Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Poor East End Mini Segway owner

One of the things that always amuses me is my domicile on the poverty-stricken and underprivileged East End of Glasgow. While I read the local papers and am told we are the sickest and most impoverished of Scotland, I watch my neighbours buy new Porsches, Bentleys and other current year cars (there’s even a performance second-hand car dealer at the end of my street, where Lamborghini and Ferraris can be picked up any day), giant flat-screen TVs, and are currently enjoying what I can only describe as a recent orgy of property buying, stripping, and upgrading. Some houses are lived in for less than a year before this process is repeated.

But this morning was one for the boys and their toys.

Looking out the window, I saw a guy gliding past on a Mini Segway (or clone):

Mini Segway

Mini Segway

He was gone in a moment and too quick for me to run for a camera, but the window was open, and I could hear his conversation with taxi driver who stopped in the middle of the road to talk to him.

Turned out to be worth listening to, as I learned the guy had lost at least £75 on the purchase – he yelled out that it that his new toy had cost him £350 (poverty in the East End), while a quick search online shows that it can easily be bought of £275 or less.

No wonder everyone in so poor here, throwing money away like that!

And unfit, rolling around on these things instead of having a good walk (to the shops, for their cigarettes).

UPDATE

Wonder if I’ll see him again, and be near a phone/camera.

I quote from:

Segway Guidance From the Department For Transport

Frequently Asked Questions

1.”I have a self-balancing scooter and I want to ride in on the public road, is it legal for road use?”

No. Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use.

2.”I have been riding a self-balancing scooter on the public footway (pavement) outside my house, have I committed an offence?”

Yes. It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement. It is only an offence under this Act in England and Wales. In Scotland it is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.

3.”Where can I ride a self-balancing scooter?”

You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission. The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times.

4.”I have seen people using electric bicycles on the road without registration. Why are they permitted but a self-balancing scooter is not?”

Bicycles are covered by different rules to those applying to self balancing scooters. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles must meet the requirements of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles that conform to these regulations are considered to be pedal cycles and as such are allowed to use cycle facilities such as cycle lanes on the road and cycle tracks away from the road which other powered vehicles are prohibited from using. A self-balancing scooter does not meet these requirements as it cannot be pedaled.

Road Traffic Offences: Legal Guidance: The Crown Prosecution Service

More Update

Given the nature and language in the three following linked stories, it seems that some people are shocked and surprised that these things are not road  (or footpath/pavement) legal.

Since the original Segway was always illegal anywhere but private land/property, and these things are no different (other than in appearance), why would anyone think the situation had changed?

These are poorly prepared articles, as the things have not been banned or made illegal – THEY ALWAYS WERE!

Hoverboards are now illegal on UK roads and pavements

Keep Your Stupid Balance Scooter in the Kitchen — They’re Illegal on UK Roads and Pavements | Gizmodo UK

This is the most important one though – STOP USING THAT STUPID NAME!

UK Bans Hoverboards But Seriously Stop Calling Them Hoverboards

There was more later in the same day, as:

‘Hoverboards’ made legal in California | Technology | The Guardian

While commenters after this article wanted it noted that California was smarter than London, I was reminded of American I knew that used to say “Oh, California – where the nuts come from”, whenever anyone pointed there for an example of… anything.

MORE update

Having seen indications that these things, by whatever name, are legal in the US, we now have a story saying that they are NOT!

And amusingly, that Twitter ‘experts’ say they are 🙂

NYPD Tweet Claims That ‘Hoverboards’ Are Illegal | Popular Science

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September 6, 2015 - Posted by | Civilian | , ,

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