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Hoverboards in Need of Regulations

Hoverboards were this year’s hottest holiday item by children and adults alike. They came onto the scene slowly and quickly took over as a must–have tem. As of lately, retailers have promoted the item heavily online and in catalogs to get consumers on board with the trend. In addition, seeing riders riding on busy sidewalks is a great way to advertise the product. Despite how cool and in-demand these boards have become, they are still illegal in many parts of the country.

These self-balancing motorized boards go by a number of names: hoverboards, Swagways, self-balancing scooters, and personal transporters. All of these items now have parents, lawmakers and others working on creating laws to emphasize safety and regulations since most locations have not caught up with the rapidly growing technology in recent years. For liability reasons, some property owners have banned all self-balancing motorized devices.  When looking at the product, it is easy to see how an individual can fall from hitting an unexpected bump or curb.

New York City has seen a spike in the number of hoverboards, especially among young people in the Upper East Side. However, the state has classified them as “motorized vehicles that cannot be registered”. Because of this, riding them in public can result in a fine of roughly $50. California lawmakers, on the other hand, are trying to get ahead of the problem before it gets out of hand. Starting January 1st, 2016, a new law will allow electric-powered boards to be ridden in the bike lanes & pathways to encourage commuters break free from cars and bicycles. The board riders must also be at least 15 years old and wear a helmet.

Starting in December, the police department at the University of California stated the boards will not be allowed on walkways and hallways of the campus due to pedestrians complaining of collisions with the devices. In addition, London authorities have reported to the public that the hoverboards are still banned from public streets and roadways due to their danger to pedestrians.
So far, there haven’t been a large number of people being ticketed for riding the hoverboards in public. Having set regulations and rules for hoverboard users to follow is a good way to make sure both pedestrians and riders stay safe. The device can sometimes reach speeds of 12 miles per hour, which can cause grave injuries to people on and around them. As popularity grows, the more laws and regulatory statutes will be put in place to make sure this fun product doesn’t become a hazard to the public.

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