Turns out these popular “self-balancing electric scooters” do actually hover—in the news. A sampling of recent headlines reveals that an Atlanta girl was shot during a robbery for her hoverboard; another caught fire and burned down a house; Segway is suing the gadgets for trademark infringement; and naturally, people are having sex on them.
Fueled by social-media videos and unofficial celebrity endorsements from the likes of Justin Bieber and Wiz Khalifa, the boards’ sales have exploded, requiring new legislation to keep pace with the fad technology. The U.K. banned public use of hoverboards, allowing them only on private property with owner consent; New York outlawed them on streets, slapping violators with a $200 fine; and California, in one of the few pro-device stances thus far, voted to legalize the scooters in bike lanes. Because they’ve reportedly started fires, a claim that’s currently under federal investigation, most major airlines won’t allow the motorized boards to be checked with baggage or carried onboard.
So where does Las Vegas stand? In Clark County, hoverboards aren’t allowed on the Strip, which previously forbade “electric personal assistive mobility devices” like Segways and scooters, but are otherwise okay throughout the Valley. County Commissioner Steve Sisolak told the Las Vegas Sun there are no plans to change that, and city spokesman Jace Radke says board-specific bills haven’t been introduced, but existing vehicle-use ordinances apply.
Of the 70 emergency-room visits and 22 board-related fires reported to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, none occurred in Nevada—though Mike Tyson’s cringe-worthy wipeout might have warranted a head check.