They have been called “Hoverboards“, Segways and by the definition of the Metropolitan Police of the UK, “Self-Balancing Scooters“.
They have become popular overnight, worldwide, these boards have have found their way on side streets, parks, playgrounds, malls and even airports!
The surge of these boards are partially due to their affordability, convenience and what so may say, a satisfaction of a past fantasy. Let’s face it , it was 26years ago “Doc” Dr. Emmett Brown (Christoper Lloyd) promised us one! Him and Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox), in the movie Back To The Future II, traveled to the “Future” of “October, 21, 2015”, where the “Hoverboard” existed! It would seem as if it was prophesized.
This has also been a discussion with the MPS on Twitter in real-time as well. Their justification for this lies within the lines of the Highway Act 1835, under section 72.
The Crown Prosecution Service have supported that “it is against the law to ride them on any public road, including the pavement, and that they should only be used on private land.” This is the language written under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835.
The MPS have also provided, through their Twitter, the CPS, FAQ:
- 1.”I have a self-balancing scooter and I want to ride in on the public road, is it legal for road use?”
No. Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use.
2.”I have been riding a self-balancing scooter on the public foot-way (pavement) outside my house, have I committed an offence?”
Yes. It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement. It is only an offence under this Act in England and Wales. In Scotland it is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
3.”Where can I ride a self-balancing scooter?”
You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission. The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times.
4.”I have seen people using electric bicycles on the road without registration. Why are they permitted but a self-balancing scooter is not?”
Bicycles are covered by different rules to those applying to self balancing scooters. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles must meet the requirements of the Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles Regulations 1983. Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles that conform to these regulations are considered to be pedal cycles and as such are allowed to use cycle facilities such as cycle lanes on the road and cycle tracks away from the road which other powered vehicles are prohibited from using. A self-balancing scooter does not meet these requirements as it cannot be pedaled.
Clearly this encroachment upon the people does not create a warm relationship between the police and it’s community. It seems to be the “modus operandi” of the police and government, another action to seize control and in their words…MONEY! Not once has the mention of safety been an issue, but the MPS did “tweet”, “It’s because they’re technically motor vehicles & therefore have to be registered, licensed & insured to ride on public roads.“
So in true “Big Brother” fashion, like a game of chess…The police and the UK government have made their move.
It will be interesting to see what leads from this ban and the impact it will have on the sale and cost of these “Hoverboards”.
So if you are in the UK and own one…remember walk…don’t ride!