Hoverboards – illegal on UK roads and pavements

If not this Christmas then next Christmas, Hoverboards will be the must have present for Marty McFly wannabes and kids that want to look cool on the streets, the problem is that these self-balancing scooters are illegal on the UK’s highways – they can’t be used on roads or pavements.

As they are classed as ‘powered vehicles’, the scooters are illegal to ride in the UK’s public places under the Highway Act 1835, section 72.

They are illegal as they simply lack the requirements necessary to be registered* under both European and British schemes, as well as being registered they would also need vehicle registration licence (tax disc); in addition, the user would need a driving licence and motor insurance.

This inappropriateness for use on the public highway was brought into stark realisation this week with a recent death of a young man on a road in London.

In fact, the only place you’re actually allowed to ride these hoverboards today is on private property with the landowner’s permission, so for most kids this means using them up and down corridors within our own homes and in a private garden!

So whilst these trendy scooters do sound like a great Christmas present – in reality, they aren’t!

If you do get one for Christmas, please take care.

* To obtain registration, a vehicle would need to comply with basic safety standards. This is known as European Community Whole Vehicle Type Approval (ECWVTA), and no Self Balancing Scooters and similar vehicles have this approval. Failing this a two or three wheeled vehicle could theoretically meet the requirements of the Motorcycle Single Vehicle Approval (MSVA) scheme. However, despite such requirements being less stringent it would nevertheless appear to be difficult for self-balancing scooters to be rendered capable of passing the tough MSVA inspection.

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