back to article Segway death blamed on good manners

Jim Heselden, the Segway owner who died late last year after toppling from one of the scooters, likely fell from the cliff because he was getting out of the way of a man walking his dog. He fell more than 40 feet from a footpath above a river near Boston Spa, close to his home. Sean Christie was out walking his dog. He told …

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  1. cookieMonster
    Pint

    He was right..I've seen them in Dublin airport myself

    .... and I wasn't too hungover.

  2. John 73

    Fun, though

    Segways are great fun, though. Rode on one at Thetford Forest a couple of months ago and I can really see the appeal.

    1. ArmanX
      Facepalm

      The tech is sound, it's the price that's a problem

      It's hard to sell something as "more important that a PC" when it costs ten times the price of one... $7000-$8000 is more than the price of my *car*.

  3. EddieD

    University campuses as well

    A friend at UC Berkeley says that the campus plods patrol on Segways - and I'm fairly sure that I saw some Dutch plods on them, but I had been in the Netherlands for a few days and the cakes I got with my coffee may have clouded my judgement...although not enough for me to take one of the Segway tours.

    Nice ideas, but too expensive for the advantages that they give.

  4. Steve the Cynic Silver badge

    You should go to the Continent some time...

    I live just outside Lille, and sightings of Segways are a regular occurrence. The local bus/tram/metro company offers them for hire any time of the year except July and August, and at the Citadel (17th Century star-shaped fortress now the HQ for a Rapid Reaction Force), you can rent one to ride around the grounds *outside* the building.

    My first sighting was for some sort of advertising shoot I saw in Amsterdam in 2006, with two women riding them to stir up pigeons.

  5. Steve K Silver badge
    Boffin

    2001 Hype

    I seem to remember that some of the hype in 2001 was that Project Ginger was actually an antigravity device.

    The truth emerged to be more prosaic...

    1. Mike Richards Silver badge

      Antigravity

      'Doesn't fall down' = antigravity.

      Well it does in my Wile E Coyote Beginners Book of Physics Fun.

    2. moonface

      hype

      I remember the hype too, they claimed it as a product that would change the world. A bit like the astonishing Amstrad eMailer.

      Shame it wasn't an antigravity device for Jim Heselden's sake.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why would anyone?

    Why would anyone with a clue use a segway? Oh wait, that's a rhetorical question I guess.

    1. laird cummings

      More than a few folks, actually...

      Anyone that has to walk more than a couple miles regularly, but doesn't want to use a car, could reasonably be considered a target market for Segways. Especially if elderly or in poor health.

      I have a couple friends that take theirs on vacation, and they get to see a whole lot more than I do, 'cause they can get from 'here' to 'there' much faster than I do on my plain ol' Mark 1 Mod 0 feet.

      1. steviesteveo

        They always seem a bit awkwardly in-between to me

        I read they can do about 12 mph so they get you up to about three times as fast as a brisk walk - 2 miles in 10 minutes rather than 30. You can't be that sick or elderly to use one because you still need to be able to stand up and hold on throughout the journey. It's not an electric wheelchair and it's not exercise, it's faster than walking yet not as fast a bike and it's not anything like as fast as a car. It seems to fall into a middle zone that's a bit meh.

        On a side note, there's a long standing debate surrounding whether people who do go from 'here' to 'there' as fast as possible on holiday actually do see more than people who walk about instead. Your friends certainly travelled past a whole lot more things than you did but that's not quite the same thing.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Users are clueless?

      They're great at allowing the obese and lazy to get even fatter, I guess they don't have a clue. Which is probably why they sit there scratching their head, eating pizza and wondering why they're so fat.

      What's wrong with getting a little exercise by walking or cycling?

  7. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    And they're illegal on British roads and pavements

    except on private property. These are the rules, and have been since 1605 when it was first made illegal to travel by witchcraft. An exception was made about a hundred years ago for headless horse carriages powered by an infernal cacodemon engine.

    1. Steven Raith
      Thumb Up

      "infernal cacodemon engine"

      I am *so* using that, although goodness knows where.

