Since 2002, the Segway has offered an enjoyable way to go sightseeing. Cities throughout Southern California have embraced these tourist-friendly motorized vehicles, with many companies offering guided Segway tours of local sights. However, Segways have not been without their fair share of issues; a $1.7 million settlement last year to a rider who was injured while riding a Segway in La Jolla and a recent wrongful death lawsuit in San Diego involving a Segway have prompted several calls for increased restrictions on Segway companies.

Efforts to Increase Rider Safety

San Diego’s City Council is considering a new law that requires all Segway tour companies to adhere to a specific set of safety protocols and to carry comprehensive liability insurance. If passed, the proposed law will also force tour companies to indemnify the city of San Diego against lawsuits. While the City Council voted 8-1 in early August 2019 to approve these new requirements, a second vote will take place later this fall. Proposed safety measures include banning intoxicated individuals from using the Segways, requiring that an adult accompanies any rider under the age of 18, prohibiting more than one user per Segway at a time, and ensuring that the tour guide possesses a valid driver’s license.

The Incidents Prompting These Changes

There are two major incidents that have inspired interest in implementing these new guidelies and requirements. In July 2015, a woman shattered her pelvis when her Segway crashed in the La Jolla area. To this day, she relies on physical therapy and a wheelchair to help her stay mobile, and she claims that she suffered additional financial hardship because she was unable to perform several functions of her job. In March 2016, a man was riding a Segway in the Old Town area of San Diego when he struck a concrete stub and suffered multiple injuries, including a toe injury requiring amputation and damage to his internal heart defibrillator, ultimately resulting in a fatal infection.

A Safer Experience for Everyone

While most Segway companies did not voice their opposition to these proposed changes, one owner expressed concern over having to raise the prices of Segway tours in order to account for more costly commercial liability insurance and permit fees. Overall, the city of San Diego remains committed to taking steps to protect the safety of its residents and tourists while finding ways to keep small businesses afloat.

If you or someone you know has been injured in the Murrieta area and you need help collecting compensation, reach out to the experienced legal team at Hales & Associates, A Professional Law Corporation by calling 1-888-931-WORK (9675) today.