Segway ban signs going up

Finally the ban against the two-wheeled vehicles can start taking effect

The city is finally starting to install signs prohibiting Segway vehicles, the Technical Administration of Communications (TSK) confirmed.

A ban on the two-wheel self balancing vehicles was approved in July and technically started in August, but could not be enforced due to the lack of signs in the affected area. The law required that signs signifying a ban be placed where the ban is in effect. The city, however, failed to order the new signs from the proper city departments and failed to provide funds to post them.

City Hall on Nov. 24 approved a measure allowing the signs to go up. The first one will go up Nov. 25 at Hradčany, near the Pražský hrad (Prague Castle) tram stop at Jelení and U Prašného mostu streets.

Residents had long complained to City Hall about the Segway tours in the city center. The vehicles move quickly on the sidewalks, making it difficult to walk downtown. Tour guides were also sometimes aggressive in approaching potential customers. Operators opposed the ban, saying there were just a few bad operators spoiling the situation for everyone else.

The Segway vehicles were already banned in Kampa in Prague 1 and in Vyšehrad in Prague 2, due to the narrow pathways there. A more extensive ban required changes to the roadway law defining vehicles, as Segways were legally considered pedestrians. After that was done, the city was able to ban the use of Segways in a more coordinated manner. Once the signs specifying the ban are posted, Segways will be banned in all of the historical heritage area of Prague 1 and Prague 2, plus Prague 4, Prague 7, part of Prague 8, Žižkov and Smíchov. Violation of the ban can result in a Kč 2,000 fine.

The city in the end passed a much more extensive ban than people had asked for, blacking out a large part of the city to Segway tours. Aside from the inconvenience the Segways caused there was a safety concern as there had been several accidents.

When the law took effect in August, the city did launch an information campaign to tell people about the ban, but police were left unable to enforce it, as the posters in information spots did not meet the requirements of street signs as defined in the law. Temporary cardboard street signs were suggested as a solution, but the administration of Prague 1 in particular pushed for permanent signs instead as the cardboard ones would be too easy to remove.

When the law took effect in August, leaflets and posters were distributed with a bold banner stating “Segway? No Way!” in large blue letters, and a text in English, German, Russian and Italian asking people if they are aware of the ban and stating the amount of the fine. The back of the leaflet has a map showing where the ban is in effect. Segway operators even complained that the ad campaign did them economic harm. Segway operators also announced previously that they will seek to get the ban overturned in the courts.

With the signs finally going up, though, the era of Segways in the city center should come to an end, at least until the courts weigh in on the topic.

You can see the leaflet with the map here www.praha.eu

More Prague Segway stories:
Segway ban is in Kafka territory - Prague.TV, Living Like a Local! 07.09.2016
Segway ban takes effect - Prague.TV, Living Like a Local! 04.08.2016

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