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Hoverboard Riders Face Fine in New York City

By: Bridget ClerkinNovember 20, 2015
NY has begun to classify hoverboards as motor vehicles.

What would Marty McFly think?

The much-touted “hoverboard” toys that have made “Back to the Future” fans’ dreams come true since bursting onto the scene recently have been declared illegal in New York.

The problem? Unlike in the movie, where the boards glided blissfully through the air, the prototypes we use now still need some assistance from wheels and motor-manufactured power. That, according to New York law, puts them in the category of “motorized vehicles,” which are subject to state regulations.

The new cruising device has been lumped together with mini bikes, off-road motorcycles, go-karts, golf carts, Segways, electric scooters, and other motor-powered bicycles.

While the legislation is ambiguous and its implications murky, NY law officials have said the boards are considered illegal since, like the other vehicles on the list, they are barred from being registered with the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles.

Still, the debate over the boards is continuing in New York, with many fighting for a different categorization for hoverboards.

But despite the confusion over their classification, one thing about the boards remains clear: police have said anyone caught riding one in the city will be subject to a $500 fine. So unless you also happen to have a sports almanac from the future that can help you rake in millions, it might be best to avoid a hoverboard joyride along the New York City streets for now.

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