Thinking of buying a hoverboard? It turns out they're illegal

Ever since the release of Back to the Future II in 1989, every child and adult (who should know better) has longed for a hoverboard. The recent appearance of 'Hoverboards' leave a lot to be desired (they have wheels!) and it turns out, they're illegal to ride in the UK!

Is it a Segway? Is it a scooter? No it's a... Hoverboard

Recently a new toy has arrived and really taken offDubbed as a 'Hoverboard', self-balancing scooters are all the rage in streets across the UK. Unfortunately for their owners the Metropolitan Police have just advised they are in fact illegal to ride both on public pavements and the road. 

 

Is it really a hoverboard?

The answer to that is a straight forward no. To hover would imply that the board is suspended in the air, with nothing in between it and the ground. Seeing as there are wheels between both it isn't quite the hoverboard we've all been fantasising about. 

Instead, it's more of an evolution of the Segway. Smaller wheels, more compact, no handles. It has been endorsed by footballers, hip hop artists, and this Mecca pilgrim:
 

 

Why are they illegal?

The police issued the warning to all owners via Twitter.

 

Under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 (and under the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984) it is illegal to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement, as the hoverboard is a powered vehicle it is considered too dangerous to ride on the pavement.

On the road they are also illegal as they are not approved by the ECWVTA or MSVA, who considers them too unsafe for the road.

It's something to bear in mind if you are considering buying one of these as a Christmas or birthday gift.

 

Is this the end of the hoverboard craze?

Not necessarily. If you have a lot of private land then you can ride to your heart's content. Much like the Segway before it, it's popularity maybe be stifled by this law, making it a luxury for the privileged among us. 

We would hope that this law may encourage a leap in innovation so we can ditch the wheels altogether and glide around like Marty McFly in the near future. Lexus and Hendo are already working really hard trying to make the fantasy a reality, but we still have a long way to go.

Top image via Ben Schmanke