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Hoverboards: how and where to ride them in Brea

4 years ago by in ( News , Old/New , Welcome to Brea )

A new California bill allows hoverboards in public, but with certain safety and traffic requirements. (photo source:

It was the must-have holiday item of 2015, yet it was banned almost everywhere from Great Britain and New York to individual stores and malls. It was on the top of every kid’s (or adult’s) wishlist, yet large companies like Amazon and Target stopped selling them. It was the hottest, new tech fad costing up to $1,000, yet there were dozens of reports of it catching on fire. And now, as of Jan. 1, it’s legal to ride them in the state of California.

    Known as hoverboards, these self-balancing electric boards are the latest gadget craze coveted by children and adults alike. And according to a new California bill effective Jan. 1, all motorized wheeled devices, including hoverboards, can be used anywhere bicycles are allowed to go to accommodate commuters in bicycle and car traffic. The new law requires some regulations, however, such as an age requirement of 16 years old and the wearing of a helmet and any other safety gear while riding.

      Although the law legalized hoverboard use in public, it allows local governments to regulate the motorizing board, giving communities the right to ban them or penalize them as they choose. In the city of Brea, there are no specific regulations regarding hoverboards as of yet, but they will be treated the same way as skateboards until further city rules are made, according to Brea Traffic Sergeant Tim Mercado.

        Although there are no safety requirements imposed by Brea law enforcement, Mercado strongly recommends that younger hoverboard riders wear a helmet and elbow/knee pads, while avoiding conflict with vehicular traffic.

          “As with any new toy or vehicle that children operate, I believe good old common sense should be the dominating theme when these devices are operated anywhere in regard to safety equipment. There will likely be push-back from whatever safety equipment we as parents will suggest to our children, but safety should always be the first consideration,” Mercado said.

            The new bill overturns the previous law in 1977 which prohibited motorized skateboards, mostly because of their gas emissions, a feature that does not apply to most modern electric boards today.

              But with the new law, hoverboard owners are free to skate in public as long as they meet the safety and traffic requirements.
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Anabel King is a student reporter for Beautiful Brea Old and New. You can contact this writer at

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