Legality of the Esk8

Hey all,

It has come to my attention, since my first attempts at building an electric skateboard, that they are illegal in many if not most countries/states. Unfortunately, if you are not a lucky citizen of California, the only state/reigion of a country which I’m aware of that has, as of today explicitly changed their laws regarding esk8’s, then you have probably faced this same dilemma many times before.

Government officials couldn’t care less, and I can understand, with all the other crap that they have made themselves fix in Australian Politics and Public Relations, our Prime Minister doesn’t sit down pondering about whether to legalise esk8’s all day long. In fact, he probably doesn’t ponder much at all!

Sometimes when I’m out riding, I have the tendency to worry about law enforcement etc, and on too many occasions, even in my home city of Sydney, Australia, I have seen people being punshied/penalised for the use of these wonderful Electric Vehicles. Right now, electric skateboarding is a “gray area”, and despite whatever the public says, I feel like it’s staying that way for a long time. Also, I have a constant fear that if I, or someone else does something stupid on an esk8, it would mean the end of it, as governments would then explicitly ban it.

The way I see it is, apart from NSW (the state that Sydney is in) being a “granny” and “backwards” state, there is no reason for the act to not be legalised. I would estimate tens of thousands of people would be riding Personal Electric Vehicles (PEVs) to and from work/school/uni etc. on a daily basis. And the government is fine with calling all these people as doing an illict act. Furthermore, this entire community which has been created from the ground up, including this very site, is technically talking about an act “illegal” in 90% of the developed world. Both Evolve and Enertion start with E, and also share the similiarity of being based in Australia. While not in NSW, they are in other states (QLD and SA i think), which also doesn’t allow esk8’s and many other PEVs. Just think about that.

Are Esk8’s the most safest transport/hobby? Definetly no! But akin to riding a bike, Ebike (legal in NSW), Scooter, Non-motorised Skateboard, they share high risk factors, and I would even argue, at safe speeds (max 36km/h or around 22mph) Esk8’s are safer than Skateboards and Scooters. Obviously bikes are a bit safer, but they go faster, and hey! “esk8” doesn’t exactly translate to “safe” in English. The people riding any of the afore mentioned transport options all acknowledge that risk factors involved, and are willing to take them, I believe that any damage caused to other people not using those modes of transportation is minimal, as it usually affects us the esk8 rider more so than the general public.

So to sum up (and to keep the post relatively short) I want to uncover the dust on the legality of this great hobby that has defined my life over the past year and a half. If you cannot stand the fact that your (potentially favourite) hobby is straight up illegal in 90% of the world, then leave a comment/like/whatever, so I can get to creating a change. That being said, there is a social contract that we will not do stupid things on it. Of course, nobody can assure that, but only when that happens should governments be allocating penalties. We wouldn’t ban all cars because one person is driving badly, and I want to establish this community so that we can hold up to a similiar resistance.

Thank you all,

-lasplaner

I didnt read the whole thread but I assume its in the grey zone, act like a bike and all should be ok, or give the policeman a ride if he stops you and put the throttle on max then break hard make him fall and fly away on you skate

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come to Taiwan…the only reason the cops stop you is either to high-five you or to give riding the board a try…or both :slight_smile:

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Right now u just gotta go along with it and when u do see law enforcement slow down and pretend to push. Hopefully all this will be resolved eventually but until then we just have to deal with it.

In Florida, things are a llittle different.

Esk8’s are not explicitly defined by law. They are, however, implicitly defined as “other” which puts them somewhere in the realm of go-carts and razor scooters and shit like that.

Police ignore them entirely. the only ones bitching are the occasional park officials for parks through which the state funded paved bicycle paths pass. On rare occasion, they yell about not having them on the trail. I usually yell back “Sorry!” and keep going. Because i’m not sorry and fuck that guy.

The general public loves them and are very receptive and curious. there really isn’t any hate on them, just a lot of awkward jokes about “cheating” etc but when you talk to them they’re all about it. The cyclists don’t mind them, except for a few Jimmy Johns employees who wanted me to eat shit for posting a petition about explicitly allowing esk8s on the trails and in bike lanes because they hate longboarders for some reason already. One of them threatened me with violence on Facebook and I happened to know which one he worked for and spoke to his manager about it, and he got fired.

but for now, zero enforcement of any kind, zero decisions have been made (or so it seems), and ost imnportantly, nobody cares. I would be SHOCKED if florida banned them. Florida is a massvely touristy area and there are already eboard rental shops popping up, so I think with a few well placed calls to the state government and a little bit of time, they’ll most likely be explicitly legal just like bicycles.

