a major problem in the United States. There were 78,000 pedestrian injuries and 4,700 fatalities in the US in 2000. Pedestrian deaths and injuries disproportionately occur to individuals at the young and old ends of the age spectrum. Children are particularly vulnerable given their developmental immaturity, which is characterized by often impulsive behavior and poor judgment. Allowing motorized vehicles on the sidewalk will require children to negotiate motorized traffic, something they are developmentally incapable of doing. Using some basic assumptions, the calculated amount of force involved in a collision between a Segway device and a child can be significant and could easily cause serious injury. The purpose of a sidewalk is the separation of pedestrians from motorized traffic.

Even if the Segway device were able to come to an abrupt halt from a speed of 12.5 mph, the operator will be thrown forward and into the pedestrian or other object that was struck based on the laws of Newtonian physics. Individuals that speak to how quickly the Segway can stop are also forgetting that a young child can dart unexpectedly in front of one of these devices traveling at top speed with no time for the operator to react. A collision is inevitable and the laws of physics will prevail, and potentially, a significant energy transfer will occur to the pedestrian and also to the operator, resulting in injury. Segway representatives demonstrate a Segway riding over the top of a persons hand without injury; however, this is irrelevant bafflegab to the real injury hazard of the device colliding head-on into a pedestrian.

Reassurances from the marketers and a brief demonstration of the product, without independent objective evaluation and data, are inadequate criteria for departure from current law that exists to protect both device operators and pedestrians. Children are a particularly vulnerable group to injury and deserve the full protection provided by our laws.

In his letter to the Environment and Public Works Committee, Dr. Louis Z. Cooper, President of the American Academy of Pediatrics, stated: Children, elderly individuals, persons with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations cannot - and should not - be expected to negotiate motorized traffic on sidewalks, trails and other walkways.


Monday, October 17, 2005


Last desperate gasps by principals

Whether in desperation, naivety or just plain selfishness it appears, in our opinion, that the principals of and their supporters are now playing the handicap/disabled word(s) in their final gasp lobbying. Reference: the Toronto Star 10/15/05 in letter to the Editor “If scooters are okay for sidewalks, why not Segways? What about those electric scooter that disabled people use?”

Well there is a big difference Segways are owned by able bodied, elitist, effete who think that their pricey electric powered gadgets compare to assistance devices use by persons with disability to perform many activities of daily living. Personal mobility devices as used by persons with disability are necessary for them to function with some independence.
From the Ontario Ministry of Transportation site at you will find the following:

“Personal Mobility Devices (Motorized Wheelchairs and Medical Scooters)
Do not require registration, licence plates, driver's licence or vehicle insurance
Persons operating motorized wheelchairs are treated in the same way as pedestrians.
The expected behaviour of people, who use wheelchairs to improve their mobility, is generally established by municipal by-laws. Operators should check with their local municipality to ensure by-laws permit their use on sidewalks. A sidewalk should be the first choice for someone using a wheelchair or medical scooter. When there is no wheelchair accessible curb, the person should return to the sidewalk at the first available opportunity. If there is no sidewalk available, people using wheelchairs or personal mobility devices should travel, like pedestrians, along the left shoulder of the roadway facing oncoming traffic”.
The accepted definition of motorized mobility aid “means any self-propelled vehicle designed for, and used by, a handicapped person and that is incapable of a speed in excess of 15 kph.”

It should be noted that there is no municipality across Ontario that prohibits motorized wheelchairs or medical scooter on sidewalks, public pathways or where sidewalks and curb cuts do not exist “along the left shoulder of the roadway”.

On the other hand the forementioned MTO site says:
“SegwayTM Human Transporter
Cannot be operated on roads in Ontario
A personal human transporter (i.e. SegwayTM) is defined as a self-balancing, electric-powered transportation machine designed for one person, with a top speed of 20 km/h.
The definition of motor vehicle in Ontario's HTA encompasses this type of personal transportation vehicle. However, this device does not meet Ontario's equipment safety standards for on-road use.
This device is not included as a vehicle intended for on-road use under the MVSA, and is considered a device for a pedestrian environment.
Personal transportation devices may be operated where the HTA does not apply, such as on private property.”

With the Toronto Works Committee at their October 11, 2005 meeting voting 4-2 to receive the report from the Toronto Legal Department which clearly finds that Segways are not allowed on Sidewalks nor are they allowed on Roads, It would be doubtful that there is any municipality across Ontario that will approve the use of Segways on sidewalks, pathways or public parks.

Thank you Councillors for seeing through the greedy corporate hype and allowing me to stop on the sidewalk to say hello to a friend and not have to worry about some alabaster bellied Segway owner riding up my backside at 12.5 mph (20 kph).

Sunday, October 16, 2005


Toronto Star Editorial 10/15/05 "Red Light for Segways"

The Toront Star editorial of 10/15/05 "Red light For Segways" got it right.

Oct. 15, 2005.
Red light for Segway

"The much-hyped, two-wheeled Segway Human Transporter isn't welcome on Toronto streets and sidewalks — and for good reason.

