The latest craze to hit Britain is the Hoverboard/Self Balancing scooter (well it’s not really a Marty McFly Back To The Future-styled device. Think more along the lines of a skateboard with a buggy wheel at either end).
Companies are trying to get cheaper and sleeker versions in to the UK. As usual, with any device that grabs public attention, along comes the copies and cheaper versions. According to Trading Standards Officers have examined more than 17,000 “hoverboards” at sea ports, airports and postal hubs since October 15th. Of these, more than 15,000, or 88 percent, were deemed dangerous due to “a range of concerns” related to internal batteries and cut-off switches, chargers, plugs and cabling.
Trading Standards says many are entering the UK with non-compliant plugs, meaning they’re more likely to overheat, explode or catch fire.
Leon Livermore, CEO for the Chartered Trading Standards Institute said ..
Criminals and irresponsible manufacturers will often exploit high demand and attempt to flood the market with cheap and dangerous products. Consumers should not let a new fashion or craze cloud their judgement and remain vigilant at all times, to avoid taking home an unsafe product
So, if you’rwe thinking of buying one of these devices for a loved one this year, check out where you’re buying one from. Also please be aware that using one on a public road or pavement or public place is currently illegal here in the UK, here’s what the Crown Prosecution Say about the devices:
1.”I have a self-balancing scooter and I want to ride in on the public road, is it legal for road use?”
No. Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use.
2.”I have been riding a self-balancing scooter on the public footway (pavement) outside my house, have I committed an offence?”
Yes. It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement. It is only an offence under this Act in England and Wales. In Scotland it is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.
3.”Where can I ride a self-balancing scooter?”
You can only ride an unregistered self-balancing scooter on land which is private property and with the landowner’s permission. The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times.
So, even if you do get one which is classed as “safe”, you can’t actually use it on the footpath or road.