Joanita Wibowo

The increasingly popular self-balancing hoverboards are actually illegal in New South Wales, and riders could face up to more than $600 fine.

Aware of its growing popularity, NSW Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight Duncan Gay warned residents against buying the transporter for Christmas gifts. “You may have seen these new contraptions that look like a skateboard with two wheels, or a Segway with no handles,” said Mr Gay. “I don’t want to be the Christmas Grinch, but I want people to know and send a message that these new toys have real safety concerns.

“For starters, they are motorised and can travel at speeds up to 26km/h, yet require no training to use them, they don’t have adequate brakes and don’t have lights or warning indicators, meaning they can’t interact safely with other road users like pedestrians.

“What’s more, riders endanger themselves because they’re unprotected around other vehicles like cars and trucks.”

Under the Road Transport Act, hoverboards can’t be registered on NSW roads. People who use hoverboards on roads face a $637 fine, and on footpaths a $319 fine.
“Our road safety experts in the Centre for Road Safety are currently working with their counterparts across the country on national laws and safety standards for these personal electric transport devices, so we can figure out how and where people can use them safely,” Mr Gay said.