If you’re looking for a faster way to get from your dorm room to that class all the way across campus, don’t turn to the hoverboard. Washington, D.C.’s Georgetown University just became the latest in a string of colleges to ban the devices from their campuses, citing the risk of spontaneous combustion. It’s the latest in a series of setbacks for these improperly named gadgets (they don’t actually, you know, hover) — late last year, airlines prohibited passengers from bringing hoverboards aboard their planes, and online retail titan Amazon went so far as to advise people to throw them away altogether. And while college students may be known for their risky behavior, this is one hazard that universities are clearly unwilling to take on.
As per a report from the Associated Press, some 20 American institutions have now banned these motorized scooters altogether. “It’s clear that these things are potentially dangerous,” Len Dolan, managing director of fire safety at Kean University in Union, New Jersey, told the AP. “These things are just catching fire without warning, and we don’t want that in any of our dorms,” he continued.
Although some colleges have only banned the boards from dorms, others have prohibited them across campus, and it seems that more schools may soon follow suit. From Louisiana to Ohio to our nation’s capital, students are being told to leave their boards at home. And outside of colleges, hoverboards are outlawed on the streets of New York and come with considerable regulations in California.
While this may seem like something of an overreaction, it’s worth noting that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is currently investigating some 28 fires across 19 states, all of which have been linked to hoverboards.
Still, students are none too pleased about the new rules. “Honestly I was really disappointed,” Bryce Colegrove, a sophomore at Shawnee State University in Ohio, which recently banned hoverboards, told the AP. “I don’t think it’s right to ban them. I mean, it’s a college campus; it’s not a high school.”
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