The DGT has published a notification in which it intends to enforce a control on small motorised vehicles on pedestrian areas and pavements, which, although intended to reduce the risk to pedestrians from collisions with such vehicles as segways, it also effectively bans mobility scooters.
The rule is intended to limit the use of vehicles such as segways, electric scooters, powered bikes and other motorised devices, but the rule will also include mobility scooters for the disabled.
The DGT states that it is impossible to assimilate the vehicles as pedestrians on account of them being motorised, and so they must only be used on the road.
There have been numerous reports of segways causing problems when mixing with pedestrians, and similar reports have also been filed following collisions with mobility scooters. Because these vehicles move faster than pedestrians, and lack their own space to move, they pose too great a risk for the DGT to be satisfied that they can be used safely on the pavement.
However, there is still some hope as the DGT has also said that local authorities themselves can issue an ordinance which authorises the use of these vehicles on pavements, and so each municipality would have to ensure that they issue local rules to permit their use.
It is also highly likely that the ruling will be heavily contested as most of the users of mobility scooters need them in order to provide the means to travel around towns and cities, and so restricting the free movement of the disabled would not be an option easily enforced.
The ruling also states that the person in control of these vehicles do not need to hold a licence and insurance is not mandatory, although it is optional and recommended.