A bill that would require children to wear safety gear when using hoverboards was approved by a committee of Philadelphia City Council on Tuesday.
Its sponsor, Councilman William K. Greenlee, called it a first step in addressing injuries caused by the motorized skateboards. Greenlee said he was not opposed to looking at harsher regulations, like those adopted in New York, where hoverboards are banned from sidewalks and streets.
"Sometimes these things, they're real popular for a minute and then they go away," Greenlee said. "So before we get too carried away, we'll see where it goes.
"But," he added, "I guess the short answer is, I'm open to a lot of stuff."
Hoverboards, which sense the user's leaning to accelerate or brake, have been on the market for months, and gained popularity over the holidays. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission received reports of the boards' catching fire and causing dozens of injuries from falls, some serious.
The law would require that children under 12 wear helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards when using the boards. Parents or adult caretakers could be fined $25 for noncompliance.
Philadelphia Police Capt. Francis Healy on Tuesday called the regulations "common sense."
"The Police Department welcomes this bill," he said. "And I hope that it will move parents to take appropriate steps to protect their children."