A Segway is an electric, two-wheeled transportation device that allows the user to move by shifting their body weight in the direction they wish to move.
The maximum speed of a Segway is 20 km/hour.
We are committed to testing and evaluating new/alternative transportation measures in Nova Scotia. A pilot project is one way to evaluate these devices, before making permanent amendments to the Motor Vehicle Act (as these devices are not currently allowed on public roads in Nova Scotia).
The pilot project is anticipated to run for two years and end January 31, 2016. This will allow two full summer seasons for testing and evaluation.
Any person or business that owns or leases a minimum of 3 Segways is eligible to participate in the pilot project. An application must be made to the Department at the outset of the pilot period and include information such as proposed routes (locations where the Segways will be used); description of training program; hours Segways will be used.
Once the Department receives an application, Departmental staff will review it to ensure that all required information is provided. The Department may follow up with the applicant if additional information is required to support the application. Information on the proposed routes/areas of operation for the Segway(s) will be forwarded to the local traffic authority for input. Once this is received, and all requirements met, the Department will issue the participant a permit outlining any terms and conditions, as well as identification stickers to be attached to each of the Segways to be involved in the pilot project.
Under the pilot project, Segways will be allowed (upon application approval and issue of pilot permit) on sidewalks. If no sidewalk is available, Segways may be used on roads/streets with speed limits less than 60 km/hour.
The purpose of the pilot project is to test and evaluate Segway use in a variety of settings. The Department also has the ability to set terms and conditions on pilot permits. For example, a condition may be set requiring a slower speed for Segways on some sidewalks with high pedestrian volumes. Segway riders must also yield right-of-way to pedestrians when travelling on a sidewalk. These devices have also been used on sidewalks in other jurisdictions in North America with limited safety concerns.
Additionally, pilot participation will be closely monitored, and a pilot permit may be cancelled or amended anytime should it be determined that the safety of other road users in being compromised. Pilot participants will also be required to report regularly to the Minister on their pilot participation.
All pilot participants must ensure that Segway riders have completed training on use and operation of the Segway. Riders must be at least 16 years old, or 14 years old with the consent of a parent/guardian. Additionally, all riders must wear a helmet and travel in single file while using the Segway. Finally, all Segways must have a working bell or horn, and lighting to ensure the device is visible.How will the Department make its decision on whether to permanently allow Segway use?
As part of the pilot project, the Department is also conducting an evaluation on Segway use. This will include assessing safety (of the devices for users and other road users) and perceptions of the devices by other road users. Evaluation data will be collected through a variety of sources including reporting from participants, rider surveys and surveys of other road users.What happens if someone breaks the rules for Segway use?
Pilot participants and riders may be fined for failing to abide by the provisions set out in the Segway Pilot Project regulations.Where can questions, comments or feedback on Segway use in Nova Scotia be sent? Anyone with questions, comments or feedback on Segway use is invited to call the Segway Pilot Project Toll Free Number at 1-844-428-0174 or e-mail Segwaypilotproject@gov.ns.ca.