8 years + and the NZTA have made a decision, nearly

18 11 2009

As seen in the Dominion Post today an article about Taupo cops on Segways and how they’re not legal on roads or footpaths so the Taupo cops will only ride them on grass verges and in parks. I can remember getting excited about Segways when they were first introduced in 2001, or maybe even 2000. The excitement soon faded when I saw the prices which haven’t come down one bit. The NZTA hasn’t quite made a decision yet on how to classify a Segway. Well done NZTA. 8 years and counting.

There are a plethora of ways of conveyancing oneself, but I want to make it simple for them, so I’ll classify things into 3 categories.

1. Things that can be aligned with walking – ie walking, jogging, electric old-timers scooters, Segways, scooters, skateboards and kids under 12 on bikes. These are the only ones who can use footpaths, unless it is signposted for bicycles too. When there are no footpaths then they can go on the road. ie country roads and backstreets without footpaths. On busy roads it’s called jaywalking.

2. Bikes, including pedal electric bicycles, but not bicycles with any form of combustion engine. Something that can be powered by the legs or by the legs and a supplementary electric motor. If someone puts a 2-stroke on a push bike it should be classed as a motorcycle. If someone puts an electric motor on a push bike it should be a bicycle. Mopeds definitely should not go in this category, as you can’t power them with your legs. Same with skateboards – combustion engines and get off the bikeways, please. Electric engine on a skateboard, and you’re welcome on the cycleway. In NZ the motor size maximum is 300W. In Australia it is only 250 Watts. Canada’s is 500W. A horsepower, from memory, is 768 W. The maximum should be either 500W or 768W. This category shouldn’t be defined by a top speed, as a good pedal cyclist can reach over 40km/hr on the flat.

Bikes get to go on cycleways and all roads, except Motorways, and under 12s get to ride on the footpaths.

3. Anything heavier or with a combustion engine. Cars, trucks, mopeds, motorcycles, buses go on the road and definitely never on a footpath and never on a cycleway.

I can do in 5 minutes what the NZTA can’t do in 8 years. It wasn’t hard.

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