Few products have seen as many polarizing points of view from as many directions as the self balancing scooter, known to many as a hoverboard.
Everything from the name, purists are screaming on one side that it doesn't really hover, to it's potential misuse and belief that it is dangerous and should be banned has taken over the internet.
In lieu of this situation a number of airlines have stopped allowing people to carry them and traffic organizations are calling for regulations at the least and total bans at worst.
Safety and Traffic Regulations
The state of California puts down the first set of rules and regulations to govern 'hoverboard' or self balancing skateboards, or simply, hands-free Segways. The release was the first thing to come out of the California Highway Patrol's office this year following a historic number of these toys seen on roads over the holiday season.
The main concern and the primary reason behind the regulations is safety, the officials have said. Officially defined as 'Electronically Motorized Boards', they are designed to be stood on and controlled through electronic propulsion.
- Hoverboards will be allowed on local roadways as of now, but the region's authorities have the freedom to add restrictions to certain paths. Cities and county officials have been given a free reign on how to handle this.
- Users of these boards will have to stay on lanes that have a speed limit that is either less than or set at 35 miles/ hour.
- Wearing a helmet while on the craft is now mandatory.
- Speed limit on a hoverboard is now set at 15 miles/ hour on highways.
- Age limit for usage in public roadways and lanes is 16. Users below 16 years of age will not be allowed in roads.
- Hoverboards will be allowed on bike ways and designated bike paths unless otherwise specified.
Municipal Hoverboard Laws
The regulations are only the first draft and apply in general to all of California, but local governments can change or modify them to suit their situations.
Some areas may even be a lot more restrictive of its use. Non compliance can lead to steep fines, sometimes up to $250 and there are a number of amendments that can be expected regarding this release. As of now, the rules will be enforced for five years.
Similar rules and regulations are expected to spread throughout the country and if you are in California, make sure you abide by them.