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Segways soon to be permitted on public roads and new rules in the works for electric scooters

36 Comments
By Ingrid Tsai, SoraNews24

In terms of public transportation, what you have access to is dependent on where you live. Naturally, some folks prefer to take matters into their own hands, or out of necessity, to purchase and travel by car, motorbike, and/or breakfast bus. And with the advent of new transportation technology, such as electric bicycles, electric scooters, and Segways, Japan’s National Police Agency (NPA) has decided to move forward in rewriting the rules for smaller electric vehicles, while also unbanning the Segway from public roads.

Previously, the rules which applied to your electric non-automobile vehicle depended on what kind you had. For example, Segways were only permitted in designated areas, typically a park, and one had to have a driver’s license to operate one, whereas electric scooters could not be ridden if they exceeded a speed of 15 kilometers per hour.

However, with new considerations underway, the NPA is currently determining what regulations stay and which ones get revised. So far, the NPA has chosen to sort smaller electric vehicles into three categories, each with their own specific guidelines. The categories are vehicles which travel at least or below 6 kilometers per hour, vehicles which travel at least or below 15 kilometers per hour, and vehicles which travel over 15 kilometers per hour.

For the first category, vehicles which travel at least or below 6 kilometers per hour, these are allowed on sidewalks and don’t require a driver’s license. Curiously enough, they also include self-moving vehicles such as mobility support and automatic delivery robots.

For the second category, vehicles which travel at least or below 15 km/hr, including Segways and electric scooters, are now operable without a driver’s license. Furthermore, folks can choose to either ride them in designated bike lanes or even car lanes. However, once your electric, two-wheeled vehicle hits past that 15-kilometers-per-hour range, then you need a license, plus you can only drive in car lanes.

The NPA also aims to include language in the new rules to encourage people to wear helmets while on the go.

While these new considerations are only from the NPA’s interim report, a report with the finalized regulations should be available by March 2022.

Sources: Asahi Shimbun via Yahoo! News Japan, NHK News Web

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© SoraNews24

©2021 GPlusMedia Inc.

36 Comments
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Segway's maker has announced an end of their production after they came out 20 years ago, so this legislation is odd indeed! That's Japanese bureaucracy for you.

"at least or below 15 kilometers per hour"

Huh?

22 ( +23 / -1 )

Like the inventor of the Segway, the NPAs very late consideration of rules are doomed to fly off a cliff. What’s with making overly complex contradictory rules that are never enforced?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

*With an aging population prone to accidents while operating moving vehicles, is this at all *****safe and practical’ for Japan?

- “A post-mortem exam found Mr Heselden died from "multiple blunt force injuries to the chest and spine consistent with a fall while riding a gyrobike". Experts found no fault with Mr Heselden's X2 off-road Segway model and detectives found no evidence of any third party involvement or foul play.” -

“Operator error”. Btw: Sadly, this was Segway’s inventor, a truly kind, charitable billionaire philanthropist that was trying to make room on a shared path for a dog walker.

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

Abunai!

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Even bicycle have lot of rules in Japan, so if electric powered vehicle will be regulated in Japan that just followed what already Japan did.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I have ridden a Segway ninebot for a number of years now. Used it on the very uneven surfaces and paths around my neighborhood without any injury. It has a remote control function I have used to help carry groceries. They are very convenient devices for short distance travel. Every mode of transport has it’s dangers but if used properly, can be greatly minimized.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

At least means that number and above. Below means less than that number. Which is it?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The last time I was in Washington D.C. there were small groups of tourists riding about on those gadgets by the Washington Monument. That's a practical use for getting around a place where tourist sites are spread out the way they are in D.C. Not sure how practical (or safe) they would be in the downtown areas of major cities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

while also unbanning the Segway from public roads.

Well done NPA by showing how out of touch you are. Segway ceased production of their iconic persnal mobility device last year.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/24/business/segway-pt-discontinued.html

The changes will however make it possible to use electic scooters, which up until now have effectively been banned in Japan.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Sadly, this was Segway’s inventor, a truly kind, charitable billionaire philanthropist that was trying to make room on a shared path for a dog walker.

Not sure if you wrote that yourself, but Segway was invented by Dean Kamen. The guy who died had bought Segway from him.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The article and photo use "Segway", but modern electric scooters don't have a handlebar and your hands are free. This raises the spectre of people using mobiles while riding them.

That said, people misusing various little electric things is still preferable to them misusing cars. Even used properly, one person in one car takes up a huge amount of public space and pollutes more than ten people on electric things.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

JeffLee: "Segway's maker has announced an end of their production after they came out 20 years ago, so this legislation is odd indeed! That's Japanese bureaucracy for you."

There's no saying Japan won't improve on and modernizing the design. They may build in fax machines for work purposes and home ordering.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Haven't most countries been experimenting with electric scooters since the early 00's? Japans' government regulators are so easily mocked...the jokes just write themselves.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

If/when these scooters are allowed on public roads will operators will be allowed to ignore traffic laws, walk a dog, carry an umbrella, smoke, use their cell phone and have 4 kids onboard during operation?

