With Christmas approaching it seems that the latest piece of tech that everyone wants to own is the self balance electric hoverboard. During the past year they have suddenly increased in popularity. Many popular celebrities proudly post videos of themselves riding them. Brooklyn Beckham’s tweet that showed him hoverboarding down the high street, received over 300,000 likes alone. Sadly within the UK it is illegal to ride your hoverboard on the road or pavement. You are only legal to ride them in your own backyard.
This then brings us onto the subject of the law. The Highways Act of 1835 means that it is illegal to ride hoverboards on public footpaths and pavements, while the law in the UK also stipulates that it is illegal to ride them on the roads as they are categorised as motor vehicles.
So what do people do? Recently there have been a lot of stories in the media about hoverboard users testing the boundaries of the law, as they ride them in public. It was only the other week that a few youths in London rode past police officers on their hoverboards to see what their reaction would be. Staggeringly there was none. They were not fined or told that what they were doing was illegal.
So why has the law not been changed? It seems ridiculous that these fantastic machines, which are being made for public use, cannot be ridden in public. If they see made to be part of everyday life then people would accept them. Not everyone who owns one wants to cause trouble or to be a public nuisance. You can do that wearing roller skates or riding a bike.
So this begs the question of why those youths we previously mentioned were not arrested? It appears that many in our police force are unclear on the law and that there needs to be further clarification.
We need a dramatic change in the law. We need to make hoverboards legal, so that people can take ownership of them and be legally responsible. There is a legitimate reason for this, as was shown by the reaction when a volunteer police office tweeted that they cannot be used on roads or pavements, This sparked many online petitions urging for them to be made legal.
There is a need to make hoverboards legal, they are here to stay.