Thursday, January 28, 2016

MTA says hoverboards are prohibited on subways, buses

Commuters can’t bring hoverboards on any trains or buses or into stations, the MTA announced on Wednesday.

Officials said they planned to launch a campaign advertising the policy in the next six to eight weeks, with the headline “Hoverboards Not Allowed.”

The federal government has found that 80% of hoverboards did not have batteries that were properly certified, the MTA added.. Lithium batteries can cause fires and explosions.

“There have been reports about exploding batteries,” said vice chairman Fernando Ferrer. “Certainly you don’t want anything like that in a crowded subway car or train. It’s prudent to take this step.”

Officials said hazardous or flammable materials have always been illegal to bring into the public transportation system, but it wanted to clarify its rules for the public. Use of skates, scooters, and other “personal-wheeled vehicles” has always been banned too, but they can be transported through the transit system.

The NYPD’s transit cops will enforce the ban on hoverboards in the subway and the MTA police will handle it on the Metro-North and LIRR.

Hoverboards were one of the most popular holiday gifts in the past year, but are illegal under state law.

NYPD Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has said anyone who uses a hoverboard is “out of their mind.”

Democratic Queens state senator Jose Peralta, whose district includes Jackson Heights, introduced an amended bill in December that would legalize hoverboards while letting local authorities set the rules — such as restricting them to parks.

He said that the bill would penalize manufacturers and distributors for selling hoverboards that explode and that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission will set new safety standards.

“Once these issues are resolved, there will be no logical reason to stop people from carrying these devices,” said Peralta. “We agree with the MTA rules that apply to skateboards and inline skates; people should not ride these devices aboard trains or in subway stations.”​

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