Adventures in San Diego Segway Tours are compliant with California state law. California law defines the Segway Personal Transporter (Segway PT) as an Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD). Under California law an EPAMD can be described as a device that has two non-tandem wheels, is self balancing, provides transport to just one rider, that may not exceed twenty five inches in width and twenty inches in depth, and has an electric propulsion system that is limited to a maximum speed of just twelve and a half miles per hour.
California law removes Segways from the motor vehicle definitions, restrictions, and requirements. California law even specifically describes Segway technology. Riders of Segways are considered pedestrians that have combined pedestrian and bicycle duties and rights. The state law does allow local governments, such as the City of San Diego, which has jurisdiction over all of San Diego and La Jolla to have additional Segway regulations. However, the City of San Diego does not have any additional regulations that pertain to riding a Segway in San Diego and the neighborhood of La Jolla.
California State Assembly Bill 470 (AB 470) primarily regulates Segways in San Diego, La Jolla, and all of California. It was authored by Assemblymember Mark Desaulnier in 2007. Below is the complete language of AB 470
An act to amend Sections 313 and 21280 of, to amend and repeal Section 467 of, to add Section 21281.5 to, and to repeal Section 21283 of, the Vehicle Code, relating to electric personal assistive mobility devices.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Section 313 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
313. The term “electric personal assistive mobility device” or “EPAMD” means a self-balancing, nontandem two-wheeled device, that is not greater than 20 inches deep and 25 inches wide and can turn in place, designed to transport only one person, with an electric propulsion system averaging less than 750 watts (1 horsepower), the maximum speed of which, when powered solely by a propulsion system on a paved level surface, is no more than 12.5 miles per hour.
SEC. 2. Section 467 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section 3 of Chapter 404 of the Statutes of 2004, is amended to read:
467. (a) A “pedestrian” is a person who is afoot or who is using any of the following:
(1) A means of conveyance propelled by human power other than a bicycle.
(2) An electric personal assistive mobility device.
(b) “Pedestrian” includes a person who is operating a self-propelled wheelchair, motorized tricycle, or motorized quadricycle and, by reason of physical disability, is otherwise unable to move about as a pedestrian, as specified in subdivision (a).
SEC. 3. Section 467 of the Vehicle Code, as amended by Section 4 of Chapter 404 of the Statutes of 2004, is repealed.
SEC. 4. Section 21280 of the Vehicle Code is amended to read:
21280. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:
(1) This state has severe traffic congestion and air pollution problems, particularly in its cities, and finding ways to reduce these problems is of paramount importance.
(2) Reducing the millions of single passenger automobile trips of five miles or less that Californians take each year will significantly reduce the pollution caused by fuel emissions and aggravated by automobile congestion.
(3) Electric personal assistive mobility devices that meet the definition in Section 313 operate solely on electricity and employ advances in technology to safely integrate the user in pedestrian transportation.
(4) Electric personal assistive mobility devices enable California businesses, public officials, and individuals to travel farther and carry more without the use of traditional vehicles, thereby promoting gains in productivity, minimizing environmental impacts, and facilitating better use of public ways.
(b) The Legislature is adding this article as part of its program to promote the use of no-emission transportation.
SEC. 5. Section 21281.5 is added to the Vehicle Code, to read:
21281.5. (a) A person shall not operate an EPAMD on a sidewalk, bike path, pathway, trail, bike lane, street, road, or highway at a speed greater than is reasonable and prudent having due regard for weather, visibility, pedestrians, and other conveyance traffic on, and the surface, width, and condition of, the sidewalk, bike path, pathway, trail, bike lane, street, road, or highway.
(b) A person shall not operate an EPAMD at a speed that endangers the safety of persons or property.
(c) A person shall not operate an EPAMD on a sidewalk, bike path, pathway, trail, bike lane, street, road, or highway with willful or wanton disregard for the safety of persons or property.
(d) A person operating an EPAMD on a sidewalk, bike path, pathway, trail, bike lane, street, road, or highway shall yield the right-of-way to all pedestrians on foot, including persons with disabilities using assistive devices and service animals that are close enough to constitute a hazard.
SEC. 6. Section 21283 of the Vehicle Code is repealed.
SEC. 7. No reimbursement is required by this act pursuant to Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution because the only costs that may be incurred by a local agency or school
district will be incurred because this act creates a new crime or infraction, eliminates a crime or infraction, or changes the penalty for a crime or infraction, within the meaning of Section 17556 of the Government Code, or changes the definition of a crime within the meaning of Section 6 of Article XIII B of the California Constitution.
Segways are designed to comply with Federal product and safety standards and requirements. Seways are allowed on all private property in all fifty states, subject to approval from individual property owners. There is some form of legislative approval to use Segways on public sidewalks, bike paths, and some streets in most states and the District of Columbia. This legislative approval is different from state to state. State laws typically refer to Segways as Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices or Personal Motorized Mobility Devices. The Governors Highway Safety Association contains a helpful guide for Segway laws in each state.
In addition to California there are laws that permit Segway use in the States of Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, North Carolina, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont, Washington, Wisconsin, and West Virginia.
The States of Connecticut, Massachusetts, North Dakota, and Wyoming do not have laws that specifically allow for the use of Segways on a public right-of-way. However, just because these States have no laws that specifically allow for the use of Segways this does not mean that use of a Segway on a right-of-way is prohibited.
The States of Arkansas and Kentucky do not outlaw the use of electric powered conveyances, including Segways, within pedestrian areas and sidewalks.