      My first laugh of the morning, cheers Rob.

      Steven R

    2. Asgard
      Unhappy

      I really wish they were legal to use

      I was sorry to hear this guy died as it did seem his heart was in the right place so to speak. He tried to do good. But I would say the way the law is now we are trapped in the UK with transport that dates to over a hundred years ago :(

      So I really wish personal motor powered transport was legal for everyone to use in Britain, as it would help fuel a lot more innovation in personal transport.

      That would be good in so many ways. It would for example help start up more businesses and it would (as others have pointed out) also help reduce carbon emissions compared with petrol engines in some applications. Plus by having legal access to the UK mass market, that would in turn also help lower manufacturing costs and increase innovation in disabled personal transport as well.

      Also it would be good for everyone's mood to simply be able to have more fun with new forms of personal transport. :)

      Also public transport is under increasing pressure, so innovation in personal transport would help reduce this problem, whilst also helping to put pressure on public transport companies to lower their transport costs.

      So the politicians should allow more innovation in personal transport, as a truly free market would help the economy and help lower carbon emissions and help lower costs and help innovation in disabled personal transport and with other gains as well, so I can't see how they can keep obstructing progress. :(

      So I really wish they were legal to use in the UK. :(

      1. Giles Jones Gold badge

        Ride a bike

        The human body is a great motor and most people have plenty of fuel stored up (fat). Regular cyclists can do 20-30MPH on the flat.

        Why would you want to legalise something that creates even more fat unhealthy people? the cost to the NHS would be huge.

      2. Nuke
        Childcatcher

        @ Asgard

        Asgard wrote :-

        >>>So I really wish personal motor powered transport was legal for everyone to use in Britain, as it would help fuel a lot more innovation in personal transport.<<<

        You have obviously never been to Henleaze (OAP suburb of Bristol) during shopping hours. "personal motor powered transport" is alive and well in the form of "disability" scooters which are perfectly legal seemingly whether on road or pavement, despite the fact that they can do about 12 mph, weigh I guess about 250 kg and are under the control of geriatrics who's reaction time is about 15 seconds and whose clue rating is around 0 out of 10. Bloody dangerous at times.

        I put "disability" in quotes because many of the users are not disabled at all. My own elderly mother gets chatting to some of these people and get comments like "It's my husbands, but I just use it for shopping". Expect this to extend futher down the age range over the next few years.

        You are sounding paranoid when you say "we are trapped in the UK with transport ..." but in fact the law seems quite tolerant in this matter. There have been quite a few loony forms of transport used on UK roads over the years, the Sinclair C5 for example, and I have known guys who have built their own cars and I have been astonished at what has passed the Ministry inspector who has come to see them before allowing them on the road - bad design details like only being able to put the edge of your foot on the brake pedal.

        I suspect that the Segway was a bridge too far though.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Legality & Electric Bicycles

          There are all sorts of arguments about the legality of the use of segways and indeed other electric vehicles on pavements. However the segway does not qualify as an electric bicycle for one fairly simple and obvious reason: it has no pedals.

          As I recall the law on electric bicycles they must be electrically assisted pedal cycles, just like a pre-1977 moped they should in theory have to be started by pedals and be capable of being powered by pedals alone. The segway having no source of power other than its electric motors does not qualify as an electric bicycle. As far as the law is concerned it is a motor vehicle as such it must qualify with construction and use regulations.

    3. M Gale

      Illegal?

      From what I recall, the same act that made CBs a license-free broadcast medium and the little FM transmitters for your MP3 player legal, also legalised license-free use of electric bicycles up to 15mph top speed and a 250W motor. They are now classed as bicycles rather than small motorbikes. It was one of the few decent things the last lot did.

      Now riding a bicycle of any sort on a pavement is illegal and always has been, but considering the amount of people riding on the pavement anyway (myself included), that law probably needs revising to something like "ride slowly on the pavement if you like but pedestrians always have right of way".