These pricey, electric-powered gadgets are classed as "motor vehicles" by Ontario law, so they aren't allowed to run on sidewalks, yet they don't meet safety regulations for on-road use. According to city hall lawyers, the Segway's only legal place to roll in Toronto is on certain routes within parks. And few people would spend in excess of $5,000 for a machine allowed to do only that.

The law, in this case, makes sense. The Segway is capable of zipping down sidewalks at up to 20 km/h. A collision between the heavy machine, travelling at that speed, and a pedestrian could cause serious injury. And Toronto's walkways are already crowded and risky enough, especially downtown.

Segway promoters say the device is allowed on sidewalks in many United States jurisdictions. And most people don't run it at top speed but, rather, at the rate of a brisk walk.

But that is another strike against the Segway: By serving as a substitute for walking, it replaces a form of healthy exercise with an energy-consuming ride.

The city's works committee was right in defeating a proposal that would have allowed a one-year trial for Segways on some city sidewalks.

In view of the legal restrictions on their use; the motorized traffic they would needlessly add to city sidewalks, and their role in discouraging walking, there is no need to test drive Segways in Toronto."

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Segway assault on walking arrested for now in Toronto

The Toronto Works Committee at their October 11, 2005 meeting voted 4-2 to receive the report from the Toronto Legal Department which clearly finds that Segways are not allowed on Sidewalks nor are they allowed on Roads. Additionally they voted down a motion motion to allow for a one year pilot project to allow Segways on sidewalks and collect some practical data.

This is good news in that the accepted definition of "pedestrian" has not been changed for the benefit of a single company. Toronto joins New York, Las Vegas, San Francisco, Disney and numerous other metropolitan area across the US, Europe and Japan.
Bill Brunton

Friday, July 15, 2005


Toronto Pedestrian Committee Kills Segway Approval

At the July 14, 2005 meeting of the TO Pedestrian Committe did the right thing and by majority vote rejected the use of Segways in favor of "reserving sidewalks for pedestrians".
Just imagine the practicality of this decision "reserving sidewalks for pedestrians" and not allowing some corporation to profit from the use of public property at the expense of children, seniors, persons of disability and other legitimate sidewalk users. Any approval of the Seway would forever alter the balance between human and the machine in the City.
Members of the Committee said :"Segways conflict with everything that we are trying to achieve" Further the Committee "believes that the presence of Segway scooters and other similiar motorized vehicles (a.k.a. pocket crotch rockets, electric tricyles, go-carts, electric lawn movers) would be detramental to the safe and free circulation of pedestrians and to the enjoyment of the walking experience". "The TO Pedestrian Committee strongly recommends that the City of Toronto continue to prohibit the circulation of Segway scooters on sidewalks, footpaths and recretational paths."
“Just imagine the damage that a Segway would inflict on any of today’s sidewalk stakeholder if they were to be impacted by a machine and rider weighing several hundred pounds traveling at 20 kph --- OUCH! Segways may be able to stop quickly however the stopping distance is in part based on the reaction time of the rider. “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 (i.e. 20kph), a Segway would therefore travel an average of 13 feet before the user would even initiate braking.” Segway claims that the device can be stopped in an additional 5 feet (which would be a remarkable 1 g of deceleration force if true!) for a total stopping distance of 18 feet --- the Question BEGS Is 18 feet stopping distance sufficient safety factor to be used on Toronto’s crowded sidewalks?
All To Citizens of TO owe the Pedestrian Committee a big thanks for not getting caught up in the hoopla of the Segway marketers.

Thursday, July 07, 2005


Segway Owner Fined $90 --- First in Canada

Reference and Osprey News Network
Wednesday, July 6, 2005 Updated at 11:38 PM EDT
Canadian Press
Niagara Falls, Ont. — "In what is believed to be a Canadian first, a Niagara Falls real estate agent has been ticketed and fined for driving a two-wheeled battery-powered scooter on a public street.
Pierre Lefeuvre, 54, made headlines last fall after he was charged with failing to have a licence and insurance for riding his Segway Human Transporter along a city street.
Mr. Lefeuvre took his battle to provincial offences court Wednesday, claiming the high-tech gadget that can move at speeds up to 20 kilometres an hour, isn't a motor vehicle, and thereby didn't require a licence or insurance.
Justice of the peace Santino Spadafora dismissed his claim, saying Segways fall under the Highway Traffic Act's definition of a motor vehicle and that police were justified in filing the charges.
“They are motor vehicles and subject to the laws under the Highway Traffic Act,” Justice Spadafora said, before imposing a $90 fine for failing to have a licence plate on the vehicle.
Charges of failing to have insurance and making an improper left turn were stayed."

Fortunate the insurance and improper left turn issue were stayed because the original charges were for $8000:


In Summary: Segways do not belong on the sidewalk because they are motorized and because they do not meet Ontario's equipment safety standards for on-road use. They can only be operated where the MofT acts do not apply such as on private property!!!!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?