According to section 72 of Britain's Highway Act of 1835, powered vehicles are not allowed to ride on the pavement, the Guardian reports. Britain eventually adapted the law to ban segways from riding on roads and sidewalks, and—according to a tweet sent yesterday by Metropolitan Police—it's now applying to the new sensation the kids are calling "hoverboards."
Via The Guardian:
The scooters are also illegal to ride on the road, because they don’t meet the requirements to be registered under either the European or British schemes for road-legal vehicles.
Although the regulations have not been changed, a recent resurgence in the use of hoverboards prompted police on Sunday to tweet a warning about their legality to prospective buyers.
The Wall Street Journal reports the law requires owners of the hoverboards to both register with the government and obtain third-party insurance, but because the hoverboards don't meet the requirements for British roads, they can't actually be registered:
“As a consequence, any user of such a vehicle on a public road is likely at the very least to be committing the offences of using the vehicle without insurance and using the vehicle without an excise license,” the CPS document said.
Self-balancing scooters could only be used on private land with the express permission of the landowner, the CPS said.
According to The Guardian, private spaces like Westfield’s Stratford City shopping complex are already banning the hoverboards from being used.
Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.