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Police Tighten the Noose in London

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17 hours ago, Scott Henley said:

Yeah yeah. I guess I might as well.

Puddlejunkie, PuddleJumper, TheWheelDrowner...possibilities are endless . ???‍♂️

No, sorry... You can't use TheWheelDrowner... @Rehab1 claimed that one when he wrapped his (wife's) wheel in his truck and threw it into a lake!

 

17 hours ago, Scott Henley said:

Oh..and 

Submersion Excursion 

I like that one!

 

BTW - Please don't assume the my username is literal either... The fact that I am fat and happen to ride an electric unicycle is purely coincidence.

Edited by The Fat Unicyclist

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On 2/1/2018 at 4:18 PM, UKJarvis said:

I think the answer is to align ourselves with UK cycling fraternity, and also lean towards the sustainable 'green' transport initiatives that the UK Government are desperately trying to roll out to get cars out of the cities, for folk to use public transport, cycle, or to purchase an electric car.  EUC use ticks so many of these boxes and should be seen as legitimate alternative to car usage if we can convince law makers that they are essentially safe, can be used responsibly, and are not toys in exactly the same way that cyclists are now.

So, as well as petitioning City Mayors can we also approach organisations such as https://www.cyclinguk.org who actively campaign for UK cycling issues and ask them to consider legitimising EUC use as a form of cycling and therefore benefit from increased membership income in return. They already have affordable membership that includes public liability insurance which in itself would be a huge step towards building a bridge between EUC users and the Police who are obviously concerned about public safety.

I know there is still the legal definition of an EUC as a 'vehicle' to overcome, but we have the word 'cycle' to work with and I don't think the importance of this can be underestimated. We are not claiming that an EUC is a car, or motorbike but simply an alternative to cycling that has all the same necessary skills from the riders such as balance, spacial awareness, road sense, safety, etc, etc.

Perhaps we could form 'EUC UK' as a charity and do all this ourselves? What do you think?

Count me in on anything you try. Getting organised is the first step, each of us acting piecemeal is not going to be effective.

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Hi. Some friend are trying legalize EUC in Valencia writing a petition with a normative. Barcelona have one too much restrictive since a year, https://www.tecnocio.com/blog/es/legislacion-y-normas-circulacion-sobre-patinetes-electricos-y-monociclos-en-barcelona/ Worse of it is walkways are forbidden and demands speed limitation from factory of 20km/h. The only best is we can ride cycle lanes, parks and pedestrian streets at 20, 10 and 10 km/h.

Wish you luck

 

 

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I live in the UK and do believe it's best to just leave it alone and do not get the government on it or we will just lose out, fortunately for us the UK is too busy with getting out of Eu so let's just keep them busy on that.

We have loads of Dog walkers who do not like us around, and in the UK we have safety, safety and a pay up attitude to everything, if they could tax us breathing they would. 

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Agree on all with @IPS Malta. Most of us probably lost the privilege of law absence and worst will pay taxes. The only pro is maybe some small, slow and safe EUC comes legal to use in cycle paths and similar.

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On 2018-02-04 at 8:43 AM, Jonathan Tolhurst said:

My wife mentioned she saw someone with a wheel being stopped and spoken to by police near Victoria station the other week - I don't have any further details.

I haven't seen anyone riding a wheel in central London for about 6 months (I am in/out of central London each day for work and regularly walk along/around Southbank). I have noticed that Uniwheel posted some pictures on social media of people riding around on roads near my workplace, but have not seen them doing this.

Not sure if it's relevant but last year in London there was a huge surge in crime committed using small motorbikes (mopeds) - it's not inconceivable that police could target devices such as EUCs if they end up in the same reporting category, especially if they are under pressure to show that they are addressing the Moped problem.

The situation in the UK is such a shame as I really believe that EUCs are a viable form of personal transport, especially for commuting. I can't see the laws being changed anytime soon - with BREXIT there will be 40 years of EU / UK law to untangle before they start looking at new laws. Post-BREXIT London (and the UK in general) really needs to show that it is open for business and open to new ideas and technology.  I still think it is worth lobbying MPs, the Mayor of London, TfL, CPS, DoT etc. Maybe it might be possible to get some kind of TfL legislation for the London area?

For the moment my enjoyment of EUCs is confined to areas away from roads and pavements :mellow:

That situation is just insanely stupid. I am worried that the Swedish lawmakers that are notoriously nanny-state, hug-you-to-death, will suddenly get their eyes on EUCs. If that happens, there's no telling what will happen.

