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Old 10-14-2007, 09:44 PM   #16
SueM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwinfred View Post
The ability to safely accelerate to 12 1/2 miles per hour to avoid dangerous situations for a person with a disability or others using a mobility device is not only acceptable and desirable but in all honesty a requirement.
The things you have brought up are red herrings too, though.

An elete althlete in good shape may be able to sprint a short distance at 17 mph, but I don't believe the average American can run 12 mph for very long - unless they are being chased by a hungry bear

The top speed that most scooters and power wheelchair can go is much slower than that.
Most scooters have a top speed of 4-5 mph. The Pride Celebrity X is one of the newer (and speedier ones) and has a top speed per the manufacturer of 6 mph - not anywhere near 12.
People complain all the time about the Disney park rental ones 'whizzing by' when they are actually set for about 2-3mph.

Even when you talk about power wheelchairs, most sold are not able to go over 6 mph. And, just because they are capable of going that fast, doesn't mean they are programmed to go that fast; programming is not user changeable unless you also have a $300-400 optional program module, which insurance won't pay for. Here are some of the most common power wheelchairs:
  • Invacare TDX series, standard top speed of 6mph TruTrack package is optional on most TDX wheelchairs goes up to 7.5 mph, but it requires a lot of documentation to have insurance or medical programs pay for since it is more expensive. Most people get it for the ability to follow a straighter path on sloped surfaces, or because they need the heavier duty motor for bariatric (weight) though, not because it's faster.

Maybe 12mph would be an important safety factor if you were crossing a busy street or trying to keep up with auto traffic. I don't think anyone needs to go up to 12mph in a park where there are few defined paths of travel and traffic consists of
  • a very few power wheelchairs that may have a top speed of 7.5 or an even fewer number at 8.5 mph
  • some scooters with a top speed of 6mph
  • many scooters with a top speed of 3-4 mph
  • many walkers who are cruising along at 2.5-3.5 mph
  • many people who are looking around, not really paying attention and frequently walk out in front of scooters and wheelchairs
  • small children who are excited and may dash away from their parents (and frequently do cross in front of the wheelchairs and scooters that are going much slower than 12mph.

NOTE: My original post on speed did not say that I expected people with disabiliteis who wanted to use Segways would go 12mph or try to 'sneak' in with 'disguised' keys, just that was something Disney may be concerned about.
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Last edited by SueM in MN; 10-14-2007 at 09:57 PM. Reason: fix formatting
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:49 PM   #17
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I have a few comments here. Let's look at some speed numbers.

2.0 MPH - This is the normal walking pace for most people visiting WDW. It is also the speed that WDW sets as maximum on the ECVs it rents to Guests. This can be a very reasonable speed as many users are paying more attention to the scenery and architecture than to the pedestrians around them.

4.5 MPH - This is a very fast walking pace. You find it used by people from places like New Yorkwhere walking long distances quickly is common. It is also the normal maximum speed for many ECVs, including the off-site rentals. I will often drive my ECV at this speed when I am by myself in the parks. However, I am concentrating on the people around me, and in or near my path, and not sightseeing. I will not travel at this speed when I am with others or when I am in a crowded area.

12.5 MPH - This is the maximum speed of a Segway with the "unlimited" (red) key. It is also the World Record speed for marathon runners. As mentioned earlier, the manufacturer of Segways has not asked for it to be certified as a medical device. If it is certified as a medical device, or Disney treats it as a medical device, then there could be no restriction on people bringing in ther own (or a rented) Segway.

Even if Disney states the "green key" only, there is nothing to prevent people from playing games with the keys or having a red key in their pocket. And there are too many people around with a "me first" mentality to state that this will not happen.

Guest Safety is instilled into Cast Members as the number one priority over everything else. Allowing Segway's into WDW will definitely be compromising Guest Safety. As long as they are not certified as medical devices they can be prohibited. Possibly there could be a justification on a case by case basis, but I am sure Disney does not want to open that can of worms.

And Segways are not idiot-proof. At least with an ECV if you take your hands off the controls it will stop.
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #18
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Top Speed of a human 27 mph

Well actually the top speed of a human is 27 mph, there are lots of people (albeit in good condition) that can run 12 mph for a very long distance.

