Those hoverboards that your favorite rapper got for free and stunted with on the ‘Gram are already illegal over in UK. Now, they’re (probably) illegal in New York City, too.
The laws regarding the legality of riding the self-balancing scooters on the streets are pretty vague—the NYPD’s 6th Precinct tweeted that the electric hoverboard is a no-no, citing NYC Admin. Code 19-176.2.” But it’s a safe bet cops will bless you with a ticket off g.p. even if the scooter counting as a proper vehicle is debatable.
But the code they referenced doesn’t explicitly state that hoverboards are illegal—instead, it seems to suggest they are legal:
- “For purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall mean any wheeled device that has handlebars…” — the hoverboards do not have handlebars.
- “For the purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall not include electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour…” — the hoverboards (like the most popular version, the IO Hawk) have a max speed of around 6 MPH.
So… hoverboards are legal? Slow down, McFly. It turns out that with new technology comes great confusion. Earlier this year one NYPD officer told CBS2, “We don’t know—new technology. We don’t know.” Helpful. Another officer declared hoverboards were allowed in parks (watch out for open bodies of water!), while another said they were allowed anywhere. Wheeee! But they aren’t, no matter what you think you saw on Buzzfeed.
The NYC Department of Transportation, however, has landed on firmer ground when it comes to rules surrounding hoverboards—they told us that these devices are in fact illegal. They are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the DMV, which means they’re prohibited in the city (under NY State Law). Even though they aren’t in the DMV’s list ofexpressly prohibited motor vehicles, they are considered motorized self-balancing devices, similar to Segways.
Be wary if you must ride your hoverboard on these streets. Not only of getting a hefty fine, but of getting robbed at gunpoint—like in Philly.