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PHILLIP COATES v CROWN PROSECUTION SERVICE

A Segway was a carriage within the meaning of the Highway Act 1835 s.72 for the purposes of the offence of wilfully riding a carriage upon a footpath.

15 August 2011

The appellant (C) appealed by way of case stated against a decision of a district judge that he wilfully rode a motor vehicle, namely a Segway, upon a footpath contrary to the Highway Act 1835 s.72. The offence related to C having ridden a Segway on the pavement. A Segway was a form of personal transportation consisting of a small gyroscopically stabilised platform mounted on two wheels, on which the traveller stood, powered by a battery-driven electric motor. The only issue for the district judge was whether a Segway fell within the definition of a motor vehicle in the Road Traffic Act 1988 s.185(1). The district judge found that it did and convicted C. Three questions were certified for the High Court: (i) whether the district judge erred in declining to consider whether the Segway was approved for use on the pavement in other European jurisdictions; (ii) whether he erred in failing to take into consideration the intention of the manufacturer when deciding whether the Segway was a...

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