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ADA and the Segway

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  • Ed Beighe
    ... Jym, Your notion that because of ADA disabled people have blanket protection for using a Segway is just your opinion, not established by any case law, or
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 1, 2005
      > =v= Facilities must permit (the ADA legal language is, "make
      > reasonable accommodations for") people with disabilities. This
      > applies to wheelchairs, motorized chairs, Dean Kamen's worthier
      > gadgets for the handicapped, and Segways used by those who truly
      > need them for mobility.
      > =v= My point being that there's no need for Segway-only laws
      > to allow those with disabilities to use them on paths.
      > <_Jym_>

      Your notion that because of ADA disabled people have blanket protection
      for using a Segway is just your opinion, not established by any case law, or
      There was an article in 10/14/2004 New York Times (try
      http://tinyurl.com/68qzs ) "Oft-Scorned Segway Finds Friends Among the
      Disabled" that covers this issue pretty thoroughly.

      The article implies that the San Francisco ban exempts riders with
      disabilities. (I would like to know details -- does anybody know?). In
      contrast NY has no special rules which tends to put segways into the motor
      vehicle category and subjects their riders to ticketing -- selective
      enforcement notwithstanding ;-)

      --- quote from article follows. My emphasis added by CAPITALIZATION of
      As a broader skirmish continues over whether and where to permit Segway use,
      the issue of whether disabled riders have any special right to use the

      Under the Americans With Disabilities Act, public places and businesses have
      to meet certain standards of accessibility that accommodate disabled
      visitors. Such places must allow disabled visitors to use aids like canes or
      wheelchairs, said Paul Steven Miller, a disability law expert and law
      professor at the University of Washington.

      But with two wheels, the Segway doesn't fit into the definition followed by
      the United States Department of Transportation in implementing the Americans
      With Disabilities Act, which refers to a three- or four-wheeled vehicle,
      said Bob Ashby, a lawyer with the agency's general counsel's office.

      The department HAS YET TO FORM AN OPINION ON Segway USE, he said.

      Cities can bar general use of motorized vehicles on sidewalks or in public
      places, he said, but would have legal problems under the disabilities act
      and state laws if they closed those spaces to people with motorized

      Segway says 41 states have laws allowing the use of the scooters on
      sidewalks, but some cities, like San Francisco, have gone as far as banning
      nondisabled riders from using the scooters in public places and at bus and
      train stops.

      In New York City, the Segway falls into a gray area, said Councilman John C.
      Liu, a Queens Democrat who is chairman of the Transportation Committee. Mr.
      Liu said that A RIDER USING ONE IN PUBLIC COULD GET A TICKET, because state
      law prohibits motorized vehicles -- except those like wheelchairs and three-
      and four-wheeled scooters for the disabled -- on sidewalks.

      Still, ''I think certainly that ticket would be contestable,'' he said
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