New York Governor Andrew Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have legalized electric bikes and e-scooters in New York City. The move was positioned as taking a stand for safety, though some say the measure hurts delivery workers most of all.
- Despite their growing popularity around the country, e-bikes and e-scooters remain banned in the Big Apple.
- The decision to maintain the ban was made on safety grounds, specifically the omission of any helmet requirement.
- Cities around the world have been trying to balance these micro-mobility machines with the need to ensure they’re not unsafe, or used inappropriately.
If you can make it in New York, you can make it anywhere – that is, unless you’re an electric bike or e-scooter. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently vetoed a bill to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters in New York City‘s five boroughs. As reported by The New York Times, the decision was based on safety concerns, particularly the lack of regulations to required users to wear a helmet. Without this provision towards safer ridership, Governor Cuomo said the proposed legalization of these devices was “fatally flawed.”
Cities around the country have been battling with how to allow e-bikes and e-scooters to prosper, without sacrificing safety. (Photo: Brett Sayles/Pexels)
In comments published by the Times, Cuomo said “helmets are a common-sense requirement that should be imposed on operators of these vehicles to protect public safety.” At the moment, regulations for e-bike and e-scooter usage varies widely from city to city. In Los Angeles, for example, e-scooter users must have some form of valid driver’s license, speeds cannot exceed 15 mph, and driving on sidewalks is strictly prohibited.
Dockless and shared e-scooter companies, such as Lime and Bird, are eager to crack the New York market. Both worked hard behind the scenes, lobbying to help push for their legalization in New York City. Electric bikes, while technically banned from being used in New York City, remain a popular choice for many delivery services who rely on a quick and low-cost means of transportation. At present, New York’s e-bike users face potential fines of up to $500, plus the prospect of having their bike impounded. Some proponents of e-bike and e-scooter usage have stated a continued ban – and the steep fines for those who skirt the law – hurt these delivery workers most of all.
WHY THIS MATTERS
New York City represents one of the biggest battlegrounds over how to best introduce new means of mobility, without sacrificing the safety of pedestrians and other road users. By omitting the need to wear a helmet, this bill made for an easy and straightforward veto by New York’s governor.