You may be a proud owner of one of the hottest gadgets on the market today: the oft-mocked, sometimes spontaneously combusting, non-hovering hoverboard. However, if you happen to live in Califonia, make sure you know the state's new rules, which took effect on Jan. 1, concerning the “electronically motorized boards” so that you don't wind up paying hefty fines.

According to the California Highway Patrol (CHP), which will be enforcing the new rules for the next five years, the primary concern about the hoverboards is that of safety.

After numerous videos have been uploaded and shared of users falling off their boards, a majority of them not wearing basic safety gear like a helmet, many are saying that enforcing some basic rules – which are quite similar to existing laws regarding bike and skateboard use – is reasonable.

"They have to be not looking out for themselves, but also looking out for cars that are out there. And they have to look out for pedestrians." said Chris Cochran, from the California Office of Traffic Safety.

New regulations are being introduced everywhere concerning this new technology. Many airlines, for instance, have banned them from being brought on-board, whether as hand carry or checked in luggage, due to concerns of their lithium-ion batteries and some reports of them inexplicably catching on fire.

The new California laws, which are detailed on the CHP website state that people who use motorized boards must be over 16 years old and must be wearing a helmet.

Moreover, they may only be used on roads with a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less and may not be operated faster than 15 miles per hour.

The new laws also state that individual counties and cities within California may enforce their own rules regarding hoverboard safety and use. In San Francisco, for example, hoverboards are prohibited on pedestrian walkways and sidewalks.

The CHP can enforce a fine of up to $250 on violators of these new laws.

Photo: Soar Boards | Flickr 

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