  8. Kubla Cant Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Plods on Segways

    Presumably fugitives escape from them by running down or up stairs - just like Daleks.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Actually....

      I think there is a version of the segway with a sort of "tri wheel"arrangement that can negotiate stairs a bit like those hand trolleys you have that can be used on stairs

  9. Banker

    Seen em at the new Bangkok airport

    Which is quite a large building, plods in pairs on Segways scooting about. Wouldn't think you'd see them on the streets of Bangkok though!

  10. Maty
    Headmaster

    wot?

    "In so doing he's attempted to reverse the Segway back. "

    So, using a present perfect to describe a past situation, and a superfluous 'back'. Two errors in one short sentence.

    It gives one a lot of faith in the investigation when the officer conducting it has the literacy of a third former.

    1. Lord Elpuss Silver badge
      Facepalm

      @Maty

      He's a policeman, not a grammar teacher FFS.

      1. Anonymous John

        So what?

        I've never seen a cop reverse a car forward.

        1. steviesteveo

          Words matter when you're a cop writing a report

          A cop reversing a car forward is also known as driving the car. It's a double negative.

          He's policeman, not a grammar teacher FFS. So when he writes about what happens he needs to be clear and sticking extra words in where they're not needed is a good way to create ambiguities.

  11. Marvin the Martian

    White & nerdy

    See the clip to "White & Nerdy" by Weird Al, it's the best depiction of a segway in use up to date.

    1. laird cummings

      Never mind the video - catch him in concert!

      Al literally waltzes his Segway around the stage - He's astonishlingly adept with it.

  12. Tim Brown 1
    Thumb Down

    Am I the only one...

    ... that finds the juxtaposition of the last section in this story somewhat tasteless in a report about a man's death? This is not a "Darwin award" death, but an unfortunate accident to someone who was, by all accounts, a generous and kind person.

    Sorry, El Reg, but for me you got the tone of this report wrong.

    1. Daniel 4

      Shift in tone somewhat disconcerting, but content remains focused

      If by "last section" you mean the paragraph describing "project ginger," I'm not so certain. Seeing as Heseldon owned Segway, Inc. up until his unfortunate demise, the raw information definitely was appropriate to this report. The tone it was delivered in - well, about the best I can say is "it's The Register. Did you honestly expect anything different?"

      -d

    2. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      But ...

      ... all Darwin Award nominations are related to someone's death (sorry, some are related to such sever genital mutilation that procreation is all but impossible). I see nothing in this that makes it any different from any other suggestion for a Darwin, especially since they are all "accidents", albeit with a greater or lesser chance of foreseeability of death or serious injury.

      If you are suggesting that the whole concept of the Darwin Awards is tasteless, that is a different thing, but your comment does not suggest that is your point.

  13. Andus McCoatover
    Windows

    "...illegal to travel by witchcraft."

    ROFLMAO!!!

    Someone should tell Harry Potter...But if true, it's tragic that by simply being a Gentleman it costs you your life.

    1. steviesteveo

      Fundamental attribution error

      No, reversing a Segway off a cliff costs you your life.

  14. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    Don't knock what you don't understand.

    For a lot of people with cerebral palsy or spinal cord injuries the Segway represents an order of magnitude of improvement over crutches or a wheelchair. Compared to getting around in a wheelchair, using the Segway is a huge improvement for anyone able to use it - all of a sudden you are looking *at* people - instead of *up* at people. I've used both and I'll take a Segway any day of the week (I'm not disabled but I've worked all my life with a lot of people who are disabled).

    I've seen them in use at several airports in the USA and a lot of US police forces are starting to use them in relatively dense urban environments - you can laugh all you want to about "fat cops" who should be on foot but if you need a cop which would you prefer - one that just ran 500 yards to get to you, or one fresh off a Segway? You can carry an extensive first-aid kit on a Segway ... think about it.

    Locally they are used by the water meter readers who used to drive cars from house to house to read the meters - the Segway has lower carbon emissions than a car idling by the side of the road.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Up

      My feet don't hurt just thinking about it

      Basically, anybody who would have to walk doesn't have to. While the natural reaction is "lazy bastards" my first thought when I watched a young amusement park security guard patrolling was that it must suck to have to walk around all day for your job.