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For anyone curious about why the police may be ignoring them in Florida, google “Florida Man” and you’ll quickly understand why they may be more interested in other things.

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Bikes nowadays are also electrically motorized, so who is gonna control them? who is controling them? …yes, nobody. So if nobody is controlling bikes (electric version), which been around for more than a century, and nobody is controlling skateboards (electric version), which been around for more than 60 years… nobody is going to control them all now that they are shifting to electrics.

Have you ever been stopped by law enforcement, or you think it’s sort of fine?

Maybe Police etc? I’ve seen people been dragged over on the street, but mostly in the city. I’d love to ride there, but it’s too dangerous, and now there are heaps of police. They don’t seem to remotely care about bicyclists on electric bikes/ normal bikes speeding down 50km/h, but are more aware when an electric skateboard goes even at half the speed.

OR… maybe they aren’t as controlling. I hope they do realise we are shifting to electronics! We deserve this recognition. [quote=“pixelsilva, post:7, topic:40671”] skateboards (electric version), which been around for more than 60 years… [/quote]

Technically true, but they have really only gotten more popular, widespread and “better” in the last 5-8 years. And not to mention safer! I think the technology now is “just” good enough for esk8’s, and over time people will realise it, and accept the risks of owning such device.

the only time law enforcement has ever been an issue is when we were skating around in a gated community that was still somewhat under construction.

we weren’t being singled out, they just didn’t want anyone playing around in the fresh asphalt.

ITs basically unenforcable outside of discretionary enforcement because the signs all say No Motor VEhicles, anbd Motor Vehicles have a legal definition that doesn’t include motorized skateboards. Motor Vehicle and Motorized (anything) are not the same words and don’t mean the same thing legally, which adds to the confusion feeding the general apathy towards doing anything about it.

Especially when people are doing the flakka dance, shooting black kids, shooting rooms full of all manner of people in nightclubs, shooting transexuals, and generally just distracting everyone from having a good time.

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I saw that sub-reddit lot.

In my state and country (not Florida), it specifically states no electric skateboards, but it’s an old law. I think 1980s or 90s

they used to be god awful giant monstrocities, and some were gas which was worse.

In alabama electric/motorized vehicles including bikes, skateboards, segways, etc.are not specifically defined.

Section 32-19-1

Use of electric personal assistive mobility device; operation at night; restrictions.

(a) Nothing in this title or in Alabama law shall be construed to limit the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device on public highways, sidewalks, and bike ways of this state except that a person operating an electric personal assistive mobility device shall obey all speed limits and shall yield the right-of-way to pedestrians and human powered devices at all times. An operator shall also give an audible signal before overtaking and passing any pedestrian.

(b) An electric personal assistive mobility device shall not require a license plate or be registered by the Department of Revenue.

© An electric personal assistive mobility device may be operated at night provided that the operator wears reflectors and a headlight.

(d) Municipalities may prohibit the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device on public highways where the speed limit is greater than 25 miles per hour, but shall not otherwise restrict the operation of an electric personal assistive mobility device.

(Act 2003-342, p. 851, §2.)

I’m not sure how long this will last as the Alabama legislature is prone to do some stupid shit on occasion. I have a few attorneys as clients, so I keep my ear to the ground and ask them about it pretty often.

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lol it was only one post

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Yea but huge and I was in a hurry

That’s great. I just don’t want the current (alerady not-so-great laws) to change, and put us at risk.

FYI, here is the law for my state.

Apart from the first dot point, electric skateboards (generally) do not comply with the regulations that allow for non registration motor vehicles. I mean 250 watts?

Here are the vehicles specifically banned. And to no suprise - “Motorsied Skateboards - electric/petrol engine” is on the list. I think, again, it’s got more to do with no registration then anything else, although it does say that these vehicles “do not meet Australian standards for design”, which, unless the law changes, will NEVER allow the electric skateboard to meet.