Use of Hoverboards on University Campus and Property

Safety is the responsibility of the entire Columbia University community.  Due to safety concerns, the University bans the use of hoverboards (also known as self-balancing scooters or smart boards) on University campus and prohibits the use of these devices on campus grounds.  This ban extends to any and all property owned, rented, leased, and controlled by The Trustees of Columbia University in the City of New York. 

Reason(s) for the Policy

This policy is established to reduce risks and maintain the safety of members of the Columbia University community.

Primary Guidance to Which This Policy Responds

This policy primarily responds to recent reports from the Consumer Product Safety Commission with regard to potential fire hazards resulting from the lithium-ion batteries that power the device and the lack of safety standards in place for these devices. 

Responsible University Office & Officer

Columbia University Facilities and Operations is responsible for establishing this policy.  The Department of Public Safety is responsible for enforcing the policy and the Vice President for Public Safety is the responsible officer.

Who is Governed by This Policy

All students, faculty, employees, and the general public on Columbia University property are governed by this policy. 

Who Should Know This Policy

Any person who owns and/or operates a hoverboard on University campus should know about this policy.

The University prohibits the use of any and all hoverboard devices on campus grounds due to the potential fire hazard that results from the device's lithium-ion batteries. The Department of Public Safety maintains the authority to remove or suspend operations of any hoverboard on campus or on any University property. 

While these devices elevate the risk of fire hazards on campus, they also raise University concern over the potential for injuries, including concussions, fractures, contusions, and internal organ injuries that may result from operating a hoverboard.

As part of University efforts to maintain a safe environment for students, faculty, and employees, Columbia University has added hoverboards to the prohibited items list that can be found on the following website:

Any hoverboard presently on Columbia University property should be removed immediately.

Failure to abide by this policy may subject the individual to disciplinary action.  Damages and/or injuries occurring to University property or individuals will be the responsibility of the hoverboard operator.

New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 401 prohibits hoverboards from being operated on New York City streets since they cannot be legally registered as a motor vehicle in the State of New York.