It is official; the popular gadget that had almost become a UK staple item and prime Christmas gift is illegal…on the streets of Britain anyway.
In October 2015, hoverboards (also known as self-balancing scooters) are illegal to ride in public in Britain, according to guidance released by the Crown Prosecution Service.
The wheeled vehicles, which are an evolution of the infamous Segway “personal transportation device”, are too unsafe to ride on the road, but too dangerous to ride on the pavement, according to legislation. As a result, they are only legal to use on land that is private property, and only with the landowner’s permission, the CPS says.
However, Simon Benson of hoverboard distributor Ghetto Gadgets argues that banning them could boost the profile of the gadgets. “If the authorities give any impression that the use of hoverboards in some circumstances is unlawful, then I expect sales to soar”, he said.
The CPS guidance points out that since self-balancing scooters are powered vehicles; they are illegal to ride on the pavement under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835. In Scotland, where the act does not apply, they are still illegal to ride on the pavement under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.