Segways on the way

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Twelve-and-a-half years after they first rolled out in the US, the stand-up electric vehicles produced by Segway Inc of New Hampshire will finally debut in Norway on Tuesday. They were only approved after the country’s new conservative government assumed power late last year.

Tourists taking a Segway tour in Florence, Italy. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Tourists taking a Segway tour in Florence, Italy. PHOTO: Wikipedia

Now, from July 1, it will be legal to use the self-balancing battery-powered vehicles anywhere bicycles are allowed and on roads where the speed limit isn’t higher than 60kph (less than 40mph).

As usual when new vehicles are introduced in Norway, there’s been a lot of criticism and concern about their safety. “The problem with a Segway is that they’re heavy, heavier than a bicycle, and have twice the braking length,” Kristin Øyen of the traffic safety group Trygg Trafikk told newspaper Aftenposten. “It’s also a vehicle that other motorists won’t be used to seeing.”

They’ve been rolling along elsewhere all over the world for years, though, and even the police have used them in some cities like Beijing. Only the price may scare off some eager users, with Aftenposten reporting they’ll cost up to NOK 65,000 (nearly USD 11,000) in Norway.

newsinenglish.no staff