New Jersey lawmaker urging age limit, helmets for use of hoverboards

 (Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

(Kimberly Paynter/WHYY)

Some restrictions may be on the way for the use of hoverboards in New Jersey.

Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly has introduced legislation to prohibit anyone younger than 16 from operating a motorized skateboard and to require all riders to wear a helmet.

“During the holidays I saw a man with an infant baby, carrying him, riding a hoverboard. Red flag,” said Wimberly, D-Paterson. “No way in the world should an infant be dual riding with an adult. Neither of them had any type of safety, and they were in the middle of the street.”

Fran Gallagher, executive director of the New Jersey Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, said the helmet requirement would prevent head injuries.

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“The helmet addresses protecting the brain, but we’re not even talking about all the injuries that ER’s see related to elbows and knees and other injuries,” Gallagher said.

If the measure becomes law, violators could face fines up to $100.

Major airlines and at least nine colleges in New Jersey — including Rutgers, Rider and Montclair State — have banned hoverboards because of concern about fires caused by batteries igniting while being charged.

Manufacturers need to make sure they’re safe, Wimberley said.

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