STAND. COM. REP. NO.832-02
RE: S.B. No. 2601
Honorable Calvin K.Y. Say
Speaker, House of Representatives
Twenty-First State Legislature
Regular Session of 2002
State of Hawaii
Your Committee on Transportation, to which was referred S.B. No. 2601, S.D. 2, entitled:
"A BILL FOR AN ACT RELATING TO PERSONAL TRANSPORTATION,"
begs leave to report as follows:
The purpose of this bill is to authorize and regulate the use of mobility devices.
Specifically, this bill:
(1) Defines the term "mobility device";
(2) Regulates the use of the "mobility device" under the traffic code; and
(3) Restricts their use to government entities, businesses, and persons with mobility-related disabilities.
Segway LLC testified in support of this measure. The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) opposed this bill. The Department of Transportation (DOT) commented on this measure.
An electric personal assistive mobility device (EPAMD), best known as the Segway Human Transporter, is a self balancing, zero emission, electric powered transportation device that can travel as far as 17 miles on one charge and reach speeds of up to 12.5 miles per hour. These devices are currently being used and evaluated by the United States Postal Service, the National Park Service, the City of Atlanta, Michelin North America, Inc., GE Plastics, and Amazon.com. EPAMDs are expected to be available for consumer use by the end of 2002.
Although this technological apparatus appears to be one solution to combating traffic problems and pollution produced by internal combustion engine driven vehicles, this is a new device that does not fall neatly into any one category of vehicle currently regulated under state law. This is causing a dilemma with regards to the legality of where these devices can be used since they are technically not motor vehicles.
However, your Committee realizes the concerns raised by both DOT and HPD regarding safety issues for both the riders of these devices and the pedestrians and bike riders they may affect. Your Committee also feels that the term "mobility device" is broad and could be construed to include gas-powered mobility devices that are currently on the market. Accordingly, your Committee has amended this measure by:
(1) Changing the term "mobility device" to "electric personal assistive mobility device";
(2) Requiring that EPAMDs are to be driven on the sidewalks at no more than eight miles per hour;
(3) Requiring that EPAMD operators yield the right-of-way to any pedestrian;
(4) Changing the effective date from July 1, 2050, to upon its approval to facilitate further discussion; and
(5) Making technical, nonsubstantive amendments for purposes of clarity, conformity, and style.
As affirmed by the record of votes of the members of your Committee on Transportation that is attached to this report, your Committee is in accord with the intent and purpose of S.B. No. 2601, S.D. 2, as amended herein, and recommends that it pass Second Reading in the form attached hereto as S.B. No. 2601, S.D. 2, H.D. 1, and be referred to the Committee on Finance.
Respectfully submitted on behalf of the members of the Committee on Transportation,
JOSEPH M. SOUKI, Chair