Council to consider hoverboard ban or regulations

The City Council today approved a hearing on what the city should do about the exploding menace of hoverboards.

Councilor Tim McCarthy (Hyde Park, Roslindale, Mattapan), proposed the hearing, not just because of Sunday's North End apartment fire but because the toys are proving a menace to those with more bravado than balance. "Injuries are skyrocketing" across the city, he said.

"I'm not one to put everyone in a bubble, I'm a skier, I get it, even collision sports," he said. But a city that regulates Segways should at least consider what to do about the exploding use of hoverboards. Segways, he noted, "aren't blowing up in people's closets and people's bedrooms."

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Council doubles down on dumb

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So, in the face of the slippery slope that they never should have gotten involved in the micromanagement of Segways but did...they learn their lesson when faced with a new personal wheeled device menace and undo the mess they've already made for themselves.

Just kidding, they double down and want to regulate yet another variation on a theme.

What's the delay on new regulations for wheelie shoes, rollerblades, roller skates, and being pulled in a wagon?

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Your thought processes never cease to amaze me.

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I am sure the folks that live in the apartment (as well as the owner who hopefully will be covered by insurance (will he?) but if not $100K out of his own pocket to repair the damages) who are basically homeless due to one of the exploding pieces of frivolity probably have a different view than you.

And to compare the hover boards to Rollerblades and roller skates and being pulled in a wagon (really?) is really silly.

You are probably one of those anti regulation folks, amiright?

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No, as they don't appear to

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No, as they don't appear to have the same problems in shoddy design and manufacturing. This is a pretty reoccurring theme for hoverboards and generally caused by less reputable Chinese manufacturers who are obviously cutting corners to make a buck. Ford did it with the Pinto back in the day, and I think most people today would be behind recalls if a manufacturer shipped out faulty devices that might spontaneously combust whether its a hoverboard, laptop, cell phone, etc - and (some of) these manufacturers don't seem to give a rats ass, so it is the job of the government to step in. Boeing had a battery problem on their Dreamliner with batteries and did a pretty responsible thing of grounding them all and fixing the problem - these manufacturers don't seem capable of that on their own.

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Every so often you hear

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Every so often you hear stories about phone/laptop/tablet batteries causing fires. The hoverboard stories seem to have a 'trendiness' aspect to them.

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UL listing

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Most big consumer electronics companies take the time to get their stuff tested by UL, even if it's made in some Chinese sweatshop. That's why cell phones, laptops, tablets, and fitbits don't spontaneously combust. Hoverboards that keep exploding are made fly-by-night operators. I'm sure you're not hearing about the ones that do get a UL test and don't explode.

Speaking as a EE, rechargeable batteries aren't all smiles and sunshine. You have to know what you're doing otherwise that fuel and oxidizer packed closely together will do what nature intends.

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Bike lights, phones, etc.

There are some high power bike lights that will fry things out. I once had some called "nightsticks" that burned through their own wires and started smoking while in use (!) There have also been reports of people having their houses burn down due to recharging problems with more modern systems.

My son had one of those Samsung phones that would fail and overheat extremely. It was sitting on his desk when it started smoking and got too hot to touch. At least he had the good sense to unplug it at the wall, and then use oven mitts to get it outside on the concrete. I'm just glad that he was awake and it wasn't in his bed or anything - there were a number of people who have died due to this.

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Was it a Samsung battery?

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Or was it an off-brand substitute? Put in by you or by the cellphone store? I'm guilty of doing that too. I bought an off-brand battery for my laptop and my non-smart cellphone.

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Did you even read?

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It's not just the risk of fires that has the poor Councilor concerned. It's the risk of injury that's really got him worried!

If hoverboards are a fire risk, then collect the data that shows they're somehow inherently as dangerous as all of the other fire code/safety things that we regulate like porch grills and fire pits, etc. If they are a minimal fire risk (how many electric personal scooters start house fires every year?), then why are we attempting to regulate them out of existence?

Oh right, it's that they're a menace to owners everywhere who keep falling off of them! But you either didn't read or didn't want to address that part of the discussion. The part that I was mocking with rollerblades, etc.

I'm not anti-regulation. I want intelligent regulation. Regulate Uber/Lyft, not "hoverboards". Regulate housing conditions, not how many unrelated people can live together. Regulate zoning laws, not how many places are allowed to sell coffee. Is that too much to ask?

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Has the city banned

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Has the city banned cigarettes, candles, and matches? Extension cords? How about gas stoves?

Bet more apartment fires were caused in the last year by those common things. Let's ban all of those first.

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no, they havent

but hoverboards will be targeted because their very existence upsets old people

p much your classic case of save the clock tower VS slacker mentality

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can we just ask that the

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can we just ask that the Council sit in a room and do nothing until they fix the Boston Redevelopment Authority? Then they can go play with toy ordinances all they want.