The top speed of a Bounder wheelchair is over 12 mph ( there are others ) but the point is top speed is irrelevant.

What is relevant is behavior. People with disabilities visiting the park on segways would in all likelihood be with others afoot, wouldn't they be traveling at the same pace as their group?
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Old 10-14-2007, 09:56 PM   #19
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I think that the issue with the Segways might not with the people who use them at home and are good with using them. Those people would know how to safely move around other people and not crash into them often.
The problem I can see is that once the Segways are allowed in the parks and used by people who don't work for Disney, what's to stop someone from renting them to people with no experience with them who would be more likely to cause problems with them? Sue already found places that will make a fast key in the slow color, so what would stop someone from using one in the parks, even if Disney did check the key color? Also, on a Segway, a person is taller than they are standing on the ground, how much less likely are they to see a child or person in a wheelchair, so I would think that accidents would be much more likely.
I am not against those who are familiar with a Segway and comfortable using it having it in the parks. If it helps someone move around and enjoy their day at Disney, I think that would be wonderful. What I am against is the idea of someone who is not used to using one having one and bumping into me or someone else because that person is not familiar with it enough to watch where they are going while on it. Or even just making people get out of their way while rolling towards people, like the people who rent surrey bikes at the Boardwalk have done.
I was on a Segway for a few minutes at EPCOT, and while I think it would be fun to have one and use it at the parks (and for me it would not be a necessary mobility device) I would not be comfortable trying it in the parks. Since wheelchairs and ECVs can be rented to use in the parks, if Segways could be used in the parks too, I could really see that some people would want to rent them and those people could cause problems. With the ADA, Disney cannot ask for proof of disability in order to have a Segway in the park, so there is no easy way to tell who is safe to use a Segway in a crowd, and who really should have more experience before using one around a lot of people.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:01 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cheshire Figment View Post
As long as they are not certified as medical devices they can be prohibited. Possibly there could be a justification on a case by case basis, but I am sure Disney does not want to open that can of worms.
Which law which that protect the rights of people with disabilities contains language which would lead you to this conclusion?
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:19 PM   #21
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Even the most experienced Segway users can have accidents, someone could step out in front. Given that even an ECV or manual chair, at their low speeds can cause injury, just imagine what a 12mph impact could do with the higher center of gravity of a Segway. It could easily permanently maim or kill a child or older person.

And given that under the ADA you can not require proof of disability to rent one, I think the advocates are attacking the problem from the wrong perspective. They should WANT the ADA to require proof of training and disability to rent a Segway, and push for that sort of clause to be added to the ADA.

They should also lobby Segway Corp to manufacture specially marked Segways (maybe with special colored tires, or ADA approved insignia) that are not capable of speeds higher than 5 mph, no matter what "key" is used. And the colors used to identify those Segways should not be available to anyone but a licensed Segway service center. If Segway Corp is unwilling to to make those modifications for safety, and to be approved as a medical device by the FDA, like the iBot and other power chairs, then clearly Segway does NOT WANT their product to be seen as a medical mobility device.
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Old 10-14-2007, 10:30 PM   #22
SueM in MN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gwinfred View Post
Well actually the top speed of a human is 27 mph, there are lots of people (albeit in good condition) that can run 12 mph for a very long distance.

The top speed of a Bounder wheelchair is over 12 mph ( there are others ) but the point is top speed is irrelevant.

What is relevant is behavior. People with disabilities visiting the park on segways would in all likelihood be with others afoot, wouldn't they be traveling at the same pace as their group?
I am aware there are some wheelchairs that can go up to almost 12mph (the Bounder website I found when this came up in 2006 says it has a top speed of 11.6 mph). That is not really a factor though, because the chance of seeing a Bounder wheelchair in the parks is pretty slim, since they are a 'specialty' company and not one of the common wheelchair manufacturers. The wheelchairs that are in the parks are much slower than that.


The points that have been made on this thread are pretty much rehash of the discussion of what occurred in the the old thread, (and many of them are rehash of other posts on this thread), so I don't see much point in continuing to keep this thread open.

None of us on this board have any input into whether or not Disney allows Segways to be brought into the parks or not, so no matter how long it is debated, we won't have an impact.
This thread is now closed.
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