‘Hover boards’ deemed illegal in New York City

Those caught breaking law face up to $200 in fines



‘Hover boards’ are now banned after an NYPD spokesman said the item cannot be registered in the Department of Motor Vehicles.

Livia Paula, Features Editor

If you’re thinking about getting the popular futuristic ‘hover boards’ as a Christmas gift to someone residing in New York, you might want to start considering a new option.

The NYPD 26th Precinct warned about the law on Twitter, but then deleted the tweet since it stated that it was illegal per Code 19-176.2. The code reads, “The term ‘motorized scooter’ shall mean any wheeled device that has handlebars” and it also said “the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall not include electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour.”

Since hover boards are a self-balancing device that does not exceed the limit, it could be said they are not illegal under that code. But that’s not the case.

According to the New York Daily news, an NYPD spokesperson said that hover boards are illegal due to the fact they can’t be registered in the Department of Motor Vehicles and this appears on sections 401-a and 401-b under New York State Law’s Article 14.

A fine up to $200 might be the consequence for those who get caught surfing the device on streets, parking lots or sidewalks.

At St. John’s one may find the device floating around campus.

Senior Amanda Torres said she does not agree with calling the device illegal since many people spent so much money on obtaining it. However, she believes that regulations on where people may use the device should be enforced, especially in schools.

“If there’s a packed hallway full of people, don’t be rude and try to take more space by using the hoverboard,” she said. “People just have to be smart and cautious of when and where to use them.”

Junior Lloyd Howell owns one of these devices. According to him, when he first got a hoverboard he was “intrigued by the idea of suddenly cruising everywhere instead of walking.”

“The fact that I can ride around to and from places all of the sudden was mainly what attracted me to this device as well as it being a source of attention in a slightly obnoxious, yet fun way,” Howell said.

He said he never used the device on campus. “I have tried to commute to and from my dorm [Henley] but found it to be rather a problem,” he said. “I have rode around from DaSilva field while I worked a few times and inside Taffner, but otherwise my dorm room is where I use it the most.”

Regarding the new law, Howell does not see how hover boards pose a real threat to other civilians.

“Honestly I think it’s ridiculous that there’s a fine now that the hover boards are ‘banned’ in New York,” he said. “To my knowledge, most individuals I know have them simply for fun and again to be slightly obnoxious in a comical sense in getting the attentions of others.”

According to Howell, he never really interacted with anyone that strongly dislikes the device. However, he always gets questioned on his reasons in getting a hover board.

“People usually ask me, ‘What exactly is that thing you’re cruising around on’ or ‘How much did that cost’ or ‘How fast does it go,’” he said. “I think people just find it ridiculous and foolish that people are either too lazy or that pressed for attention to invest in such a device.”