So you’ve just received and unpacked your brand new “hoverboard,” or self-balancing scooter, or “Swagway”—whatever you want to call it. No doubt you are delighted with your new toy, but don’t go riding it around the streets and sidewalks of London, because the cops say that’s illegal.

Business Insider points out that the Metropolitan Police have tweeted a warning to that effect, linking to some further guidance:

1.”I have a self-balancing scooter and I want to ride in on the public road, is it legal for road use?”

No. Vehicles must be approved via ECWVTA or MSVA in order to be licensed and registered. Self-balancing scooters would not currently meet the requirements of these schemes so are not legal for road use.

2.”I have been riding a self-balancing scooter on the public footway (pavement) outside my house, have I committed an offence?”

Yes. It is an offence under section 72 of the Highway Act 1835 to ride or drive a vehicle on the pavement. It is only an offence under this Act in England and Wales. In Scotland it is an offence under section 129(5) of the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984.

You are free to ride your self-balancing scooter on private property only. Plus, “The Department for Transport would advise that appropriate safety clothing should be worn at all times.” So enjoy motoring around your backyard wearing a bike helmet and therefore being forced to face that you are doing something deeply, deeply dorky.


Contact the author at kelly@jezebel.com.

Photo via AP Images.