It’s a bike. It’s a skateboard. No, It’s a hover board. This is what many people are calling them but in fact they are cousins to the well-known Segways. You may remember the Segways coming out a few years ago and in some states they are only used by patrolling police, mall security or in a high tech office building. The new fad in 2015 was the hands-free Segway, which most people call the self-balancing board or the hoverboard.
Of course great inventions always come with some new laws that like to come and ruin the fun. We have seen these all over Instagram promoted by celebrities, like Soulja Boy and on some of our favorite TV shows like Black-ish. Don’t run out and grab one just yet. According to a little online research, these hoverboards are not only unsafe, since Amazon and Overstock stopped selling them, but there are some states that are creating laws to prevent people from having them all together.
All major airports have banned the boards and they are not allowed on flights. The state of New York has made the hands-free Segway completely illegal with a $500 fine. According to the United States Postal Service, “Out of an abundance of caution and in line with major retailers and the airline industry, the Postal Service is limiting the domestic shipping of mail-able motorized balance boards, or hover boards, that contain lithium batteries”
They are banned in Canada and the United Kingdom. As these devices become more popular there will be other laws established within a few months. The most common restriction placed on the new self-balancing boards is that they can only be used indoors and one private property with permission from the owner.
It has been suggested that users must wear a helmet, be over the age of 15 and even register the hoverboard like a car.
Beginning January 1, 2016 they have officially welcomed the Hoverboards with open hands and they are legal in California. You can ride them on sidewalks but you must wear a helmet, don’t go more than 20 mph, and of course no drunk riding. The state actually had to establish a whole new bill to allow the new devices. The only downside to it is that this new bill, called AB 604, allows for localities to make there own decisions should they want to add or subtract from this new state law. New York and California are major cities that we know of, so far that have made regulations for the hoverboards. Check your state or city laws for restriction on motorized vehicles that operate on speeds under 25 miles per hour. If you haven’t heard of any then they will go by any pre-established laws from the past.
Will you still get a Segway for yourself? Do you think that these laws are too extreme?
Written by Deprina Godboldo, Staff Writer, Modern Domestic