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New York Bans Hoverboards Just as Demand Ramps Up for the Holidays

The New York Police Department announced that riding hoverboards is now illegal in the state, making parents think twice about adding them to their holiday shopping lists.

Wiz Kalifa riding hoverboard C Flanigan/Getty Images
Last week, a friend of mine posted a picture to Facebook of her husband and son in matching leg braces. "Collision while racing on hoverboards!!!" she captioned the image.

There have been several other reports of hoverboard injuries in the news lately, and the self-balancing scooters were recently declared illegal in London amid growing concerns that their popularity was causing problems on the city's streets and sidewalks. So I wasn't really all that surprised to hear that the New York Police Department is officially placing a ban on them now, too.

"Hoverboards are prohibited by New York state law since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the department of motor vehicles," said an NYPD spokesman. Which means anyone found riding one in the Big Apple will now face a fine of up to $500—which, coincidentally, is about the cost of the average hoverboard on Amazon.

The timing of the ruling is kind of a bummer, considering hoverboards are at the top of so many kids' Christmas lists this year, thanks to their popularity among celebs like Jamie Foxx, Justin Bieber, and Wiz Kalifa. Good luck getting your hands on one, though. Because despite the fact that YouTube is filled with videos of people falling off these bad boys and injuring themselves, the current hoverboard demand is so huge that there's a waitlist for some models for up to eight weeks.

If you are fortunate enough to score a hoverboard this holiday season, you might want to consider a move to California. The state just passed a bill that allows the electric self-balancing scooters in places where bikes are allowed. Individual cities and towns, however, can still decide on their own to ban them if they want.

Hollee Actman Becker is a freelance writer, blogger, and a mom. Check out her website holleeactmanbecker.com for more, and follow her on Twitter at @holleewoodworld.