These self balancing, two-wheeled electric scooters have taken the name of hoverboards -- even though they don't actually hover -- and they are one of the most trending gadgets of the year.
Many people started using them not only to get around their big offices, but also to move on the streets of their cities. This has raised questions over the legality of their use in public, and according to what a NYPD spokesperson told Tech Insider, "they are prohibited by New York state Law since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles."
%shareLinks-quote="They are prohibited by New York state Law since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles" type="spreadWord"%
According to Business Insider, the NYPD's 26th Precinct tweeted saying the following, before removing the tweet:
%shareLinks-quote="Be advised that the electric hoverboard is illegal as per NYC Admin. Code 19-176.2." type="spreadWord"%
The code cited in the tweet is not very clear and leaves space for interpretation since it refers to motorized scooters and "any wheeled device that has handlebars that is designed to be stood or sat upon by the operator." This would not include hoverboards since they do not have handlebars. Additionally, these self balancing devices can usually reach a top speed of 12 miles per hour, and the law also states that electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour will be excluded from the definition of electric scooters. Moreover, the code continues by excluding "electric personal assistive mobility devices defined as self-balancing, two non-tandem wheeled devices designed to transport one person by means of an electric propulsion system," which sounds just like our beloved hoverboard.
While this mess clears up, be aware that riding one of these in NYC could get you a $500 fine.
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