The NYPD’s 26th precinct, which covers Morningside Heights and parts of West Harlem, tweeted out Monday that electric hoverboards are illegal according to NYC Admin.
The tweet read:
“Be advised that the electric #hoverboard is illegal as per Admin. Code 19-176.2.”
The tweet was deleted because it contained the wrong code. Code 19-176.2 made hoverboards arguably legal since it includes two key descriptions that prove hoverboards actually follow the law:
“For purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall mean any wheeled device that has handlebars…”
“For the purposes of this section, the term ‘motorized scooter’ shall not include electric powered devices not capable of exceeding fifteen miles per hour…”
Based on those descriptions it can be argued that since hoverboards do not have any handlebars and they don’t exceed 15mph — some can’t even reach 8mph — hoverboards, by definition, are actually quite legal.
However, hoverboards do not fall under Code 19-176.2 and they remain illegal.
An NYPD spokeswoman told the Daily News that according to sections 401-a and 401-b under New York State Law’s Article 14, NY Vehicle and Traffic Law, hoverboards are prohibited since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.
If someone were to get caught riding a hoverboard in the street, highway, parking lot or even sidewalk, they could potentially face a fine of up to $200. So just to be on the safe side, it’s better to keep using hoverboards at the park and at home — or the office if your boss is cool with it.