Fleet News

Police split over trials of Segway

Police fleet managers are refusing to trial electric one-person transporters as an environmentally-friendly replacement for patrol cars, despite calls by a group of MPs and the Police Federation to do so.

However, several police forces have already trialled the vehicles, such as the Segway, or plan to in the near future despite their fleet managers’ stand.

At least one London police borough – Sutton – has already tested the vehicles and another is about to start. In addition, officers in Scotland have used the vehicles to patrol a shopping centre in Glenrothes, Fife.

The trials have the support of a dozen MPs who signed a House of Commons early day motion.

They claim it could lead to a notable drop in emissions as part of the Government’s commitment to cutting transport’s impact on the environment.

The Police Federation, the body that represents the core of the UK force, has also recently called for the Segway to be assessed.

But the National Association of Police Fleet Managers (NAPFM) said the Government’s own rules on personal transporters mean such tests are not possible.

The Segway at a vehicle demonstration

NAPFM said the vehicles do not comply with construction and use rules for electric vehicles, and are currently illegal to use on roads and pavements.

According to Martin Davis, fleet manager at Devon and Cornwall Constabulary, who has been looking at their viability, the lack of lights, tested braking system and the fact they cannot be insured or registered for on-road use means there is little chance of them taking over from the traditional panda car on police fleets for local patrols.

  • An American promotional video of the Segway

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