Police Department Tests New Transportation

1 decade 3 years 8 months ago Wednesday, April 05 2006 Apr 5, 2006 Wednesday, April 05, 2006 3:45:35 PM CDT April 05, 2006 in News

It's straight out of the movies. A police officer flying down the street on a human transporter.  But this isn't Hollywood, it's downtown Columbia.

The Segway Human Transporter is a two wheeled motorized vehicle that the Columbia Police Department tested during the month of October.

"The one that we have is actually a police model...it has two saddle bags on the side where you can store your equipment. Believe it or not, it's got lights and a siren on it and it'll travel at top speed, about 12.5 mph," Columbia Police Captain Mike Martin said.

Officer Dodd normally patrols the streets on a bicycle, but now she is the only officer cruising downtown on a Segway.

"I didn't know exactly what it was, but once I got on it and like I said I spent about three or four hours learning how to drive it and stuff and it's been fun," Columbia police officer Cathy Dodd said.

The Segway might be fun, but it may not become a permanent fixture in Columbia.

"I don't think that it will replace our bicycles or motor units. I think it's just another tool that we would use," Martin said.

The Segway company wants to market its product for personal use. But it might run into a small problem in Columbia.  As of right now, it's illegal to use motorized vehicles on public sidewalks. The city is looking into the situation. For now, it's just a little bit of Hollywood in the district. Segway of Mid-Missouri, a segway dealer, will open in late November.

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