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I have drafted a letter to the Mayor of London and created a thread to try and get some feedback on it. Would love some feedback/suggestions: 

 

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recently saw 2 riders on separate occasions on the pavement on Tottenham High road and my daughter saw one in Deptford today. Hoping they are becoming more popular around London.  

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On 1/29/2018 at 7:25 AM, LanghamP said:

The natural state of a wheel is unstable and crashed so I can see pedestrians' viewpoints.

London is the capital city of the UK, and like any capital city it has powerful people who are either chauffered or walk (a short distance), and powerful people, as study after study has shown, do not tolerate or care much for other people. They never had to learn to compromise with people unlike them. You can bet these people aren't very vulnerable to acid attacks or other muggings as the areas they frequent are exclusionary.

Precisely why we threw their tea into Boston harbor.. just sayin..

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To continue riding in a safe and considerate manner is probably the only way for the community to gain respect and attention that we aren't going anywhere. Electric is the future. We aren't causing congestion or lung cancer. 

 

We might be speeding where we shouldn't though. If you own an 18+ inch speed machine you unfortunately have the responsability to control yourself when law enforcement risk being around.

 

I cruise at 30km/h everywhere and 20km/h feels like walking (in china noone cares). I understand the temptation. To most people though 20km/h is crazy fast. Slow down.

 

/a

Edited by alcatraz

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Riding Into Litigation: An Overview of Skateboard and Hover Board Liability

By Robert D. Lang and Rachel Nudel  | January 22, 2018 at 02:30 PM
 
    

Jeff-Kendall-Skateboards-Article-2018012Skateboarding is a common recreational activity for many. The activity suffers from the conception by some that it is an activity for “slackers.” Many associate skateboard with Michael J. Fox as Marty McFly, riding a skateboard in Back to the Future (1985). However, the activity has been romanticized in popular culture for decades with moves like Thrashin (1986), Grind (2003) and The Lords of Dogtown (2005). The International Olympic Committee voted unanimously to include skateboarding in the Summer 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. Despite the continued popularity of skateboarding, the activity is also relatively dangerous to the non-professional participant and third-parties and raises several issues in the context of litigating skateboarding accidents.

Jerry Seinfeld once said, “I’ll tell you one of the great activities is skateboarding. To learn to do a skateboard trick, how many times do you have to get something wrong till you get it right? And if you learn to do that trick, now you’ve got a life lesson. Whenever I see those skateboard kids, I think those kids are going to be alright.” But will they be alright? And what about pedestrians and cyclists, in the same space? The indisputable fact is that skateboarders vie pedestrians, joggers and cyclists with the increasingly congested lanes in cities intended for non-vehicular traffic. Consequences are both evident and obvious: less room to travel and maneuver for more people traveling in a variety of ways. The inherent instability of a skateboard, which can reach speeds up to 40 mph (Renthnam, U., et al., “Skateboards: Are they really perilous? A retrospective study from a district hospital,” BMC Research Notes 2008, 1:59), while exciting to some, can also lead to serious injuries, including abrasions, lacerations, sprains, strains, fractures and head trauma. In fact, the International Classification of Diseases has dedicated a diagnostic code to injuries sustained in a skateboarding accident. 2017/18 ICD-10-CM Diagnosis Code V00.13: Skateboard accident.

 

 

Besides injuring oneself, skateboarders also risk injuring others in a collision. The leading cause of death while skateboarding occurred from collisions with motor vehicles. In 2016, an 18-year-old skateboarder died after he collided with a NYC Parks Department truck. Schrader, A., “Skateboarder dies colliding with truck in Queens,” New York Daily News, April 17, 2016. Also in 2016, a married, 32-year-old-father of two and former chef was killed when he was crushed under the wheels of a truck after he grabbed onto the truck to catch a ride on his skateboard, also known as “skitching.” Maslin, Sarah Nir, “A Skateboard Stunt Turns Fatal for a Former Chef,” The New York Times, Jan. 13, 2016.

Skating recklessly is outlawed in New York City, with recklessness defined as skating in a fashion such as to threaten the health or possessions of another person. Local Law No. 43 (1996) of City of New York. But what about skating in a matter that is not reckless? Pursuant to NYC Regulations, skateboards may not be operated in public parks, except within areas that specifically authorize such activity. 21 CRR-NY §751.7

 

 

To address this issue, New York City has designated skate parks throughout the five boroughs. The City requires all skateboarders to sign a waiver of liability and to utilize protective gear, including helmets, knee pads, elbow pads and wrist guards for skateboarders under the age of 18.

