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This Is How Little the NYPD Cares About Your Illegal Hoverboard

By Nicole Levy | November 20, 2015 2:54pm | Updated on November 23, 2015 7:56am
 YouTube star Casey Neistat rides a hoverboard past an NYPD vehicle, without any repercussions.
YouTube star Casey Neistat rides a hoverboard past an NYPD vehicle, without any repercussions.
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Your hoverboard is technically illegal, but the NYPD couldn't care less, if one rider's video is to be believed.

In a video posted Friday, YouTube star Casey Neistat rides his hoverboard past several police vehicles and officers in downtown Manhattan, without any repercussions. He asks officers if riding the motorized boards in the city is illegal and two out of three he approached said no.

The legality of self-balancing electric scooters came to the press' attention Monday, after the NYPD’s 26th precinct posted a tweet declaring the personal transportation devices illegal under New York City's administrative code. News outlets later reported that it's actually New York state vehicle and traffic law that prohibits the use of hoverboards, which are considered motor-powered vehicles that cannot be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

But the NYPD isn't rushing to enforce that law, Neistat's video suggests.

In the video, one well-read cop says they're "technically illegal," but doesn't ticket Neistat.

"Be safe," he exhorts as Neistat rolls away.

"The cops here, they’re dealing with things that matter," Neistat concludes, alluding to heightened security after the Paris attacks last week. "Hoverboards don’t matter and the cops of course aren’t going to waste their precious time dealing with people like me riding around on Chinese-made electric scooters."

At least one local lawmaker disagrees: New York City council member Andy King has proposed a bill that would regulate the use of hoverboards.

"The recent spike in popularity of these devices, coupled with the growing safety concerns, creates a regulatory grey area that should be addressed swiftly," the politician said in a statement released Friday.

“The hoverboards should have the same status as mobile chairs and should not be operated on the roads alongside cars, buses and trucks. It’s a safety issue." 

And, of course, a health issue for lazy, sedentary New Yorkers: “Riding a hoverboard decreases physical activity," King added. "In the long run, walking is more beneficial for your heart and lungs than riding a hoverboard all day."