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Get a New Hoverboard for Christmas? If You're in California, Get Ready for New Laws on Age Restrictions and Speed Limits


"It is a little intense, you know, that they would do that."

As hoverboards continue to dominate headlines, California has passed new laws for riders of the new tech gadgets. The regulations — consisting of a legal riding age, speed limit rules and head protection requirements — go into effect Friday, Jan. 1.

The laws come as videos of first-time hoverboard riders are going viral on the Internet. The latest shows former boxer Mike Tyson taking a tumble while trying to ride his daughter's hoverboard.

"For any type of a vehicle like this, you're going to need training because if you haven't been on one, it's just not going to be natural to you," Carole Eatough of Segway in Orange County, California, said.

The new law requires riders be at least 16 years old to ride the devices in public. Additionally, riders must wear helmets and can only ride on streets where the speed limit is less than 35 mph. And those who ride while under the influence will be subject to a $250 fine, KABC-TV reports.

While some find the new California restrictions to be appropriate, others think it might be a little overboard. John Erikson, the owner of a kiosk called Shredderz that sells hoverboards, described the age limit as "intense."

"It is a little intense, you know, that they would do that," he said. "Why not on bicycles? Why not on skateboards?"

Erikson said the most important thing is for riders to learn to use the hoverboards the right way, adding that using them becomes "second nature" and "if you're a pretty common sense, smart person, you shouldn't have any problems."


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