Segways and the Traffic Law

| 01/11/2018

Segways, Ask Auntie, CNS Local Life1. Should the Segways that go along West Bay Road use the road or the pavement? I have seen pedestrians forced into the road when they are on the pavement, but also deliberately hold up traffic when they are on the road.

2. I have been seeing Segway tours being conducted on the sand on Seven Mile Beach, on the sand typically between, I think, Royal Palms up to around Beach Suites. Groups of 10 people or so a couple of times a day on the sand leaving tracks along the beach and wiggling around sunbathers. Is this legal? I didn’t realise motorised vehicles were allowed on public beaches.

Auntie’s answer: Longtime readers of this column will most likely find these two questions familiar, and with good reason. I posted them last year without an answer, detailing my numerous attempts at trying to get some clarity (see What are the rules for using Segways?). I kept at it, though, and while there remaining outstanding issues, I can offer some information.

An RCIPS spokesperson confirmed that as far as the law goes, Segways would be treated the same as bicycles. The Road Code of the Cayman Islands, 2012 (in The Traffic Control Regulations, 2012) says that cyclists “must obey all traffic signs, road markings and traffic light signals” as well as the code.

In practice what this means is that Segways must use the bicycle lanes. In addition, and to the point of the first reader’s question, they should never use the sidewalk. Non-compliance can result in the police issuing a ticket.

As for the Segways riding on the beach, I have to thank a previous reader’s comment for pointing me in the right direction. The Traffic Law, 2011, Section 93(1) covers this situation, listing ticket offences which include anyone who “(l) brings or drives a vehicle, other than an invalid carriage, on to a beach or other place intended for the exclusive use of pedestrians unless specially authorised by the Commissioner”.

While I am not familiar with the term “invalid carriage”, the intent of this section seems clear: Using a Segway on the beach would be considered an offence. I suggest you call the police if you see this occur.

It remains to be seen how this will affect the Segway tours offered in Cayman. Stay tuned.

The laws mentioned above can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie, Traffic Questions

Comments (21)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Lots of “experts” here – not many references.

    Here’s an excerpt from the “regulatory information” page from Segway’s website which explains its legal use on sidewalks in 45 states of the USA.

    “Many of these laws use the term “Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Device (EPAMD)” or “Personal Motorized Mobility Device”, which are generally defined so as to include the Segway® Personal Transporter (PT) and our other balancing products.”

    No, Cayman is not the USA – but this is certainly of note.

  2. Miwak says:

    Sidewalks are for pedestrians and their safety; they ARE NOT miniature roads! On top of that, if these fun loving visitors fear the road so much’ grab a taxi! Don’t endanger pedestrians and bully them off into the traffic or bush!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Whiners!!! They are doing good business and at least have imagination to do it!
    You are probably clapping about Wendy’s, Subway and Starbucks at our CAYMANIAN airport. Whoever is whining about these, get a life.

  4. Anonymous says:

    lets ban electric wheelchairs or force them onto the road!…..
    people complain too much…

  5. Anonymous says:

    yep…lets ban a modern, safe, clean form of personal transport….
    its the caymankind way….zzzzzzzzzzz

  6. Anonymous says:

    yikes…folks will complain about everything and anything. especially tourists coming here and having a fun time!
    maybe segways should be banned worldwide or should be forced onto roads with cars and trucks????

    CAVE (caymanians against virtually everything) mentality make me sick

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the police need to visit 7mile shops and let the business operating these tours know this because they are ALWAYS on the side walk, never on the road unless crossing it.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Segways are a pain, they push people off the sidewalk, they drive on the road like they own it. They go around with a stop sign to stop traffic, I didn’t realise they had the same rights as police.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Segway’s, the trolley roger and that new floating water park planned for Eden Rock are exactly what is going wrong in Cayman. We need to stay far way from cheap and tacky and keep Cayman classy.

    • Anonymous says:

      Have you researched the cost of a Segway? They are not cheap. They cost more than majority of imported cars on the roads and they are electric and zero impact on the environment.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been mildly inconvenienced by these Segways many times but so what? I don’t get it myself but tourists seem to love them, someone’s making a few bucks, let it slide, jeez… rules are made to serve man, not the other way round.

  11. Anonymous says:

    CNS… an ”invalid carriage” is a very old fashioned term for a motorised wheelchair or scooter for the disabled.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Bicycles should be able to use the sidewalk in my opinion (with pedestrians having the right of way). Because of poor driving standards it is just too dangerous to ride on some roads. Vehicles simply do not give cyclists the room. One time I got cut off by a vehicle turning left, and after picking myself off the road followed the driver who was parking and asked her why she did that. Her answer was “but I blow my horn”!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Your information is incorrect. Note the definition of a pedal cycle under the law which also applies to bicycles:

    “pedal cycle” means –
    (a) a vehicle constructed of any number of wheels which is
    propelled by human power by means of pedals, including pedals that are electrically assisted, the electric motor being incapable of solely propelling the cycle; and
    (b) includes a bicycle.

    A Segway is solely propelled by the electric motor. It cannot be considered a Pedal Cycle of Bicycle.

    A Segway is a personal transporter which is considered a pedestrian mode of transportation.

    • Anonymous says:

      A pedestrian mode of transport would be walking. Possibly with crutches or cane.

      • Anonymous says:

        Stop being old fashioned. The world is evolving and with it technological advances and inventions are created.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except its got a motor so previous Auntie answer re motorized bicycles suggests that, with no pedals as you say, a Segway is an electric vehicle under Cayman law and needs to be on the road, not the sidewalk (which is for pedestrians). Even if, as suggested in this article, the police have taken a logical (though arguable) decision that a Segway is not a car, so they treat it like a bicycle, it still needs to be where bicycles are – on the road. (And just speaks to the need to improve Cayman’s roads with bike lanes. Or at least properly demarcated ‘shared shoulders’ for pedestrians & bikes.) Either way, it is not a pedestrian and so shouldn’t be on the pedestrian sidewalk.