      Definitely a useful product, even if they are expensive and you wouldn't want everybody to have one.

    2. Daniel 4

      Are Segways a realistic replacement for motorized wheelchairs?

      "For a lot of people with cerebral palsy or spinal cord injuries the Segway represents an order of magnitude of improvement over crutches or a wheelchair. Compared to getting around in a wheelchair, using the Segway is a huge improvement for anyone able to use it - all of a sudden you are looking *at* people - instead of *up* at people. I've used both and I'll take a Segway any day of the week (I'm not disabled but I've worked all my life with a lot of people who are disabled)."

      I've worked all my life - quite literally - with a small handful of disabled people as well. I'm not a professional of any sort in this industry, but living with the disabled in your family as a youngster and continuing to be involved keeps you abreast with some of the issues people face in the real world.

      Which gets to the crux of my post: it's hard enough to get a powered wheelchair from point A to point B under anything other than it's own power. If you need to drive to, say, the doctor's office, or if it's the middle of winter and there is a foot of snow on the ground, that wheelchair needs to somehow get loaded onto/into a vehicle - which is either hard work (with minor mods to the vehicle), or requires expensive conversions to the vehicle. So what do you do with a Segway? From everything I've been able to tell, they look even harder to transport than a powered wheelchair. Or, from another perspective, for the extra cost of the Segway, you may have been able to have your vehicle converted.

      I'm not saying that this doesn't sound like a nice option for many disabled people, but I am curious as to how you handle these problems.

      -d

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge
        Thumb Up

        not really

        having been a postie and a traffic warden (yeah yeah, I was broke - better than the dole). Walking keeps you fit. I piled on the weight when I got a driving job after that.

      2. Rattus Rattus

        @ Daniel 4

        "So what do you do with a Segway? From everything I've been able to tell, they look even harder to transport than a powered wheelchair."

        Eh? In any decent sized car, you ought to be able to lay half a dozen of them across the back seat. You could at least put one in the front passenger seat, with it's base in the footwell. After all, a Segway is basically just a stick with wheels at one end.

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Pint

    Hmmm

    Did I understand this correctly, did this guy reverse a wheeled device off a path towards a cliff edge, to let someone pass? Should he have wheeled to the other side of the path away from the cliff?

    1. Daniel 4

      @AC 16:27

      Yes, you understood what he did correctly. However, without seeing the lay of the land, we don't know if it was even possible for him to go to the other side of the path.

      -d

  16. Richard Scratcher

    Looks like we've got us a convoy...

    In Boston (and other US Cities) you can take part in a Segway city tour. I had to step aside to allow a motorised column of Japanese tourists and their guide to pass me on the pavement.

    Boston seemed quite a pedestrian friendly city and I don't think theses gizmos should be allowed to hog the pavements.

  17. Buzzword

    Tourism

    They've found a niche in tourism. You see them all over the place in major cities, tourist attractions, and the like.

    In general though they're a lot less popular than the "mobility" scooters favoured by the older generation.

  18. Doug Glass
    Go

    Pure and Simple

    The latest Darwin award recipient. He's the type to slam on the brakes of his automobile to keep from hitting a bunny and endangering his entire family in the process. Stupid is stupid regardless of its gentlemanly connection.

  19. myhandle

    Netherlands

    Yeah, they use them at Eindhoven airport. But again, the stupid laws have messed up their general purpose use over there as well.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Had he been on foot...

    ...and slipped or lost his balance to his doom, it would be no news. It is a shoddy attempt at damaging Segway's PR.

    Given that segways move toward the center of gravity of their users, he would die anyway, riding a segway or not. Isn´t that the principle of segway, the "balancing an upside down broom"? As far I can tell, he just made room for other people moving towards the wrong side of the cliff. I bet you can sue the park for not having hand rails at that point.

