Gardai needed a special permit to patrol on Segways
COMMUTERS can forget about emulating gardai by getting electric Segways to bring them to work.
Gardai were forced to get a special permit before the could legally use segways to patrol Dublin's pedestrian streets, the Irish Independent has learned.
Under current legislation, Segways are classified as mechanically propelled vehicles and it is illegal to use them on public footpaths.
So gardai had to get a special permit from the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to use the two Segways donated to them.
RSA spokesman Brian Farrell said: "The only use of Segways legally in a public place allowed is that of the two segways recently authorised for use by gardai," he added.
Segways are driven by electric motors and can go up to 12.5 mph (20.1 kmh).
Many countries already allow Segways access, while others are evaluating the situation.
In the UK, they are classified as mopeds and are illegal to use anywhere other than on private property.
But in Belgium, the Segway is allowed to operate on cycle lanes up to 18 kmh and in pedestrian areas and pavements at walking speed.
The Dublin City Business Association donated two Segways to gardai for use in pedestrianised areas of Dublin, including Henry St and Grafton St.
Assistant Garda Commissioner John Twomey said the permit from the RSA would cover all of their Segway operations.