Several public and private establishments have banned skateboarding, including the New York City subway. The reason that many places have banned skateboarding is because of liability to landowners for skateboarding accidents. A landowner can be held liable for a breach of duty to maintain the establishment where that breach of duty is a proximate cause of the injury. This translates to potential liability for landowners for accidents on their sidewalks (NY administrative Code §7-210), as well as for owners and operators of privately owned indoor skate parks.

Most skate parks require patrons to sign a liability waiver, indicating that neither the skate park, nor its employees are liable if the patron is injured at the skate park. However, such waivers are frequently void and/or unenforceable. General Obligations Law §5-326 prohibits an owner or operator of a recreational facility from enforcing a release given by an individual who has paid it a fee or provided other compensation for the recreational activity. This would preclude owners and operators from enforcing such waivers in most instances, unless, however, the activity was instructional, rather than recreational, and there was a clear intent to transfer liability. Boareng v. Motorcycle Safety School, 51 A.D.3d 702 (2d Dep’t 2008).

In the event of injury at a skate park, counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants must endeavor to complete an investigation on liability as quickly as possible. This is important because ramps and other skate park equipment are frequently changed and/or reconfigured by skate parks in order to keep patrons interested in new and improved ramps and obstacles for their skating pleasure.

Counsel representing skate parks should act quickly to make sure that the ramp or equipment involved in the accident is preserved. Conversely, counsel for plaintiffs should act quickly by sending a letter requesting preservation of the equipment. Next, counsel on both sides are well advised to seek out any CCTV footage, which may have captured the incident on video. It is important to note that some CCTV system overwrite their footage within regular intervals (i.e., every 30 days). Facilities with newer cloud-based CCTV systems may have the capability to store footage in the cloud or an outside server.

In addition to CCTV footage, counsel from both sides should find out if there are videos created by the plaintiff or others at or around the time of the accident, and, if these videos were posted on YouTube or social media.

Once the equipment involved in the accident has been preserved, counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants should carefully examine the apparatus. Another important question to ask is who made the ramp, ledge or obstacle? Many skate parks pride themselves on building the ramps themselves. Others, however, obtain their ledges and ramps from manufacturers. In these instances, the manufacturer may be a proper party to a lawsuit by plaintiff and, in cases where plaintiff does not do so, defendant may implead the manufacturer for indemnification and/or contribution.

It is important to keep in mind that while anyone can be involved in a skateboarding accident, the majority of those injured are minors (with 52 percent of injuries sustained by those under 15). Miller, Sara G., “Skateboarding Sends a Shocking Number of Kids to the ER Every Day,” Huffington Post, April 12, 2016. This is significant for two primary reasons: (1) some orthopedic injuries sustained by minors, i.e., fracture to a growth plate can significantly increase damages. A growth plate fracture affects the layer of growing tissue near the ends of a child’s bones. An injury that might cause a joint sprain for an adult can cause a growth plate fracture in a child, which can result in permanent deformity to the affected limb. Therefore, a sprain, strain or simple fracture in an adult or older teenager, can be more significant in a child, thereby significantly raising the value of the case.

When litigating skateboard accidents involving minors it is important to remember that unless the parent or guardian of the minor brings suit, the Statute of Limitations for personal injury suits is tolled until the minor turns 18. CPLR §208.

A layer of complexity has been added to skateboard litigation by the influx of “hover boards.” While these contraptions do not actually hover in the air as depicted in the hover board used by the Jetsons’ precocious son Elroy in the 1960s futuristic cartoon, The Jetsons, (ABC, 1962-1963), nor as depicted in Back to the Future II (1989) (Universal Pictures, 1989), electric hover boards whizzed into popularity in 2015, with riders ranging from celebrities like Wiz Kalifa, Missy Elliot, Justin Bieber, and even Martha Stewart, to hipsters, teens and professionals; they were met with opposition from New York State lawmakers who were quick to declare that motorized hover boards and skateboards are illegal in New York City, as they are considered motor vehicles under the VTL that cannot be registered by the DMV. NY Vehicle & Traffic Law §125. The NYPD announced violators could face hefty fines up to $500. Danielson, Tess, “The NYPD says it’s illegal to ride a hoverboard on the streets of New York City,” Business Insider (Nov. 18, 2015).

NYS Assemblyman David Weprin (D-Queens) along with State Senator Jose Peralta had introduced a bill that would exempt hover boards and other electric unicycles from classification as motor vehicles under the VTL. That bill is currently in assembly committee. NY State Senate Bill S6260A.

