Can you ride your new hoverboard in Canada? This article will give you some insight as to the legalities (if there are any) and what you can do to save yourself hassle and grief when using your new gadget.
(Keep in mind, that these laws are specifically suited to Alberta, and as such, share many of the same definitions and regulations as the rest of Canada, but to be sure, please consult your highway act or applicable legislation regarding use. This is intended as information only, and not to be used as a legal aid or counsel)
So you’ve bought yourself or someone else a hoverboard. You’re excited to ride it around, maybe to-and-from work, or school. But someone told you that they aren’t legal to use in the capacity you desire.
is this true?
Maybe. You have to know where you’re going to be using it, and whether these areas have restrictions on them.
In Canada (Alberta specifically), the law generally states that these devices are known as “Motor Vehicles” , although they are not able to be insured or registered, so they are in somewhat of a gray area.
TRAFFIC SAFETY ACTSection 1(x): “motor vehicle” means(i)a vehicle propelled by any power other than muscular power, or(ii)a moped but does not include a bicycle, a power bicycle, an aircraft, animplement of husbandry or a motor vehicle that runs on rails
They also fall under the category of “miniature Vehicles”, and as such can not be ridden on a public street, as there is no recourse or liability for anyone if they were to get into an accident.
Public sidewalks and roadways:
As they are considered Miniature Vehicles, They are prohibited from being ridden on a sidewalk or roadway.
“which are not permittedon a highway in Alberta, including sidewalksalongside the roadway.”
“…While many of thesemotorized vehicles will be used in a pedestrian-like manner, the operators of these vehiclesdo not meet the legal definition of “pedestrian…”
So where can I ride my Hoverboard?
Good Question! According to the law, it may seem like they are banned from anywhere, and that is partially the case. But if you will be riding the hoverboard (or similar device) on private property, and have consent from the owner or sole authority for that property, you may be able to ride anywhere they say that you are allowed (excluding public parking lots)
The Act states:
Miniature vehicles may not be operated on a highway in Alberta; theymay only be operated on private property.
This also presents a problem though. Because as stated earlier, the government considers parking lots :
privately owned places thatthe public is ordinarily entitled or permittedto use for the passage or parking of vehicles, for example shopping mall parking lots.
What happens if I’m caught riding where I shouldn’t?
In another article by the Globe and Mail on the issue of hoverboards, they interviewed a Vancouver, BC Police Constable named Brian Montague. Const. Montague stated: ” The fine could be between $80 and $600, he says. But, police are likely to only enforce if there’s a problem. “
So with that being said, if you are going to disobey the law by riding your hoverboard on the sidewalk or street, and as much as you may feel it is harmless, know that it IS ILLEGAL, and that you may face fines or problems with the police if you choose to disobey.
Hopefully you have learned a little bit about the legalities surrounding “Off-Highway Vehicles” and their classification in terms of hoverboards. It may seem silly to restrict their use on sidewalks, but thought is put into laws and regulations for a reason, even if we don’t agree with it.
If I have made a mistake or you feel that I left something out, don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
Sources: Globe And Mail Article, AOHV PDF File