In quick succession, almost all Australian states have made provision for the use of Segway Personal Transporters (PTs).
Limited use was first granted in Australian Capital Territory (ACT) in 2012, followed by Western Australia in mid-2013. Queensland followed quickly and opened up full-spectrum use for everyone:
- individual use for mobility and recreation
- businesses for Segway Tours, public safety and security, and other commercial applications
- patrols by Police (see article below).
This week Victoria announced changes to enable Segway Tours set to begin in Melbourne. The remaining states will likely follow suit in short measure, and it is reasonable to predict that within a year or so those states currently permitting only a limited range of uses will widen to the full-spectrum use possible in Queensland, as well as in almost every US state and most EU nations (i.e. use on footpaths and other pedestrian spaces, use in shared spaces and in bicycle lanes, and in some instances along the side of the road). In the US, Federal law declares the Segway PT a ‘mobility device’ and it can be used by disabled users in all 50 states.
Today, Queensland Police announced a state-wide roll-out of Segway Patrollers based on successful trials that began last year:
Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart says Segways could be rolled out to patrolling officers in many parts of the state by the end of the year. He says the two-wheeled devices will make Queensland safer and easier to patrol.
Yesterday the police Segway trial was extended to Noosa Heads on the Sunshine Coast. Segways are already being used in Brisbane, and Cairns in the state’s far north.
“I see the trial being extended both in time and location to include places like Maroochydore, Mooloolaba shorefronts and ultimately the Gold Coast,” he said.
“Townsville Esplanade is another one, places like that where long, flat areas with boardwalks or pathways to allow our police to move around very quickly without exhausting themselves throughout the day.
Mr Stewart says Segways can even be used off-road on sandy tracks.
“This is about police using Segways as a platform to give us greater height above crowds so that our ability to survey incidents is enhanced. It also gives us a greater presence so people can see us from further away. They’ve very well marked and certainly identified rapidly as being on-duty police.”
Read more about the Queensland deployment here at Segway, Inc.’s Blog.
Segway Patrollers were first deployed by police departments in Boston and Atlanta in 2002, and were soon adopted by police all around the world. For example, Washington, D.C. operates a fleet of 80 Segway Patrollers. In all, it is estimated that more than 15,000 Segway Patrollers are in daily use by police and security officers worldwide.