    Please pedantic grammars, correct my past tense, I am still a student of this language. A beginner one.

    By the way, Rest In Peace. If it was a mugger, it would be Good Riddance instead.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Thumb Down

      Re: Pure and Simple

      In whichever gutter you spend most of your time it may be unfashionable to show courtesy and respect to other human beings, but you could at least show the memory of the deceased some respect. By many accounts, this was a decent and accomplished man who suffered a tragic accident. Your self-congratulatory and puerile jibes may be part of your typical behavioural routine but they are inappropriate and disrespectful here.

    2. Daniel 4
      Stop

      The death of a major philanthropist should always be news...

      ...though you are right that he Segway brought a level of sensationalism here we wouldn't have had otherwise. However, Mr. Heselden was sufficiently well known for his acts of charity that his death would have been news even if it had been a case of going quietly in his sleep.

      As far as "he would die anyway," I won't 100% rule out traction issues with the Segway as it hit the edge of the cliff, but once again, the same thing can happen with human feet. Personally, I don't see the Segway as a major contributing factor in his death, though it may have been a minor one. Again, though, the type of shoes you wear can be a minor factor as well. Basically, once he was actually at the cliff edge, it was going to take more luck than anything else to keep him alive, and his luck ran out. Sad, but true.

      -d

      STOP icon because I don't think this article deserved a FAIL, at least, not for it's mere existence.

  21. NomNomNom

    segway

    Proper use of a segway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1zmAJ7M4BM

  22. Johnny Canuck

    This is not a title

    Given the way a Segway works, it probably flipped over immediately after becoming airborne and drove him headfirst into the ground.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      given the way a segway works...

      it would right itself up after landing and not during it, because it doesn´t have a flexible or articulated spine, or back muscles; it would behave more like a weighted inflatable dummy, in my opinion.

      Or, it would run away trying to right itself up, like a motorcycle (ist) trying a wheelie using just engine torque, which I guess segway designers would have thought in advance if someone deliberately lied one down on the ground. Ow, run-away safety-off switch key linked to bracelets FTW.

      And I would place a good bet that this thing is base-heavy (low gravity center) like a trial bike and would almost stand still for quite a while even if its gyros were off. Trial bikers are known for standing on their rides without effort of touching the ground with nothing besides their wheels.

      However, a swift motion from the control handlebars while it balances itself could cause some... hammering-waving-bobbing-motion. At crotch height. Uh-oh.

  23. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Disabled use

    A startup here was using the Segway technology in power assisted wheelchairs.

    Instead of the full Stephen Hawking job, this is a small motor on a lightweight hand chair, which just gives you a bit of help on steep bits.

    It can also sense tilt and acceleration and use the motor to control you getting up and down kerbs without risking overbalancing. Normally you need huge upper body strength to safely rock up a kerb because you need to be able to stop your entire weight if you start to tilt back.

    Sadly it seems to be doomed by the mountain of FDA requirements when you are building anything with a computer in it for 'medical' use.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      FDA cost obscenity (Re: Disabled use)

      Oh by the love of all that is holy don't get me started on this...

      A few years ago I was in a situation where a family member needed a pulse-ox (pulse oximeter) for a while. Insurance was being nothing short of obnoxious, and they cost well more than they could afford at the time. So I had a bit of inspiration and went looking at amateur flight supply stores - the FAA recommends their use for pilots in unpressurized cabins above a certain altitude (10000'?). One hour of looking and I had my choice of pulse-ox units available for a fraction of the cost. Why? Because they aren't "for medical use," and don't have FDA approval. Some of those units are IDENTICAL to the FDA approved units, at a fraction of the cost. Guess what I ordered?

      Anon, because I technically broke U.S. law using a NON-FDA approved device medically. *snort*

  24. theonewhomustbeobayed
    Coat

    They're everwhere

    They're all over the south of France. The plod were using them in Nice, and I did a tourist tour there too. They're pretty damn cool but your legs ache after a while!

    I've also been racing them in Yarmouth but never tried Thetford forest, surely they're not quick enough for that area ;) I'll get my coat...

