August 31, 2016 / 1:52 PM / a year ago

Shanghai bans electric scooters and Segways

Shanghai traffic police have promised to crack down on the use of escooters and segways due to safety concerns, after a ban two years ago was largely ignored.

State broadcaster CCTV showed footage of Shanghai traffic police charging a driver riding a escooter on a main public road.

"Segways and escooters belong to neither motorized nor non-motorized vehicles (categories)," said traffic policeman Ye Jialei said as he wrote a ticket for the driver. "There are rules in place that say skating tools cannot go on the road and can only (be used) in closed communities or places that are not open to the public," he added.

The city will issue verbal warnings and fines from 20 (3 U.S. dollars) to 50 yuan (7.50 U.S. dollars) to anyone who breaks the rules, state media recently announced.

But despite the crack-down, many were still spotted riding segways and escooters on public footpaths in the city on Tuesday (August 30).

"I don't support this regulation," said 20-year-old Yu Zihao. "I think this is just for riding on lanes for non-motorized vehicles, and does not affect road traffic too much, so it's not necessary to ban it".

"I see no reason to finish it off with one blow. Could the country open up a bit for it?" said Wu Yiwen, 25, as she rode her escooter and walked her dog along a public footpath.

She added that as long as the scooters passed certain standards in terms of security and manufacturing, it ought to be possible to review the rules.

The unicycle escooters are priced from 50 yuan (75 U.S. dollars) to 200 yuan (300 U.S. dollars) on average. In recent years China has seen a large influx of escooter riders due to their convenience and affordability.

For Shen Jiabin, who works as a sales manager of Shanghai IPS Investment Co., Ltd., which mainly sells both two-wheeled and one-wheeled segways, the ban was not a cause for too much concern.

"The launch of this policy will only have a temporary impact on us, and I believe there will be more and more customers accepting such products in the long run," he said, adding that the company prioritizes the safety and quality of the products so were not so much at risk.

Beside Shanghai, the capital city of Beijing also started the same campaign to reduce potential danger, state media has said. As of late this month, the Beijing city government announced plans to fine riders of segways up to 10 yuan (1.5 U.S. dollars) for driving on public roads.

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