British Columbia

Segways touted by B.C. town mayor

The northern B.C. town of Tumbler Ridge is calling for changes to the province's Motor Vehicle Act that would allow people to use Segways on streets and sidewalks.

High-tech personal transporters not legal on streets or sidewalks

The northeastern B.C. town of Tumbler Ridge is calling for changes to the province's Motor Vehicle Act that would allow people to use Segway personal transporters on the province's streets and sidewalks.

Mayor Larry White said the two-wheeled electric vehicles, which look like a cross between a pogo stick and a kick scooter, would make sense in the small town.

"We don't have a heavy traffic. There's not a lot of pedestrians on the sidewalks. Our town's easily accessible within 10-15 minutes," said White.

But Segways can't legally be operated on B.C. roads or on sidewalks because they cannot be licensed or insured as a vehicle in B.C., said Insurance Corporation of B.C. spokeswoman Alysson Gourley-Cramer.

"It would have to meet the provincial equipment safety standards for on-road use, basically," said Gourley-Cramer.

The high-tech self-balancing electric scooters were first introduced in 2001 and can travel about 20 kilometres per hour, but the manufacturer has struggled to have them legalized on road and sidewalks around the world because they lack signal lights and braking signals.

Tumbler Ridge will ask the Union of B.C. Municipalities to lobby the provincial government to change the law to allow the vehicles to hit the road, said White.

"Maybe our bylaw officer should be using it rather than driving around in the car because everything is close. You know, it works really well for a small community like ours," he said.

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