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End of the road for city’s Segway riders
By Ma Yue

POLICE yesterday issued a reminder to owners of motorized personal transporters, such as the two-wheeled Segway and electric unicycle, that they should not ride them on the roads.

Though there are no laws against doing so, Sun Guofu, a spokesman for Shanghai’s traffic police department, said that in the interest of personal safety, riders should limit themselves to parks and other areas that are free from traffic.

“By law in Shanghai, all personal transport vehicles, whether motorized or not, must be licensed to travel on the roads. As no license is needed for these new machines, they cannot be classed as personal transport vehicles,” Sun said.

Despite the lack of legislation or regulation, riders will be ordered off the highways if spotted by traffic police because of the risk they pose to other road users and pedestrians, he said.

In the Xinzhuang area of Minhang District recently, a Segway rider broke his neck after colliding with a car at an intersection. Despite his injuries, a court ruled that the rider was liable for 30 percent of the blame.

Electric unicycle owner Ye Muting said he thinks the police warning makes sense.

“I love riding my unicycle but I mostly stay inside my compound,” he told Shanghai Daily.

“I once rode it to the local wet market, but I wouldn’t do it again. It doesn’t have any brakes,” he said.

Ye said he bought his machine online last year for 3,000 yuan (US$490).

Most powered unicycles cost between 1,500 and 5,000 yuan, while Segways cost over 6,000 yuan. They each have a top speed of about 20kph and can run for up to 30kph on a full charge.

The manufactures of both types of machine claim they are allowed to be ridden on sidewalks and non-motor lanes.

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