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The City Council voted away

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The City Council voted away all their power and oversight over the BRA. The BRA is only accountable to the Mayor, DHCD, and to a vague extent the legislature. Or in other words, "no one".

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Except when home owners

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Except when home owners insurance doesnt cover loss, then what?

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Worthless losers

Sunscreen dispensers, banning "pet sales" (despite no pet stores), property tax hikes, and this. Sack the hacks.

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Sunscreen dispensers...for

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Sunscreen dispensers...for free...with no public money? Let's find an excuse to bitch and moan

Who banned pet sales? You're showing your hand...know nothing about what you're talking about. Peace

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Not for free

We're still on the hook for the sunscreen and the upkeep. And that hideous ginger banned pet sales. You're showing your hand...know nothing about what you're talking about. Peace

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ridiculous

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I'm all for saftey and regulations, BUT this is completely ridiculous. What happens in a year from now when they have no more issues that the media is reporting on? Do you then have to waste time repealing your unnecessary regulation?

Instead, work with city hall to focus on adding beds for the homeless, getting lead out of the water in schools, reduce crime, add affordable housing and find a better way to fill potholes on city streets so they don't keep coming back a few days later over and over again!

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Well, this hoverboard fire

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Well, this hoverboard fire did make a few people homeless...

If we want to prevent fires we should go after smokers and people who don't take care of their shitty cars first. They start a lot of fires and face little if any consequences for the lives and homes they ruin.

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If the problem is the

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If the problem is the explosions, that should be handled at the federal or state level. Municipal regulation of consumer products makes no sense.

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Law needs to expire

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The council (or any of us) have no idea where this technology is going.

We're supposed to be an innovation city, and not just reflect "Banned in Boston".

The gyro technology will get better and better over time. And hopefully, the batteries will be less flamable.

So our intrepid City Councilors should put a phase-out period on any "bans" they enact.

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Yknow

If we just had rubber sidewalks, nobody would need a hoverboard.

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Public Hearing on Language and Communications.

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Public Hearing on Language and Communications.
Boston City Council Government Operations Committee
http://www.cityofboston.gov/citycouncil/cc_video_library.asp?id=10034

HardOfHearing, Deaf Community, ESL English as a Second Language

Putting the Stenographic Record online for hard of hearing folks, for the Deaf Community, for ESL English as a Second Language folks, for all folks would make civic engagement greater. 2 Stenographic Records of Public Meetings of Boston City Council are supposed to be readily available: a) compiled in the Council Chamber and b) compiled at WGBH Media Access Captioning
http://main.wgbh.org/wgbh/pages/mag/captioning.html

Committee on Government Operations
Boston City Council
Massachusetts
Docket #0412, an ordinance establishing language and communications access for city services.
Release online in full plain text for hard of hearing folks, for the Deaf Community, for ESL English as a Second Language folks, for all folks both separate Stenographic Records (a) and (b) of Public Meetings of Boston City Council
(a) compiled in the Council Chamber and via
(b) WGBH Media Access Group Captioning
Boston City Council shall to take into account civic engagement of folks with different challenges,
• hard of hearing folks,
. the Deaf Community,
. ESL English as a Second Language folks,
. tinnitus ringing in the ears,
. concussion recovery,
. stroke recovery folks,
. folks with cognitive difficulty,
. dyslexic folks,
. ADD attention deficit folks,
. elderly,
. autism spectrum,
. sensory disabilities,
. intellectual disabilities,
. communications barriers,
. folks in city neighborhoods far afield of City Hall, Lower Mills folks,
. Ashmont folks,
. Cedar Gove folks,
. Adams Village folks,
. Peabody Square folks,
. Neponset folks,
. Port Norfolk folks,
. Popes Hill folks,
. Hyde Park folks,
. Mattapan folks,
. Orient Heights folks,
. folks with difficulty to tolerate hard aggravating public seats of the Council Chamber sidelined for lack of access to the Full Plain Text Stenograph Record of Public Meetings of Boston City Council,

. folks reluctant about indicating such concerns.

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It would take a heart of stone not to laugh

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People with disabilities will not have to register their Segways with the city or obey the new ban on Segway use on sidewalks and plazas and in parks - but will have to carry proof of their disabilities and will not be allowed to ride more than two abreast.

I never heard of Tim McCarthy but what a joke with more unenforceable regulations. I'm still uncertain why it's safer for a disabled person, but not an able person, to operate on the sidewalk or how a truly disabled person operates these things in the first place. Also, what constitutes "proof of disability?" I hate to invoke Goodwin's Law but this is akin to "show me your papers." The Council should leave these issues to the consumer affairs at the federal level and stick to their regular domain of banning government travel to North Carolina and Burma Myanmar.

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