Hoverboards have their share of lovers and critics. So it’s understandable why they are embraced in some places, and banned in others. So before you try to commute with or ride a self-balancing electric scooter, you should know the local laws and traffic rules about your one-wheel or two-wheel ride.
In case you missed it, New York’s Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) has banned hoverboards in subways, city buses, Staten Island Railway, Long Island Rail and every other method of public transportation that the MTA controls.
The reason? Safety concerns.
With the previous models of hoverboards catching fire, the MTA simply wants to minimize the risks of hoverboards exploding or “posing fire hazards into the confined spaces inside trains and buses”, says MTA chief safety officer David Mayer. He cited the US Pipeline and Hazardous Material Safety Administration study as the basis for the ban. It revealed that 80% off hoverboards tested used uncertified batteries.
Despite improvements in newer smart balance scooter, the ban is still in effect. So you might want to avoid taking a self-balancing electric scooter with you in any MTA transportation. You can’t use ignorance of the law as an excuse, because the advertising campaign about the ban had been quite visible, with the “bubble people” doing the rounds in announcing the ban with a clear headline of “Hoverboards Not Allowed”.
Notes about the ban are also posted in and around MTA stations, although they’re not as conspicuous as they should be. Then again, someone is bound to tell you about it if and when you’re seen with your hoverboard in any MTA ride.
The police department of New York classified hoverboard as “motor vehicles that cannot be registered”, which means it can’t be operated on sidewalks or public streets, under New York law. Since a self-balancing electric scooter is treated as distinct from skateboards and bicycles, it can’t be used in places where these vehicles are allowed.
But even in places where an electronic scooter is allowed, you should practice safety at all times, and take into account other people in the vicinity. As much as possible, avoid crowded places or busy streets. You’re bound to hit something or someone while navigating through the crowd.
In case you do get caught for violating the rules, be polite and respectful. Be a role model to other hoverboard riders out there. This might just change the rules, even a little bit.
Where you can ride a hoverboard
California allows anyone 16 years old and above to ride a 2 wheel balance scooter in public, provided that they wear a helmet and limits the speed to 35 miles per hour.
Philadelphia allows children under the age of 12 Years to ride a hoverboard, provided that they wear protective gear – helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist guards.happy wheels
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