Segway not always a vehicle - judge

SVEN HERSELMAN
Last updated 07:35 27/03/2014
 Neal Summers
Sven Herselman
Seumus's Irish Pub owner Neal Summers with his Segway that he uses as a mobility device.

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Picton publican Neal Summers has welcomed a court ruling that his use of a Segway on a footpath in Northland was as a mobility device and not as a vehicle.

The ruling was made by District Court Judge Simon Maude, but he did not include all Segways in his ruling, the Northern Advocate has reported.

Mr Summers, who owns Seamus's Irish Pub in Picton, told the Marlborough Express yesterday he was very pleased with the judge's decision as he relied on his Segway due to difficulties he had walking.

"It's a great decision for all people who need mobility devices and want to use more advanced technology," he said.

"I just hope that it will help other people who want to use Segways as mobility devices."

Mr Summers uses his Segway, which he has owned for about four years, each day as a means of transport.

"I use common sense and decent courtesy," he said.

The ruling was a second win for the former owner of the Kaikohe Hotel in Northland as he also had seven convictions for the use of his Segway thrown out by the High Court, a $1150 fine refunded and the loss of 15 demerit points overturned, the Northern Advocate said.

The newspaper said the charges arose after Mr Summers was pulled over by police in 2011 while riding his Segway on a footpath in Kerikeri's main street. Police told the Northern Advocate that under the Land Transport Act 1998 Segways were classified as vehicles and not mobility devices.

However, Mr Summers feels that New Zealand legislation is behind the rest of the world in terms of use of the high-tech machine.

"It's widely used around the world," he said.

"Security guards are one of the biggest markets and even diplomats in Auckland use them."

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- The Marlborough Express

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