Disney World ban on Segways faces another challenge

Discussion in 'Disney Rumors and News' started by wbk, Jun 3, 2009.

  1. wbk

    wbk Mouseketeer

    Aug 19, 1999
    Walt Disney World's ban on Segways is facing a new challenge.

    Inside a downtown Orlando courtroom this morning, disability-rights advocates are trying to persuade a federal judge to reject a proposed settlement between Disney and three disabled people who filed a class-action lawsuit suit seeking to force Disney to allow the two-wheeled scooters inside its parks.

    The lawsuit, filed by a man and a woman from Illinois and a woman from Iowa, was initially dismissed in early 2008 but resurrected after the lawyers for the three disabled people reworked their complaint.

    Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Disney, which says allowing guests to ride Segways in its parks would create a safety hazard for other guests, would continue to bar Segways at both Disney World and Disneyland in Anaheim, Calif., and be released from future legal claims over the ban. Disney would instead develop its own four-wheeled, upright scooters for disabled guests to use in its parks and would deploy 15 of the vehicles between Disney World and Disneyland. The devices -- which Disney is displaying during today's court hearing on the settlement -- look much like the typical sit-down scooters common at Disney World, but with a standing backrest rather than a seat.

    Disney also agreed to pay attorneys fees for the plaintiffs estimated to be somewhere between $70,000 and $185,000, and pay the three people who filed the lawsuit $4,000 each, which, according to the terms of the settlement, "may be applied by them toward a one-week stay for a family of four" at Disney World.

    But lawyers for an organization known as Disability Rights Advocates For Technology, or DRAFT, are objecting to the settlement. They argue, among other things, that it would violate the Americans With Disabilities Act and that it would unfairly allow Disney to charge guests to rent the upright scooters.

    The U.S. Department of Justice and a coalition of 23 state attorneys general -- including Florida Attorney General and 2010 Republican candidate for governor Bill McCollum -- have also objected to the terms of the settlement
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  3. MartinaC

    MartinaC Mouseketeer

    May 20, 2009
    Not sure why wdw would not allow segway's since they already use them on a tour. Don't they? Segways are not cheap and if someone is willing to pay the money to travel with them why not allow them?
  4. DVC_Chris

    DVC_Chris Is there anything I don't know?

    Mar 21, 2006
    Unless I am mistaken, the tours you are speaking of are at World Showcase before that area of the park is open to the public, so you do not have to worry about someone losing control of a segway and running into a guest.

    Some managers use Segways, typically in ODF or security, but those are people that Disney has trained and certified. Disney does not want a bunch of people to use a motorized device in their park that they do not know how to use it properly.

    Also, and once again I may be mistaken, Segways are not approved mobility devices for people with disbilities. The ADA requires a reasonable accomodation, and I would think that a motorized scooter would count as that
  5. Brian_WDW74

    Brian_WDW74 <font color=red>Theme Parks Co-Moderator<br><font

    Sep 22, 2006
    The Disney Segways are kept on "turtle" mode, meaning they can only reach speeds of 4 to 5 mph maximum. Segways belonging to private individuals can travel at more than 12 mph. It's a matter of guest safety. :)
  6. SassyCat

    SassyCat DIS Veteran

    Mar 4, 2009
    Yeah, I was confused by this. I have never heard of segways being used this way either. :confused3
  7. twenty3curls

    twenty3curls Mouseketeer

    Mar 16, 2009
    All it would take is one small child darting in front of unsuspecting Segway rider and then Disney has a whole other mess on its hand. It seems more than accommodating on Disney's part to provide 4-wheel scooters. I guess I don't understand why people NEED a two-wheeled scooter. :confused3
  8. disneymayz

    disneymayz DIS Veteran

    May 23, 2007
    They don't need a 2 wheeled scooter. They must need some money. They were not happy with 4,000 so they don't agree.
  9. gymnastgirlflips

    gymnastgirlflips Live, Laugh, Glove

    Jun 13, 2008
    I'd rather people, even a couple, be allowed to bring Segways in. Definetely a safety hazard, I dont want to see anyone getting run over by a Segway. Besides, if more people come in on them, more people will complain and want to ride Segways too.
  10. KYMickey

    KYMickey Adding EARS to Kentucky!

    Sep 14, 1999
    Actually the original plaintiffs were in agreement with the settlement. The objection to the settlement came from an outside party that was not part of the original suit.

    I'm not even sure how this suit went as far as it did. As stated above Segway's are not recognized by ADA as a mobility device. Actually you have to be quite able bodied to maneuver one successfully. Having anyone that's not highly trained driving one would definitely create a hazard and having partially handicapped people driving one could be even worse. Take the problems caused by the scooters now used by many in the Parks and raise them of higher so they're looking above others (especially children) and you'll get an idea of the potential hazard.