  25. Chris 228

    Power assisted yes, Segway no

    Power assisted wheelchairs or similar responsibly designed devices to help the handicap makes good sense but a bunch of clowns riding around on an unstable motorized device like a Segway is actually dangerous - as history has demonstrated.

  26. disgruntled yank Silver badge

    here and there

    There are Segway tours of Washington, DC, and no doubt many other cities. I often cross paths with the Washington tours while out for a lunch time walk. They look odd enough, but compared to other hazards to the pedestrian--bicycle couriers, Metrobuses, frantic drivers, they are not that dangerous.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    NomNomNom said proper use of segway

    No - this is the proper use of the segway

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5eZ2vfH6Bjs

  28. Winkypop Silver badge
    Devil

    Segway, great idea.

    But people look like a dick riding them...

  29. Phil Wray
    Paris Hilton

    wow

    someone from the same village as me on el reg?

    I'm almost famous by proxy

  30. Baked Beans

    So the lesson is

    If you want to survive never be courteous.

    And this is how you use a Segway:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uWx06tUxWo4

  31. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    WTF?

    "Project Ginger?"

    That *has* to made up for dramatic effect.

  32. Madus_I

    Segway for disabled people

    With all the jokes about the Segway...

    I am disabled, and while I can walk, longer tours are a no go for me.

    I have a wheelchair for that, given I find someone stupid enough to push me around ;)

    But after visiting some exhibitions and the like in a wheelchair and some without, people really treat you in a different way when they see a wheelchair. I have tested a Segway, and it is such a difference to be able to look people in the eye and not somewhere else, it's hard to imagine. I think Segways would be great to aid people who depend on a wheelchair.

    I hail from Germany, and at least here, there are two major reasons why it won't be possible for a while.

    1. (This is probably very German) It was not introduced as something to use in a medical sector, so there is no way at all that an insurance would pay for that. Having it certified for use as a wheelchair or so would be a real pain in the butt

    2. (I think this is the real showstopper) This thing is so damn expensive that most people would rather get a car for that price.

    So while the idea of someone falling of a cliff on(off) a Segway has its humorous value, the Segway itself is not too bad...

    Just my thoughts, though

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      WTF?

      Re: Segway for disabled people.

      "I think Segways would be great to aid people who depend on a wheelchair."

      Well, maybe a minority of same. You appear to have overlooked the primary reason for wheelchairs, which is to provide mobility to those who lack the use of their legs.......

      1. Lamont Cranston

        Being unable to walk

        is not necessarily the same as being unable to stand.

        Besides that, I doubt it would take engineering genius to invent some way of propping up the rider of a Segway (I'm sure I've seen a similar device, perhaps concept only, a wheelchair that could raise the occupant into a standing position).

        1. steviesteveo

          Being unable to walk,

          I think, given that the Segway takes all its balance cues from the position of the rider, it might actually take an engineering genius to work out how to support you from the Segway.

          You can't walk, so does someone follow you around and puts you back on it when you let go? It seems like a retroactive explanation of why you invented a thing to play Segway polo with, to be honest.

  33. wsm

    Segway are limited to...

    The Segway does seem limited to novelty use. The last time I saw one, it was being operated by a security person in fishnet stockings and short-shorts inside a mall in Las Vegas.

    As they say, what happens in 'Vegas...

  34. david 12 Bronze badge

    Less work than a bicycle...

    Less work than a bicycle, but much more convenient. I used a motor cycle and a bicycle for 10 years. Both required significant amounts of time and effort changing from "work" clothes to (or from) "transport" clothes. With the Segway, I just stepped on to it.

    The Segway didn't go as far or as fast as the bicycle, and was more excercise, more exposed and more dangerous than driving a car.

    So as a healthy, non-handicapped bicycle/motor cycle user, I think the Segway has a valid niche in there, between walking and driving a car.