Asking for a friend.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those who have mentioned above that the Segway has been discontinued... isn't that just one model? Or are the other models in the Segway line being discontinued also?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This is going to be interesting to watch the police enforcing the rules.

I regularly watch the police try chasing the youth on skateboards in my area, the late teens early 20s see the police and bolt, police running, on bicycles, patrol cars, never once saw a single one get caught, total failure, I guess with a 15 K per hour max that may help the police.

No idea why skateboards and roller blades are not permitted but one would think in a country that people tend to ride bicycles and walk these would be far better.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

What could possibly go wrong?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

For those who have mentioned above that the Segway has been discontinued... isn't that just one model? Or are the other models in the Segway line being discontinued also?

Segway was bought by a Chinese company in 2015.

The new company will discontinue the original model with the chest high handle bar.

The 2 knee models and kick type scooters along with a go-cart looking thing and some type of electric roller blades will be on going.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@snowymountainhell

As usual half the information.

This was an off road pathway on the edge of a cliff where there has/had been many other accidents of people inadvertently falling to their deaths while walking.

There are several warning signs to remain far from the edge as erosion makes the edge very dangerous, but locals go that way regular regardless of the warnings.

The edge of the cliff and river has claimed far more lives none on Segways.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Saw some kids hotwheeling rental Segways in San Jose - they trashed and just discarded them. Kind of a dickish move, but I'd likely have done the same when I was their age. We'll see what happens in Japan.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

As long as they remove some cars off tge roads

0 ( +0 / -0 )

In London, back in the day, you'd have various hipsters on their scooters, segways, tandems and unicycles.

I mean, it's good to have an alternative to cars, so as long as they're safe and roadworthy and the drivers aren't the type of eejits who cause all manner of misery on those little computer game cars that you see in Tokyo... yeah, sure.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Even bicycle have lot of rules in Japan, so if electric powered vehicle will be regulated in Japan that just followed what already Japan did.

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha....

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Wow this would have been really cutting edge legislation in about 2002 or so. Do Segways even still exist now?

Hopefully this won't distract the government from its efforts to promulgate rules that promote dial-up internet modem, fax machine and car-phone technology.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Existing laws aren’t even enforced.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Could be Nice..

0 ( +0 / -0 )

For the first category, vehicles which travel at least or below 6 kilometers per hour,

I'm really confused by this. Is this some usage in American English of which I was previously unaware?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I really want one. It’s about 4 km walk to the combini. I could be there in no time!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

No ‘half the information’ @Antiquesaving 12:02pm. -

Plus, Absolutely no disrespect was intended to the deceased:

- Sadly, this was Segway’s inventor, a truly kind, charitable billionaire philanthropist that was trying to make room on a shared path for a dog walker.” -

Just tried to be ‘concise’: The ‘manner’ of death was was ‘Not due to vehicle malfunction’. It was termed: “Operator error”.*

The question remains: Do we want Japan’s aging population, the same demographic as ‘the deceased’, operating Segways on public roads when they are periodically in the news for such incidents resulting in personal injury and the deaths of others?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks for the response Antiquesaving. I actually bought the drift skates for a bargain from Amazon a while back but haven't used them because they were intended as a gift. Haven't been able to gift them to who they were intended for because haven't been able to get home due to the ongoing situation of meh that we are in. Japanese law doesn't allow me to use them anywhere but a private driveway basically... this law revision could change that... hopefully.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Haaa Nemui

As far as I could find it seems that only something with a handle bar are on the possible list.

That would mean the original Segway, the Kick type scooters.

From what I could find not even the latest knee type Segway will be permitted.

So I highly doubt Drift Skates will be permitted.

I would expect that before electric skates get the green light regular roller blades would and that is nowhere in sight.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thanks @Antiquesaving for clarifying the surrounding terrain issue to our @7:28am post and question? So, Can we get a response, too? Or, did we unintentionally offend you? ( Btw. Your ‘undercover sign’ story was a hit. )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Antiquesaving

Then they’ll be staying in the box at least until I can give them to my niece and nephew.

Also, that second category... the up to 15 km/h one... it’s not easy finding a scooter that will only travel under that. The Segway scooters are double that.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Ok, then @Antiquesaving 8:24am. It was just that “As usual” sounded like you were chastising ‘someone whom routinely ‘spouts off’ without have the majority of the facts’. (Your detailed, ‘life experiences’ are respected, sir.) Humble enough to admit when I’m wrong, I will try to stop being the ‘Loudest one in the room’, as of today. -

“I was just pointing out that he shouldn't have been where he was as it is considered one of the most dangerous rivers and riversibes.”

So then, what’s ‘your take’ on elderly Segway riders on the public motorways, in Japan? Is it safe?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

So then, what’s ‘your take’ on elderly Segway riders on the public motorways, in Japan? Is it safe?

I already have an issue with old people on power assisted bicycles!

Their reflexes are often to slow at normal pedaling speed now they have a motor to help them go faster but the brakes are the same as a non powered pedal bicycles.

See these Old people run into people, cars, park cars, not able to stop at intersections, stops, etc..

But Then if the top speed is 15km that is probably slower than most go on power assisted bicycles.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I thought the WALL-E device had gone bust !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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