    Disney love to be able to recover its legal expenses from people who sue over stupid things like this and our legal system should throw them out immediately instead of accepting them. There should be a pre-screening system to weed out frivolous suits.

    By the way I am handicapped so I realize some of the difficulties with mobility.
  11. BigGreen73

    BigGreen73 DIS Veteran

    Jul 8, 2007
    I think that Disney is all more than accomidating to everyone that stays with them. I find it sad that some always want more and more.

    I am with Disney on this as the Segway's can be hazardous if not driven by an experienced driver. Even those that are experienced, like the CM's at Epcot, have a difficult time maneuvering through the crowds. I see this every time I visit.

    Disney has to keep the safety of the guests first. It's just the larger picture in all this. Guests too, need to be accomicating and work with Disney when they visist as well.

    And like someone said above, if each park had a certain amount and people started using them, then others would want to ride them too. Not just disabled folks either.
  12. KYMickey

    KYMickey Adding EARS to Kentucky!

    Sep 14, 1999
    I can just imagine how many people will suddenly become handicapped if they can ride a Segway in Disney! ;) Just trying to control this would be a good reason in itself to ban them!
  13. Snowgod

    Snowgod Blu-ray Movies - Wow!

    Nov 10, 2000
    So, have any of you ever heard of a person being run over by a Segway? How many of you have been hit by an ECV in WDW? I have been hit on every trip to WDW by someone renting from Disney. I trained people to ride Segways and even let people run into me on purpose and never got hurt. Why? because Segways are made for this and as they take up no more space than a person walking, and allow the operator to see over people as they maneuver through the crowd. I believe, based on experience that a person on a Segway is less of a danger than a person on an ECV. :confused3
  14. WebmasterCricket

    WebmasterCricket <font color=blue>Administrator<br><font color=red>

    Jan 29, 2001
    Segways can't be moved reasonable distances easily by non-riders when they need to be moved either (especially if they take the key with them).

    Think of times when you see a scooter being moved by someone other than the person actually needing it... Pushing it? Nope, they sit in it and ride it. Same thing will happen with a Segway. Once it's in the park, all bets are off as to who will be darting around with it and as to their skill level.
  15. Dznefreek

    Dznefreek DIS Veteran

    Nov 13, 2000
    The 2008 Florida Statutes

    Title XXIII
    Chapter 316
    View Entire Chapter
    316.2068 Electric personal assistive mobility devices; regulations.--

    (1) An electric personal assistive mobility device, as defined in s. 316.003, may be operated:

    (a) On a road or street where the posted speed limit is 25 miles per hour or less.

    (b) On a marked bicycle path.

    (c) On any street or road where bicycles are permitted.

    (d) At an intersection, to cross a road or street even if the road or street has a posted speed limit of more than 25 miles per hour.

    (e) On a sidewalk, if the person operating the device yields the right-of-way to pedestrians and gives an audible signal before overtaking and passing a pedestrian.

    (2) A valid driver's license is not a prerequisite to operating an electric personal assistive mobility device.

    (3) Electric personal assistive mobility devices need not be registered and insured in accordance with s. 320.02.

    (4) A person who is under the age of 16 years may not operate, ride, or otherwise be propelled on an electric personal assistive mobility device unless the person wears a bicycle helmet that is properly fitted, that is fastened securely upon his or her head by a strap, and that meets the standards of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI Z Bicycle Helmet Standards), the standards of the Snell Memorial Foundation (1984 Standard for Protective Headgear for Use in Bicycling), or any other nationally recognized standards for bicycle helmets which are adopted by the department.

    (5) A county or municipality may prohibit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road, street, or bicycle path under its jurisdiction if the governing body of the county or municipality determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

    (6) The Department of Transportation may prohibit the operation of electric personal assistive mobility devices on any road under its jurisdiction if it determines that such a prohibition is necessary in the interest of safety.

    History.--s. 68, ch. 2002-20.
  16. merryweather20

    merryweather20 DIS Veteran

    Sep 17, 2007
    Yes! That person was brutally injured. You don't have to take my word for it plenty show up when you do a google search. As for people being hit by ECV's thats more an issue for the walkers, then the drivers. People seem to think you can stop on a dime and jump in front of you. I've never driven an ECV, but people jump in front of me all the time in my wheel-chair :confused3. I've hurt myself more than once trying to stop my chair for some yahoo.

    I'm a little bias though when they first started drumming up publicity for the suit, instead of saying the Segways were medically necessary, they said their client's found wheel-chairs to be demeaning. The plaintiffs didn't need the Segways at all, nevermind them not being a medical device. There are people however that will benefit from having the standing type ESV's around though.
  17. KYMickey

    KYMickey Adding EARS to Kentucky!

