Popular hoverboards face rules that may keep some potential buyers grounded
TORONTO — Hoverboards are topping holiday wish lists across the country. Apart from the price though, there are a few things you need to know, such as where you can and cannot ride them.
“This is what every kid is hoping to open this Christmas season, a hoverboard,” said Darren Pereira, a Toronto-based entrepreneur and founder of Hüüvr.
The newest tech gadget doesn’t actually hover, but works on two wheels and can set you back anywhere from $600 to well over $1,000.
Pereira sells hoverboards in the GTA and has seen demand grow by more than 50 per cent this month.
“I’m dealing with a lot of anxious moms and dads, and they’re looking for the number one Christmas shopping wish list,” said Pereira.
Celebrities love them; with Justin Bieber, Wiz Khalifa, and Kendall Jenner all posting videos on social media riding hoverboards. But the Ontario Ministry of Transportation is quick to hit the brakes.
“All motorized skateboards, regardless of whether the rider is using gas or electric motor power, are deemed to be a motor vehicle under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA),” a spokesperson for the ministry said in a statement.
“However, these vehicles do not meet the provincial equipment safety standards for on-road use. These vehicles may only be operated where the HTA does not apply, such as on private property.”
The City of Toronto says hoverboards are not allowed on sidewalks, roads, or even bike paths.
Even Saturday Night Live jumped on the band wagon last weekend, creating a parody ad with lines such as, “Since hoverboards are banned from streets and sidewalks, they’re perfect for riding in your house.”
Hoverboards are illegal in New York where police can fine hoverboard riders up to $500. However, in California they passed legislation to allow hoverboards in bike lanes.
Even some major airlines, including Air Canada, Delta, and American, have banned passengers from travelling with them due to risks associated with the size and wattage of the batteries.
All things to consider before you check it off your wish list.
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