You know those not-hoverboards that feel like they’re involved in every Justin Bieber video now, even if they aren’t? Well, if you get down with one in New York, know that you’re running afoul of the law. I still don’t get how it’s not against the law to call not-hoverboards hoverboards and then sell them, but I guess that’s beside the point.
Like any announcement of import, the clarification of the legality of the not-hoverboards appeared on Twitter courtesy of the 26th Precinct this week. Although the tweet was later deleted, a local ABC 7 news report confirms that the department has stated that the use of the <scare quotes>hoverboards</scare quotes> on streets and sidewalks are illegal according to NYC Admin Code 19-176.2 because they cannot be registered, but are considered motor vehicles akin to motorized scooters and segways.
The so-called hoverboards, which are propelled by motorized wheels and hover in the same way that my desk is hovering on table legs, are slated to be one of the holiday season’s hottest gifts. They’re most similar to the segway in that they use a gyroscope for balance and movement, but lack the handlebars of that fastest growing mode of tourist transportation. Despite the popularity of the “hoverboards,” the NYPD will apparently be on the lookout from now on — if you get caught riding one in public, you could get hit with a fine of up to $500.
At press time, the NYPD has made no announcement about the legality of calling things hoverboards when they are not hoverboards.