    A small niche, but I don't regard them as a joke. More people would use them if our laws and cities were Segway friendly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Don't follow you

      I ride a motorcycle to work and don't wear much by way of special clothing. The helmet and gloves are the only things I wouldn't wear in the car. Sure I wear a bike jacket, but I'd still be wearing some sort of coat or jacket. Maybe if it's raining there's the over trousers which take all of a minute to don or remove. Hardly a whole load of time spent getting changed.

      Were I to commute on a segway I would take so much longer to get to work that a minute or two spent changing would pale into insignificance. And since a segway isn't enclosed I would still need waterproof clothing in inclement weather.

      The segway's ability to balance itself is an advantage over an electric bike or scooter, but only a minor one. After all bikes and scooters are self balancing on the move it's only when you stop you have to dab. The control system may be clever but it doesn't really offer any advantage over a twist grip and brake levers in use.

      All in all the segway is very clever in terms of it's invention and execution, but in terms of the pratical application it's no better than an electric scooter. It's certainly not the revelution in personal transportation that we were promised.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Flame

    legality

    if they were legal to use on public highways/pavements as they are in eg San Francisco, then i'd have got one years ago.

    but no, we're no f**&%$Y^g backwards in the UK :-(

    1. Chris Parsons

      Why do I need a title to reply to a post?

      Do you not think it is already dangerous enough for pedestrians without adding another hazard?

  36. TeeCee Gold badge
    Pint

    Now I understand....

    .....why a Segway borne city tour treats pedestrians the same way that snowploughs treat snow.

    Segway + Courtesy = Death.

    Last lot I saw seemed to be tearing along at the thick end of a "brisk walking pace". That's a rule of thumb assessment from me and a mate overtaking them while, er, walking briskly.

    We decided that Shanks' Pony had the advantage. Progress was as rapid and could be more easily punctuated with detours into the wide variety of hostelries en route. We did originally decide that there was another advantage, in that there was no risk of emerging from one of these to find that our legs had been taken away. Sadly this was proved to be incorrect later in the evening when we reaquainted ourselves with the meaning of the term "legless"......

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Security Men

    The idea of these people patrolling on Segways amuses me somewhat. Trundling round on one of these? Fine. Chasing somebody? Hilarious.

    OK so presumably the idea is they abandon their segway for hot pursuit, however if they spend all day on a segway rather than walking they are hardly going to be in the peak of fitness for chasing down shoplifters on foot.

    1. laird cummings
      Coat

      So long as they don't have to jump obstacles...

      ...They could easily enough run the perp down on wheels. I've seen those things up close - you can really *move* on one! The average crim is not going to be able to outrun a Segway at top speed.

      Which brings to mind images of plods on Segways wielding laraits... Circling the downed crim... Hog-tying him... Heating up the branding irons...

      What?

      Mine's the one with the buckskin fringe & silver conchoes.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Hafdly

        A Segway has a top speed of 12.5mph. Even I can run a lot faster than that. Futhermore they would be pretty awful when compared to a human being when it comes to jinking through crowds. And finally they would be no use whatsover on stairs and escalators.

        1. laird cummings

          >12.5mph? For how long?

          Sprinting isn't a long-term escape tecnique. Marathoners average slightly over 13 mph for the long haul but the average body isn't going to hit much more than ten MPH, and then only for fairly short distance - your typical crim isn't exactly a track star.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Speed

            You don't need to run a marathon, probably just a hundred yards or so will get you out of the sight of the lardy security guard. Once you've done that you're scot free.

            1. steviesteveo

              You don't need to beat it in a race

              It's hard to outrun someone on a Segway if they have a head start.

              This also all assumes that you're starting at exactly the same position as the mall cop with a Segway. It's not the 100m final - the Segway might have to turn around, accelerate and catch up to you at 12.5mph.

          2. steviesteveo

            "Sprinting isn't a long-term escape tecnique"

            Nor is driving a Segway at full speed through a crowded mall.

    2. John Smith 19 Gold badge
      Happy

      AC@11:32

      Paul Blart:mall cop

  38. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Happy

    Segway like a Dalek

    Only without plunger

    Or weapons.

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