Are Onewheels Illegal? You might be excited to ride your Onewheel on the streets and sidewalks to enjoy a unique mobility experience going back and forth. However, not everyone might share your sentiments about this hobby.
You are probably inviting complainants who don’t seem interested in sharing a territory you are invading. However, the growing popularity of Onewheels has also caught the attention of government authorities to regulate the use of such personal electric vehicles (PEV) to avoid future accidents.
So before you plunge into the crowd with your Onewheel, be sure to find out whether or not it is legal in your country because there are places where PEVs such as Onewheels are considered dangerous and unlawful.
The Dangers of Onewheel
Onewheels, specifically the Pint and the XR, have built-in safety features such as Simplestop, LED lights, and a self-balancing mechanism. Yet, they are not free from different sorts of dangers that may occur along the way. Therefore, you should be aware of them for added caution and to practice prevention.
Although Onewheels have off-road capability, there are still limits to the track they can tolerate. For example, your Onewheel will recognize your foot on the pad when you accelerate the speed, but it doesn’t detect the bumps on the road unless your wheel is a self-driving vehicle.
You, the rider, should decide if you need to slow down or stop.
But if you don’t notice a steep bump when accelerating, you’ll probably nosedive and face-plant into the ground. To avoid this scenario, try to make a full stop to see if you can slowly go past any kind of bump.
If not, don’t take the risk and get off. Your safety is just a maghandle away.
Maybe, bumps and steep humps are not the culprits for an accident while onewheeling. Instead, it could have been that you happened to lean forward too soon.
This situation is common for most beginners. They are clueless that a Onewheel can accelerate further when stepping on the nose harder. And the more abruptly you do it, the more likely you fall off.
Be careful when stepping on the nose. It doesn’t automatically transition like that of the tail, which will cause your Onewheel to slow down before it halts.
Every Onewheel has a built-in battery that may overheat or explode when exposed to high temperatures. It is not different from the standard batteries found in smartphones and other gadgets that you should maintain according to what is recommended in its user manual.
To keep batteries in normal condition, do not overcharge them. Also, avoid putting your Onewheel near a gas tank or a kitchen stove.
One of the fears of those who oppose the use of PEVs in public is the possibility of battery explosion when cruising near gas stations and other fire hazard areas, especially during hot weather, so ride your Onewheel moderately.
Are Onewheels Illegal in the USA?
Since Onewheel is only beginning to become popular, many states in the USA are still working on regulating it. Nonetheless, they are already legal in a few states. If they weren’t so expensive, Onewheels would be even more popular.
In New York, riding a Onewheel is legal. However, it is only allowed along bicycle lanes and streets with a speed limit of 25mph.
In Michigan, you can ride an electric scooter and an electric skateboard on streets where cars and bicycles are permitted.
Meanwhile, in California, PEVs are well-regulated. They are legal in the entire state as long as they only cruise on bicycle lanes with a speed limit of 20mph. The rider must be 16 years old or above and must wear a helmet. The wheeled device must have lights and reflectors.
Onewheel Regulations Around The World
Aside from the USA, you can ride your wheeled device if you live in any of these countries and regions:
So far in Asia, only Singapore has made PEVs legal in public places, but they are prevented from cruising the regular roads for 4-wheeled vehicles. In addition, electric vehicles like electric scooters are only allowed on footpaths with a speed limit of 15kph and along bike lanes with a limit of 25kph.
Wheeled devices and personal mobility vehicles are legal on many roads and public places, provided that you must observe specific laws for regular cars. For example, riders must not use a mobile phone or ride when drunk. They must also wear protective gear or a helmet and be 16 years old or older.
In addition, the device must have lights on at night when cruising the road.
In Norway, electric vehicles are permitted on bicycle roads and should not accelerate beyond 20kph. In addition, they must have a headlight, tail light, reflectors, signal horn, and a proper brake system.
Electric scooters and electric skateboards are legal as long as the rider’s age is 15 years and above. In addition, the vehicles should have lights on when moving, whether it is during the day or at night.
Electric skateboards and other PEVs are allowed on the bike and pedestrian lanes, but they should not accelerate beyond 30kph.
Although electric vehicles are legal in Spain, every city has its own specific rules and regulations. So if you live in Spain, check the laws in your town.
In France, electric skateboards can use roads where a limit of 50 kph is permitted. But if you ride along bike lanes, the limit is 25kph.
You can use a Onewheel and electric skateboard on bicycle lanes with a maximum speed of 20kph.
In Sweden, PEVs are considered bikes and can use the same lanes not faster than 20kph.
Other Countries Where Onewheels Are Legal
Can a Onewheel Go on a Plane?
Onewheel XR is not allowed to go on a plane because of its battery type, so there is a probability that Onewheel Pint can be permitted. However, it is recommended to confirm with airline personnel if you can take it onboard.
So are Onewheels illegal? It depends on where you are. More and more countries and cities are regulating personal mobility vehicles. It’s only a matter of time before anyone will be riding them anywhere in the world. At the moment, follow the laws and ride safely.