Proposed legislation under consideration by the City Council would legalize motorized e-scooters and e-bikes in New York City. If the four bills pass and become law, they would make it easier for people to take advantage of emerging transportation options that are environmentally friendly. They would also put more scooters on the road.
The first of the bills, sponsored by a councilman from the Bronx, would make e-scooters legal and cap their top speed at 15 mph. This is similar to the ways in which e-scooters are regulated in other parts of the country, such as San Francisco and Washington, D.C. A second bill would make e-bikes with throttles legal and cap their top speed at 20 mph. This bill would also lower the fines levied for use of unauthorized bikes to $100 from $500.
The third bill proposes a program to bring illegal bikes into conformity. The program would be operated by the Department of Transportation and funded by the city. According to a city councilman from Brooklyn, delivery workers are using approximately 50,000 e-bikes citywide. Converting the bikes to meet legal requirements will cost around $1,000 per bike. The last of the bills proposes a pilot program for scooter sharing. The Department of Transportation would select the location of the scooter sharing program.
One concern with so many of a relatively new sort of vehicle on New York roadways is a crash. People who are riding bicycles or scooters are extremely vulnerable compared to those in conventional vehicles, and a collision could be devastating. Those who have been injured due to a car driver's negligence might want to have legal support when seeking compensation for their medical expenses and other losses.