New Hoverboard Rules Coming to California on January 1 | NBC Bay Area
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New Hoverboard Rules Coming to California on January 1

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    Anyone under the age of 16 will not be allowed to ride a hoverboard on public roadways in California, according to a new state law set to go into effect on Jan. 1. Pete Suratos reports. (Published Monday, Dec. 28, 2015)

    Anyone under the age of 16 will not be allowed to ride a hoverboard on public roadways in California, according to a new state law set to go into effect on Jan. 1.

    Assembly Bill 604, approved by Gov. Jerry Brown in October, requires users to wear a helmet and will limit hoverboards on roads with speed limits that are 35 mph or less.

    Hoverboard operators can only ride 15 mph and must ride in the bike lanes, according to the new law. Anyone in violation of the new rules or riding under the influence could face a fine of $250.

    The popular transportation device has recently made national headlines, with hoverboards catching on fire across the country and reports of hoverboard-related injuries. The Consumer Product Safety Commission has also launched an investigation into the overall safety of the product.

    Chris Cochran with the California Office of Traffic Safety said using a hoverboard on busy streets needs to be done responsibly.

    "They have to be not looking out for themselves, but also looking out for cars that are out there," Cochran said. "And they have to look out for pedestrians."

    The state law does not address the use of hoverboards on sidewalks, which will be up for cities and counties to decide.

    Cochran expects more local governments will create their own rules in the coming months.

    "You're going to be restricted by local ordinance as to where you can go and not go," Cochran said. "The state law allows it to be on local roadways, but your local city or county may restrict which roadways or type of roadways."

    San Francisco does not allow hoverboards on sidewalks.

    The California Highway Patrol will monitor the new law over the next five years and will put together a final report that will be given to the legislature in 2021.

    NBC Bay Area's Kristofer Noceda contributed to this report.

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