Segway User In Park Fined $500

Seizure of three taxis without warrant was unlawful. Image credit: Manuel Martin.

A Segway user claimed he had a medical condition requiring the use of a Segway. On June 9, 2017, Parks charged Christopher Harrison with operating a Segway on Department of Parks and Recreation property in violation of Parks’ prohibition against the use of motor scooters in parks. Harrison defended by contending that a Segway was a permitted personal assistance mobility device which Harrison needed because his medical condition prohibited him from walking long distances. Harrison testified that he would eventually need bilateral knee surgery, and submitted a doctor’s note as evidence of his medical condition. Harrison later claimed that he had contacted the Mayor’s office when Parks began cracking down on the use of motor scooters in the parks and was advised that his use would be legal if he told officers that the Segway was a personal assistance mobility device.

An OATH hearing officer sustained the charge and imposed a civil penalty of $500 on Harrison. On appeal, the OATH Appeals Board affirmed that a Segway was a motorized scooter as defined by the statute and regulation and that the Segway did not fall under any exclusion. Parks rules limited personal assistance mobility devices to wheelchairs and mobility aids designed for use by disabled persons, and did not include among such devices Segways. The OATH Appeals Board also refused to consider Harrison’s assertion that he had spoken to the Mayor’s office because the claim was made for the first time on appeal.


New York City v. Harrison, Oath Appeal Board, No. 1701086 (Dec. 14, 2017).

By: Jeannie Calcano (Jeannie is a New York Law School Student, Class of 2019.)


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