The saga continues. As Prague districts wait for amendments to be made to be made to the Road Traffic Act to regulate the use of Segways on roads and sidewalks, they are beginning to take matters into their own hands.
Last year, a confusing sign went up in Kampa that seemed to prohibit pedestrians. Because no official “No Segway” sign exists, a “No Pedestrians” sign was erected, with wording underneath that intended to clarify that the sign only referred to Segways.
In July, Prague 2 came up with a better solution, inventing a new, clear sign that was put up in Vyšehrad:
While the Vyšehrad sign is not an official traffic sign, the Ministry of Transport apparently approves of its use in lieu of other options currently available.
“The legal department of the Ministry of Transport told us that it approves, because it is at the moment the only legal method that can be used, and it is enforceable,” Prague 2’s Councillor for Transport Jan Korseska told iDnes.
And Prague 1 might soon follow suit.
“In line with Prague 2, we would place this road sign at various high-risk locations including Old Town Square, Melantrichova, and Na Můstku streets,” the district’s Councillor for Transport Richard Bureš said in the same article.
While the sign is clear, however, its enforcement – particularly the imposition of any fines for violations – currently falls into a grey area.
Segway use is again a hot topic after Usain Bolt was run over by a cameraman’s errant Segway at the World Athletic Championships in Beijing last week.
The Czech Republic is one few countries in Europe without clear laws regulating the use of Segways on the books.
In neighboring Germany, for example, Segways used on public roads must have lights, reflectors, a bell, and a license plate, while those used in pedestrian zones must apply for a special permit.
While similar legislation is currently being drafted in the Czech Republic, Prague districts are trying to come up with their own solutions in the interim.