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).

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