California cracks down on hoverboards


Graphic by Tam Duong Jr./The Pioneer

Louis LaVenture,
News and Sports Editor

The hoverboard craze exploded in 2015 and the motorized devices were one of the hottest gift items during the holiday season.

However, new owners of the boards in California will have to adhere to several new laws or risk being ticketed. California lawmakers put several restrictions on the devices that went into effect on Jan. 1.

The new laws require that riders must be at least 16 years old, wear a helmet on public property, stay under 15 miles per hour and only ride on streets with speed limits of 35 miles per hour or less in the bike lane, according to a press statement from the California Highway Patrol.[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#1e73be”]Riders caught violating any of the new provisions could be cited and fined up to $250.[/mks_pullquote]

Seventeen-year-old Hayward resident Joshua Ramirez received a hoverboard for Christmas. On Dec. 26, he was riding his device on A Street in North Hayward when he was stopped by an Alameda County Sheriff who told him of the impending restrictions.

“He flagged me down and gave me a heads up about the helmet thing,” Ramirez said. “I didn’t know I had to wear a helmet or stay off the sidewalk. I hate helmets, I’ll risk it.”

Riders caught violating any of the new provisions could be cited and fined up to $250.

Southland Mall in Hayward is one of many places to ban the use of the devices in their facility. According to mall security, the use of hoverboards is banned inside the building and violators will be asked to leave.