While these devices are currently illegal to operate on New York City streets, a motorized vehicle becomes a “motor vehicle” subject to registration requirements only if it is operated on the Street. Therefore, it is legal to operate a motor vehicle on private property so long as it never enters a public roadway. You can likely find people whizzing along on hover boards in their homes, offices and on other private property.

The motivation behind the laws banning these devices on City Streets stems from liability to operators, pedestrians and even third parties. Hover boards pose many of the same risks as traditional skateboards, including fall hazards resulting in contusions, lacerations, fractures and head trauma.

Nor is New York City alone in banning the use of these devices on its streets. The MTA has banned hover boards from virtually all modes of public transportation. Major airlines, retailers, NFL teams and the U.S. Postal service have all banned these devices. O’Kane, Sean, “Delta, United, and American Airlines are the latest to ban ‘hoverboards’,” The Verge (Dec. 11, 2015).

In addition to the risk to operators, pedestrians and third-parties, there is also the potential risk of fire. A Chappaqua, N.Y. man became the lead plaintiff in a class-action lawsuit against currently pending in Federal court for the Northern District of Indiana when a hover board he bought his children for Chanukah suddenly burst into flames and damaged the family home. While no injuries were reported, the Chappaqua Fire Department indicated that the home sustained substantial smoke damage. Eng, James, “Man Sues Hoverboard Maker Swagway Over Fire That Damaged His Home,” NBC News (Dec. 16, 2015). In March 2017, the court denied a motion to dismiss by Swagway, the manufacturer of the hover board involved. Brown v. Swagway, N.D. Ind., No 15-CV-588 (Docket No. 78).

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is aware of more than 250 hover board incidents related to fires or overheating since 2015. CPSC estimates there have been 13 burn injuries, three smoke inhalation injuries and more than $4 million in property damage related to hover boards.

So do you go grab your board and go sidewalk surfin’ (Sidewalk Surfin’ by Jan & Dean, released in 1964) or do you say, see you later boy to that skater boy? (Skater Boy by Avril Lavigne, released in 2002). That may depend on your age, appetite for the rush … and litigation.

Whether skateboard, electric hover board, or hybrid electric skateboard, the use of these small personal vehicles presents a range of legal issues for the general public, operators and practitioners. Stephen King said, “you can’t be too careful on a skateboard.” Amen.

Robert D. Lang (rdlang@damato-lynch.com) is a senior partner of D’Amato & Lynch, where he is head of the Casualty Defense Department. Rachel Nudel (rnudel@damato-lynch.com) is an associate with the firm. Paralegal Megan Kessig of the firm assisted in this article.

 

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Lack of ‘reform spirit’ shackling Hong Kong in tech era

 

Throughout ancient and modern Chinese history, political leaders who embarked on bold reforms often ended up either dead or in jail.

In Hong Kong, government bureaucrats are so resistant to new ideas, challenges and inventions for fear of making mistakes.

One example is the electric unicycle or electric bicycle, which has long been used in foreign countries.

The invention, which is actually not new anymore, is still banned from roads in the city because our bureaucrats insist that they fall under the category of motor vehicles.

Under the existing law, all motor vehicles must be registered with the Transport Department before they can be put to use on Hong Kong’s roads.

But while authorities have taken an unreasonably tough stance on electric unicycles and bikes, they simply look the other way when it comes to electric wheelchairs for the disabled.

Another example is the drone, the unmanned aircraft system equipped with a camera, which has become all the rage across the world.

Unfortunately, despite its wide range of brands and models as well as its affordable prices, there isn’t a single piece of legislation in Hong Kong to regulate its use.

Perhaps the reason is that since drones have raised so many questions about privacy, aviation security and even potential terrorist threat, our government bureaucrats would rather not touch on the issue in order to avoid trouble.

And thanks to the bureaucrats’ rigid mindset, there is no end in sight for the public consultations on drones. As a result, even to this day Hong Kong citizens still cannot operate these “new” inventions publicly and legally.

Amid this lack of “reform spirit” and courage among our government decision-makers to meet new challenges, our city is lagging further and further behind other countries and regions in this era of technology.

In 2002, then-Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa introduced the Principal Officials Accountability System in a bid to rejuvenate our government bureaucracy and change the rigid mindset of our civil servants.

Unfortunately, after so many years, it appears our bureaucrats have remained anything but receptive to new ideas and things.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on April 14

Translation by Alan Lee

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37 minutes ago, AlexT said:

I probably need to bring my euc to a constituency meeting and persuade my local MP to have a go...

I've been thinking about that. What better way to get the law markers on our side than to familiarize then with our wheels, and the arguments for supporting them. EUC's benefit to society is undeniable.

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Looks like it is being tried in Singapore..

 

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