September 01, 2002

Segway Corp. Stalks Pedestrians

At the federal level, thanks to effective lobbying from the corporation, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has deemed the Segway equal to a motorized wheelchair and would ostensibly operate free of regulation.

While Federal law as it stands does not allow the Segway to be used on federally funded sidewalks and bike paths, on April 25, 2002, a bill that would change this law in favor of Segway users passed the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, though it has not yet reached the full Senate.

Currently its major customers are the US Postal Service and various police departments, displacing trips mostly made before by bicycling or walking. What will happen to already epidemic levels of obesity as the devices displace even more walking and cycling trips? What will happen when the first 70-pound device strikes a pedestrian?

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