PUP leader Segways onto the wrong side of the law?

Posters and Segway scooters. With less than a week to go until the election, candidates will have sore feet, lost weight and be counting the hours until polling closes on Thursday night at 10pm.

PUP posterThe PUP is certainly pulling its weight when it comes to election gimmicks. Last week they unveiled a poster featuring Kristin Mackenzie – the American model/stock photo that both the DUP and UUP both used last year in rival posters – “to highlight the ongoing neglect and disregard for deprived, working class Unionist communities in East Belfast by the old Unionist parties”.

… the PUP thought another image of her might help remind the two parties they have done very little for the communities from which they draw their votes.

And now today, they’ve announced that their party leader Brian Ervine has damaged muscles in his lower back and has borrowed a Segway to be able to continue canvassing. Brian said:

PUP's Brian Ervine on a Segway on an East Belfast pavement

After such an energetic campaign it would be a shame if I had to stop canvassing for the last week before polling day so we looked at every possible alternative to enable me to keep ‘on the road’. We spent some time canvassing around the Newtownards and Albertbridge Roads – thankfully streets with no hills! 

However, if the The Highway Act of 1835 (or an equivalent piece of legislation) applies in Northern Ireland then Brian will find that using his motorised scooter on the road or footpath isn’t legal.

The Campaign to Legalise Segways in the UK website helpfully points out that

In the UK, it is currently not legal to use them anywhere other than private property with the owners permission

In a test case in January 2011, a Yorkshire man was fined £75 and ordered to pay £250 in costs after being spotted by “a civilian police inquiry officer riding on a pavement in Pontefract Road, Barnsley”.

Not sure the PUP would have to declare a fine as an election expense!

Alan Meban. Normally to be found blogging over at Alan in Belfast where you’ll find an irregular set of postings, weaving an intricate pattern around a diverse set of subjects. Comment on cinema, books, technology and the occasional rant about life. On Slugger, the posts will mainly be about political events and processes. Tweets as @alaninbelfast.