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Hoverboards were without a doubt one of the hottest gifts this holiday season. However, New Yorkers may be wondering if they are legal to use on the street. Currently, the use of hoverboards is not allowed in New York as they are considered motor vehicles and yet cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles. While no specific information about penalties for using a hoverboard is available, fines would likely be assessed if a ticket were issued.

This prohibition is not completely unwarranted. According to CNN Money, there were 70 emergency room visits reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the days surrounding Christmas. Most of the injuries resulted from collisions and falls. Additionally, the tendency of hoverboards to catch fire has been big news in recent weeks and has led to some retailers stopping their sale.

While the use of hoverboards is currently prohibited, that may not always be the case. The Verge reports that bills are being introduced in the New York State Senate and Assembly that would amend the definition of motor vehicles to exclude hoverboards and electric unicycles. Proponents argue that hoverboards are an example of a new innovation and that laws should be adapted to keep up with new technologies.

New York is not the only state grappling with the question of hoverboard use. California recently passed a law that sets forth speed limits and age restrictions, and requires users to wear helmets. It remains to be seen whether other states will follow suit.

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