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What Are California’s Hoverboard Laws?

California is a state known for its progressive stance on many things, including technology. 

According to California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 313.5 a hoverboard is defined as an electrically motorized board (E.M.B) that has two wheels and a deck on which a person may stand. 

When hoverboards, also known as self-balancing scooters, first gained popularity in the early 2010s, California was one of the first states to establish rules & regulations regarding their use. 

Here, we’ll explore the laws surrounding hoverboards in California, violations and what to do if you find yourself injured from a hoverboard accident.

Why the New Hoverboard Laws?

Due to the apparent risky nature of hoverboards and the multitude of accidents occurring since their inception. California has introduced several new hoverboard laws.

California Vehicle Code Section 21291 states it is legal to ride a hoverboard on public roads and bikeways, but only if the rider is at least 16 years old and wearing a helmet. 

Some more common provisions include 

  • Maximum speed limits: California laws impose a speed limit of 10-15 miles per hour (mph) for personal mobility devices, to prevent accidents and collisions with pedestrians and vehicles.
  • Parking and charging rules: Hoverboard laws can regulate the parking and charging of personal mobility devices, to prevent obstruction, fire hazards, and theft.
  • Insurance and liability policies: Some hoverboard laws require users and manufacturers to have liability insurance and meet certain safety standards, to protect against accidents, injuries, and property damage.

Additionally, hoverboards are not allowed on roads with a speed limit greater than 35 miles per hour.

These laws also regulate other personal mobility devices as well, such as : electric skateboards, Segways, and other self-balancing vehicles. 

Hoverboard Violations

Not wearing a helmet while riding on a sidewalk can lead to tickets and court time. 

If you are caught breaking any of California’s hoverboard laws, you may face fines of up to 100 to $250. Plus, separate fines may be given to a rider if there are multiple infractions. For example not wearing a helmet while going over the speed limit can incur a double penalty. 

One important violation some tipsy riders forget is that CVC section 21296 states it is unlawful to operate an E.M.B (Hoverboard) while under the influence of an alcoholic beverage or any drug, or under their combined influence. So you may be liable for a D.U.I if you’re caught hovering around California under the influence.

The consequences of breaking these laws go beyond just the possibility of a fine. Riding a hoverboard in an unsafe manner can result in serious injuries, so it’s important to follow the laws and ride responsibly.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Can Assist During a Hoverboard Accident

Some of the safety hazards of personal mobility devices include:

  • Falling, injuries and accidents: Hoverboards can be unstable and hard to balance, especially for inexperienced users, leading to falls, fractures, and sprains. Being more accident prone can be a drawback when riding on a hoverboard.
  • Collisions with pedestrians and vehicles: Hoverboards can travel at high speeds and have limited maneuverability, making it hard to avoid obstacles, pedestrians, and other vehicles. Also, you’re more at risk from negligent drivers and other motorists 
  • Fire and explosion risks: Some hoverboards have been known to catch fire or explode due to faulty batteries, posing a significant safety risk to users and properties.

Law-abiding citizens will fare much better when operating hoverboards in the busy streets of California. But in some cases, even law-abiding citizens find themselves involved in accidents resulting in bodily harm from a hoverboard, in no fault of their own.

The professionals at West Coast Trial Lawyers can assist you after a hoverboard accident or scooter accident and give you a better perspective on your injuries. Our firm has recovered over 1.5 billion dollars for our clients and continues to strive towards excellence in personal injury law. 

If you or a family member is or has been a victim of a hoverboard accident call West Coast Trial Lawyers for a free consultation at 213-996-0790.  


Question : Do I need to wear a helmet while riding a hoverboard in California?

  • Answer: Yes, according to California law, you must wear a helmet while riding a hoverboard on public property.

Question : What is the maximum speed limit for hoverboards in California?

  • Answer : The maximum speed limit for hoverboards in California is 15 mph.

Question : How old do I need to be to ride a hoverboard in California?

  • Answer : You must be at least 16 years old to ride a hoverboard on public property in California.

Question : What are the consequences of breaking hoverboard laws in California?

  • Answer: Breaking hoverboard laws in California can result in fines and attending safety classes. 

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