    Sep 14, 1999
    That's part of the problem, they will be looking over the people instead of seeing the people that dart in front of them, especially children!
    I agree completely than a well trained person on a Segway is not a significant hazard but if they become permissible many local shops to rent them will open and people with no experience will be driving them.

    Well since Reedy River is its own municipality that ought to settle the whole thing right there! Of course the plaintiffs who agree to anything to make it big $'s. :thumbsup2
  18. Expert_Glider

    Expert_Glider Earning My Ears

    May 5, 2009
    Mobility devices do not have to be FDA approved to be covered under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Canes, cruthches and even most ECV's are not FDA approved. FDA approval has nothing to do with the ADA.

    Segways have been found (in multiple studies) to be safer than ECV's or power wheel chairs.

    Many power chairs or ECV's can go faster than a Segway. A Segways speed can be limited if desired or necessary.

    Some people with disablilties can stand but can only walk very short distances. A couple of examples: People with breathing disorders like COPD, spinal cord injuries, MS, ALS, amputees. Some cannot sit down for longer periods of time because of the pain but can stand for extended periods of time.

    These are people that own their own Segways and use them every day. They will be attending WDW with their families and not "tearing" around the parks at 12 MPH. I surely don't want to see anyone force an Iraq war veteran that lost one or both legs (and wears prosthetics) into a wheel chair.

    If someone operates a device in an unsafe manner, throw them out. This goes for wheel chairs, ECV's and Segways. The Segway is less of a safety hazard that any other mobility device when operated properly.

    Show me a case where a person with a qualifying disability, using a Segway as their mobility device, has caused injury to another person.

    Realistically, we are probably talking a couple of Segways a day by the disabled. Let them in - Universal Studios and countless other venues throughout the nation do!
  19. agnes!

    agnes! <marquee behavior=alternate><font color=darkorchid

    Apr 17, 2000
    The problem as I see it is this:

    Segways are sexy and they're "cool". If WDW/DLR have to accept them as mobility devices, then all of sudden many Guests will be claiming a disability so they can ride the Segways throughout the parks. First imagine, if you will, Magic Kingdom on a hot summer afternoon in July. Now also imagine that a large percentage of the people that usually walk are riding a Segway. Perfect order? Or will the same behavior we now see in the parks every day be ratcheted up a notch or two? I can just see 100s of folks jockeying for position on Main Street...Disney will have to have uniformed police do traffic duty or put in a traffic light at that first intersection near Casey's & the Ice Cream parlor. And as long as we're imagining the Segways being allowed, let's go over to Epcot's World Showcase where folks can drink alcohol...

    If you want to read another thread about this with some interesting posts... http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2129173&page=5

  20. Snowgod

    Snowgod Blu-ray Movies - Wow!

    Nov 10, 2000
    Once again, we have all of the non-segway people, claiming that the segway is dangerous to use in a pedestrian filled environment. Yes there are reports of Segways having accidents but those accidents involve other Segways, cars and other wheeled vehicles. Show me an accident involving a pedestrian and a Segway!
    Do a search on Mobility Scooter accident and see how many deaths, broken legs and injuries you can find.

    If disney wants to ban Segways, they have the right but they would have to stop using them also and they make good money from the tours.

    Point of information: A segway weighs about 70 pounds, An ECV about 200 pounds.

    I have used my Segway to tour the WDW resort areas and I love the paths and sidewalks, especially in the EPCOT resort areas. All the time I was traveling around the Boardwalk, International Gateway and the resorts, I never had anyone tell me I was not allowed or that I should not be there and it was during the Food and Wine Festival when it was busy. OKW resort and Saratoga Springs resorts are connected by wonderful trails and paths but watch out for staff traveling in golf carts as we watched a pair of walking guest dive out of the way as the cleaning staff traveled the path along the river.
  21. Mouseaholic!!!

    Mouseaholic!!! DIS Veteran

    Jul 6, 2007

    Last trip to WDW we rented an EVC because of an ankle injury. It saved the vacation and I have had plenty of experience in scooters, mopeds and the like....it was a breeze to operation little "Dolly". I DID take time when we arrived to practice in the parking lot (backing up, turning, etc.)

    However, down at the "butt and belt" level I was more aware of scooters and those who did not have a CLUE how to operate them. Renting these to the u nexprienced could be a mess for Disney.

    If you "byo segway" and are experienced, no problem. Rentals.....run as fast as you can away for your safety.

    In my boating days I traveled through Bermuda so often I finally opened a bank account there. I always found it cute that the tourist rental scooters had license plates which were white backgrounds with RED numbers and letters. I had a local friend tell me it was to easily identify the tourist - red for blood. I admist to a Weeble-Wooble the first time I scooted in Bermuda!

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