After its introduction in 2001, the Segway was banned from use on sidewalks in more than 30 states. Since then, many states have altered their laws to allow for easier transportation by Segway users. Because it has a motor, it is considered a “vehicle” and as such could be subject to some of the same regulations as a motorcycle.
What Are the Segway Laws in Texas?
A Segway is a “personal assistive mobility device” according to Texas law, and as such is under the same stipulations as a wheelchair. State law says that you may operate a Segway:
- On a road where the speed limit is 30 mph or less only if:
- No sidewalk is available.
- You are making a direct crossing of a highway at a marked or unmarked crosswalk.
- You have been directed by a law enforcement or traffic control officer.
- On a path designated for exclusive use by bicycles.
- Must stay as close to the right-hand edge as possible.
Texas has no helmet requirement for those using a Segway. Other regulations which apply to bicycles also apply to use of a Segway, including necessary safety equipment, such as functional brakes and a lamp visible from 500 feet away if operating at night.
San Antonio applies different rules to Segways than the state of Texas. San Antonio actually does not allow their operation at night, and they do not allow Segways to be operated on sidewalks, according to city ordinances.
Segways have been recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice as a “power driven mobility device,” the same as a motorized wheelchair, and as such is included in the Americans with Disabilities Act as a legitimate mode of transportation for those with physical limitations.
You have the option to purchase insurance to cover damage or injuries in case of theft or an accident while operating your Segway. This is true whether you are part of a tour group (likely required as liability coverage for the tour company) or an individual owner. Given that state law and San Antonio city law differ slightly – especially in regard to operation on sidewalks – it’s a good idea to protect yourself from liability.
Speak with a San Antonio personal injury attorney today.