The law prohibiting hoverboards in NYC continues to be challenged. Last month we reported that these personal transportation devices are illegal in NYC, after an NYPD precinct tweeted out a reminder. That tweet, which was deleted after our report went up, sparked considerable debate about the motorized boards—presumably because no one previously knew they were illegal.
NYC Councilman Andy King almost immediately proposed that they be made legal on sidewalks and in parks, but added that they "should not be operated on the roads alongside cars, buses and trucks." King isn't 100% pro-hoverboard, however, he told us that "riding a hoverboard decreases physical activity... walking is more beneficial for your heart and lungs than riding a hover board all day."
Now Senator Jose Peralta (Queens) has introduced a bill to make the hoverboards legal, calling the $200 fines for operating one in NYC a cash grab by the NYPD—"the ban is all about raising money and increasing their ticket quotas," he told the Daily News. However, the NYPD doesn't appear to be actively ticketing hoverboarders, and some officers don't even know they're illegal.
Currently hoverboards are viewed as motor vehicles that cannot be registered in New York, meaning you can own a hoverboard, but you can't operate it. Peralta's bill would change this, taking them out from under the "motor vehicle" umbrella, and making them more similar to a skateboard. In a memo regarding his bill, Peralta stated: "There is no evidence to suggest that an all-out ban on hoverboards is in the public interest. Further, no party has argued that the DMV should institute a registration scheme that encompasses hoverboard devices.”
For more on why hoverboards are currently illegal in NYC, here is civil liberties lawyer Gideon Orion Oliver's rundown on the law.