Hoverboards seem like a cool way to get from Point A and B. After all, they will not be as tiring as riding a bike and compared to skateboards and scooters, your hoverboard can actually go up inclined roads. Once you are done or the battery is empty, you simply tuck it under your arm or carry it with your hands.
However, hoverboard owners should be sure to check the regulations on their use in the cities they live in. Otherwise, they could face unexpected fines or fees, not to mention the sad realization that they cannot actually go around the city on their hoverboards. These limitations can truly make you think twice about buying one.
Overview Of Regulations Around The World
If you are living in the UK, it might be disappointing to find out that you can actually only ride your board on private property. Because they fall under the category of motor vehicles, it is actually illegal to ride them on pavement. Unfortunately, they are also not allowed on the street because they are not licensed. While fines are not strictly enforced, hoverboard riders can be fined by up to £500.
The Netherlands and Hong Kong have similar regulations banning hoverboards on both the pavements and the roads.
Other countries do not have any similar laws that ban hoverboards outright like those mentioned above. For example, in Australia, Canada, and the United States, different states or municipalities are allowed to decide on their own regulations on hoverboard use. So there are states in Australia and Canada like New South Wales and Toronto that have enforced bans, but it is not a nationwide law.
The same goes for the US, where these hoverboards are generally allowed even on the highways due to a lack of legislation stating otherwise. But because cities, states or municipalities have the authority to change this, there are places where hoverboard owners need to be careful.
In New York City, for example, hoverboards are banned and riders can be fined by up to $500. Some are trying to reverse this regulation by removing hoverboards from the category of motorized vehicles. In the rest of the state, though, the laws are more relaxed.
New York essentially bans them only in cities where more than 1 million people live. Otherwise, they can be used on highways where there is a 30 mile-per-hour speed limit. There are also limits to 1 person per hoverboard, and he or she should wear reflective clothing and a light during the night. They should also be over the age of 16. Lastly, they are not allowed to cling to vehicles, Marty McFly-style.
On the other hand, the whole state of California has also released similar guidelines for all their cities. Hoverboards are now classified under a new category called electrically motorized boards. Riders are limited to 20mph but they can be driven on public streets with speed limits of 35 mph or lower. They are not allowed to have any passengers and should be over 16, sober, and sporting a helmet. The board should also be a maximum of 60 by 18 inches. Those not following these rules will be fined $250.
It is a good idea to check your local laws or even call your local officials to be clear on the regulations where you live even before buying a hoverboard. After all, you do not want to end up with a board you can only use at home.