Drivers, cyclists, and general pavement users rejoice! The electric scooter hoverboard, also known as a mini-segway or “swegway” has been banned for public use in Hong Kong. The bi-wheeled blinding menaces are an advanced version of the segway smart car, which has been responsible for making millions look absolutely ridiculous since 2001.
In a statement to the Hong Kong Free Press, the Transport Department said that under the Road Traffic Ordinance, the mini-segways are classified as motor vehicles because they are propelled mechanically. Registration and licence is required before any motor vehicle is used on the roads (including private ones!).
The statement continued, “However, since the construction and operation of mini-segways could pose a danger to users themselves and other users, they are not appropriate to use on roads, hence they cannot be registered and licensed.”
Driving an unlicensed vehicle could land you with a maximum fine of HKD5000 and imprisonment for three months on first conviction.
The Transport Department said that using the mini-segways on pavements isn’t legal either, as it could be an offence under the Summary Offences Ordinance, which states under Section 4 that any person without lawful authority or excuse who rides or drives on any foot path without obvious necessity shall be liable to a fine of HKD500 or imprisonment for three months.
The same applies to riding or driving in public places “recklessly or negligently or at a speed or in a manner which is dangerous to the public.”
However, the “hoverboards” can be used indoors or other “non-road places”, provided there are no other laws being broken. That still doesn’t really open up any opportunities for hoverboarders, since many parks prohibit the use of such devices as well.
The use of classic “full” segways on roads was also prohibited by the Transport Department in 2005. Segway users are required to take out third party risks insurance, hold a valid motorcycle driving licence and wear a protective helmet made to the required specifications, lest they commit an offence.
Public use of mini-segways was also banned in the UK earlier this month, and were considered too dangerous for pavements by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Photo: Soar Boards