UNC-CH, NCCU ban hoverboards in dorms

Posted January 6, 2016 11:41 a.m. EST
Updated January 6, 2016 4:31 p.m. EST

— The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and North Carolina Central University have banned the use and any charging of hoverboards inside residence halls on their campuses.

"Residential Life is instituting an immediate ban on the indoor operation and charging of hoverboards, also known as Swagways, IO Hawks, Skywalkers, etc., in all residence halls," Ronnie Davis, N.C. Central director of residential life, wrote in a memo issued Tuesday to the Durham campus.

UNC-Chapel Hill officials are working on a campus-wide policy, spokeswoman Karen Moon said, but hoverboards "may not be operated, charged, or stored in campus residential facilities" as of Friday.

"We are concerned for the safety of our students living in the residence halls," Moon said in an email to WRAL News.

The electric scooters have come under intense scrutiny in recent weeks after reports that the batteries in some devices exploded or caught fire while recharging. The Consumer Produce Safety Commission, which is investigating the fires, said hoverboards also are responsible for dozens of injuries after riders fell or crashed into objects.

Some retailers have stopped selling hoverboards because of safety concerns.

"There are plans for the development and implementation of a campus safety standard for these and other personal powered transportation devices by the NCCU Police Department, but until then, Residential Life is asking that these devices not be operated or charged indoors. This applies to faculty, staff, students and visitors in all campus residence halls," Davis wrote in the N.C. Central memo.