The New York Police Department confirmed the self-balanced scooters commonly known as hoverboards are, in fact, illegal.
According to PIX11 News, a now-deleted tweet from the NYPD's 26th precinct stated earlier this week hoverboards are a violation of NYC Administrative Code 19-176.2.
This is not correct, however, as Admin Code 19-176.2 only prohibits motorized scooters with handlebars that can exceed speeds of 15 mph, The Guardian reports.
Not only do hoverboards lack handles, but they also reportedly can only go up to 6 mph.
An NYPD spokesman clarified the real reason the devices are illegal to The Guardian. He said,
Hoverboards are prohibited by New York state law since they are considered motor vehicles that cannot be registered with the department of motor vehicles.
Anyone riding a hoverboard in New York City can now face a fine of up to $500.
It is not clear if the NYPD will be actively distributing tickets to hoverboard users or simply making a point to inform such individuals the devices are illegal.
Popular Science Technology editor Michael Nuñez doesn't believe hoverboards, which typically cost about $500, are important enough to ignite any longterm outrage over the newly-revealed law.
Of the hoverboard trend, Nuñez told PIX11 News,
To me it appeared to be a fad anyway. You know this isn't a long lasting technology. We're not going to be using these things to get to work any time soon.
Hoverboards were recently declared illegal in London, while California passed a law last month giving cities the right to instill their own bans on the devices.
The California bill also stated, unless such a ban is enacted, hoverboards are permitted, as long as they are used in areas where bicycles are also permitted.
Citations: Hottest gadget of 2015 'hoverboards' now illegal in NYC (PIX11 News), New York City police department confirms hoverboards are illegal (The Guardian)