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Long Beach Looking To Ban Hoverboards From Busy Sidewalks

LONG BEACH ( — Hoverboards are becoming more popular, but Long Beach wants to ban them from busy sidewalks.

The City Council voted unanimously this week to draft a law that would prevent people from riding hoverboards on sidewalks in commercial areas.

"We want pedestrians to feel safe on the sidewalks," said Councilmember Suzie Price. "We want people to not feel like they're going to have a collision."

Price says the ban on hoverboards could go into effect as soon as next month and would be similar to one involving bicycles, skateboards and rollerskates.

But, she says, an exemption would be made for Segways, which are often used by law enforcement.

"It's rare to see Segways used by regular civilians in ordinary recreation," said Price.

State law requires hoverboard riders to stay off streets where drivers can go faster than 35 mph.

Cole Wannemacher, 11, says he loves the popular device but understands the need to ban it from busy sidewalks.

"Sidewalks are meant for walking, and I think that it should be safe on sidewalks," he said.

But John Storm, a hoverboard enthusiast, says Long Beach should actually encourage people to ride hoverboards to help ease traffic.

"These things, you can get around people really easy, you can stop with pinpoint accuracy," he said.

It will now be up to the City Attorney's Office to draft the new law. It's unclear to which streets the proposed ban would apply.

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