Many people get confused by this question. Hoverboards themselves are legal. They are legal devices and are legal for sale in the UK. Of course, the device must meet UK regulations (CE) to be legal for sale. Many start-up companies have attempted to import poor quality devices that have unfortunately led to house fires, luckily trading standards is clamping down on these companies and destroying low-quality imports.
But we’ve written this article to discuss if hoverboards are legal to ride in public places, and if so, where?
Don’t listen to everything you hear on the news and don’t worry if you’ve just bought a hoverboard, it doesn’t make you a hardened criminal! Let’s face it, hoverboards are cool, they’re fun to ride and it’s important that when you get on yours, you’re doing it in a safe environment. That’s why there are laws in place and certain restrictions on where you can go but it doesn’t mean you still can’t have plenty of riding time!
Like a Segway, the swegway hoverboard falls under the same category as it is a powered vehicle. In 2011 after a court ruling, Segways were no longer allowed to be ridden on the roads or pavement and this applies to the hoverboard as well.
As frustrating as this is, it’s important that you are up-to-date with all the latest news, legislations and laws regarding swegway hoverboards. You don’t want to take yours for a spin and end up with a fine. That’s why we’ve taken a look at what laws apply in countries across the world.
What’s the ruling on this in England?
If you want to get down to the nitty gritty then there’s actually a section of the 1835 Highways Act (Section 72 to be exact) which has been applied to the modern law that prevents you from using your hoverboard on the roads and pavements. Well, supposedly anyway. It states that:
“If any person shall wilfully ride upon any footpath or causeway by the side of any road made or set apart for the use or accommodation of foot passengers or shall wilfully lead or drive any horse, ass, sheep, mule, swine, or cattle or carriage of any description, or any truck or sledge, upon any such footpath or causeway; or shall tether any horse, ass, mule, swine, or cattle, on any highway, so as to suffer or permit the tethered animal to be thereon.”
Ok. Wow. To put it simpler in today’s terms – you could get fined if you’re caught riding your hoverboard on the pavement.
Where to use your hoverboard
It’s important that you know the rules when you’re using your hoverboard because we’d hate to see you get lumbered with a fine. But just because you can’t use it out on public roads, it doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of other areas for you to get on and take it for a spin.
You can use your swegway hoverboard on private property (make sure you have the landowner’s permission). This could be outside your own home, at your friend’s house or a range of other locations. We’ve found large spaces where the landowner has welcomed hoverboard enthusiasts to ride as much as they like – just search and ask around and you’ll find somewhere. You can also use it inside your own home as well – especially useful if you’re feeling too lazy to walk from the living room to the kitchen!
Some shopping centers and open spaces may also have a ban on the use of hoverboards so it’s always worthwhile checking individual areas out before you go. Some parks may allow the use and merely prohibit them in certain parts so there is still the chance for you to go out and use it in public.
Travelling with your hoverboard
When are you going on holiday next? Have you got anywhere planned? If you’re going somewhere like France, Germany, Ireland, Italy or certain states in America, you can ride your swegway hoverboard freely! And as they’re portable devices (and a lot easier to transport than a bike) you can visit another country and take in all the sights from atop your hoverboard. Originally, many flight lines banned hoverboards, however, from our recent research, it’s apparent that some airlines are now allowing for hoverboards to be taken on board. It’s best to check with the airline before attempting to take a swegway hoverboard on board!
Ireland & Scotland
Like in England, hoverboards are banned on public streets under the Roads Act of 1984.
Like England, all hoverboards are banned on public footpaths and roads and can only be used indoors or on private property.
Unlike the UK, other countries such as Australia, have different laws depending on the Providence.
New South Wales
– it’s not legal to ride any type of standing scooter as they are classified as motor vehicles.
Queensland – hoverboards are classified as pedestrian and can be used on none-motor pathways with a top speed of no more than 10km/h.
– if it’s got a motor output of 200 watts than a hoverboard is considered a motor vehicle. Then it needs registration and insurance!
Western Australia – hoverboards are only allowed off road and on private property.
Again, different laws apply to different states so we’ve looked at a few.
– the AB 604 law means that hoverboards can only be used by one person and can be used on public streets if you’re over 16, wearing a helmet and going no faster than 35mph. Breaking this law can net you a $250 fine.
New York City
– hoverboards are banned and can result in a hefty $500 fine if you’re caught using one on the street.
There are also numerous universities, malls, and parks in America which have hoverboard bans.
If you’re planning on taking your swegway hoverboard for a spin, make sure you’re doing it safely and legally. Falling off a hoverboard hurts but landing a big fine will leave a nasty sting.