With new information recently released about the potential safety hazards of hoverboards, Rollins College has joined dozens of other institutions in implementing an interim ban of the on-campus use of all hoverboards and similar devices until further notice.
According to Dean of Students Meghan Harte Weyant, “The decision was based solely on the recent information indicating that the batteries in these devices can be dangerous and are prone to creating a safety and fire risk.”
The temporary ban forbids the possession, use, or storage of hoverboards and related devices such as Swagways, IO Hawks, and Skywalkers. Failure to adhere to the ban will result in the removal of the device from campus.
Some students are pleased with the ban.
“I never really liked hover boards, and I feel like a bunch of people riding them around campus could get pretty annoying,” said Nick Kiesman, ‘18.
“I don’t mind people riding them around campus because they’re just like bikes or scooters,” said Eric Simmons, ‘18. “But if people started using them inside, it could get out of hand.”
According to CNET, hoverboards spiked in popularity over the past few months as the newest and coolest way to travel. But controversy about these futuristic devices arose when people reported that their hover boards would spontaneously catch fire, burning down bedrooms and sometimes even entire homes.
USA Today reports that over 40 cases resulting in about 70 emergency room visits have already been reported in the United States alone, where the hoverboards exploded while charging or even while in use.
Surprisingly, there is no definitive explanation as to why the lithium batteries in the hover boards are combusting and finding the cause is difficult due to the thousands of manufactures that produce hoverboards with little to no safety regulations. These producers share parts and technology and produce the hoverboards as fast as possible, often without adhering to product safety standards.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has launched an investigation into hoverboards, where they might uncover a specific batch of defective batteries or wiring issues. Hoverboards and related products might be banned permanently if they are deemed too unsafe.
Hope still remains for the “hover-heads” on campus.
“If safety standards are developed and implemented, then the prohibition will be lifted,” said Weyant.
Hoverboards could then potentially be used all across campus, including inside on-campus buildings.