New York legalises e-bikes and e-scooters

New York has legalised e-bikes, e-scooters and pedal-assist in a significant u-turn.

The state previously confronted e-bikes with $500 fines and even confiscation by the NYPD.

The new regulations will reportedly legalise pedal-assist bicycles that travel up to 20mph, e-bikes that travel up to 25mph and e-scooters with speeds up to 15mph. Riders of e-scooters under the age of 18 (and above 16) will be required to wear a helmet.

E-bikes and scooters were almost legalised in the summer of 2019 after a bill containing a related provision was approved, but Governor Andrew Cuomo revoked the provision as he was reportedly worried about the lack of helmet laws and other related safety measures.

Food and other delivery drivers will particularly benefit from the new permissions. The current lockdown measures have decriminalised the use of e-bikes so that their services could be optimised, but the new law will enable them to continue to operate as usual measures return.

In a statement to Electrek, Lime’s senior director for Government relations Phil Jones said: “Today marks a major step forward in how New York moves. E-bikes and e-scooters are valuable transportation options that will benefit communities across the state. Especially during this challenging time, micromobility is best suited to help New Yorkers get where they need to go.

“We applaud the delivery worker coalition for leading this decade-long charge to help bring more sustainable, convenient transportation to New York cities.”

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