The growing trend of hoverboards might become officially illegal in New York City if certain officials get their way. That means that the popularity of the boards might be waning soon enough, even though they have been virtually flying off the shelves.
One shop, called The Board Store, for example, sold 3,000 units within one month, each one at the price of $500. There is absolutely no doubt that their popularity has skyrocketed. In fact, they’re propelled even faster forward by celebrities. But not all are happy with their potential use. While San Francisco and California might approve, New York does not.
Technically, they are illegal now
According to the New York Police Department (NYPD), hoveboards are illegal vehicles in conformity with the NY State Law. This is because they have been declared as motor vehicles that cannot be registered. Meaning that while you’re allowed to own one, you’re not allowed to operate on it because the NYPD cannot tally their existence.
For now, the NYPD does not actively seek out to ban them or stop people from using them. However, that might change soon enough. City Council member Andy King has voiced out his intention of regulating hoverboards, and imposing laws that would better clarify their use. Along with that, it’s rather clear that owners of the device will see to a few restrictions.
Technically, they’re already illegal because they cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. But further regulation and the completion of proposed legislation that is currently in the works could clear up the situation. Councilman King is working on it, as the “regulatory grey area” it’s currently in should be addressed.
According to King, hoverboards should have the same status as mobile chairs. Meaning, while they will have designated areas where they will be allowed to be used, there won’t be full liberty. For example, out on the streets alongside cars or big busses. They will be allowed on sidewalks, parks, or playgrounds, but not out on the streets or bike lines with others.
A legislation could provide safer use
This is a “safety issue”, as said by King. The proposal, which is still being drafted at the moment, means to have hoveboards qualify as “recreational novelty”, instead of “mode of transportation”. The City Council member also underlined that it would not be a beneficial device to be used long-term.
By relying on hoverboards, the population will see a decrease in physical activity. Walking is preferred, and better at trimming down the already high numbers of obesity in the United States. According to King, hoverboards do not promote a healthy lifestyle.
On the other hand, those selling the products hope that officials will be too busy with other matters, and that they will eventually dismiss the issue.
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