New York legalises e-bikes and e-scooters

Posted: 3 April 2020 |

The move comes as an agreement was reached for the state’s 2020 tentative budget.

E-bikes and e-scooters legalised in New York

After years of legal confusion and citizen ‘grey areas,’ reports have indicated that New York State has now legalised pedal bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters. Previously, some e-bikes were confronted with $500 fines and confiscation by the NYPD.

The new regulations will reportedly legalise pedal-assist bicycles that travel up to 20 mph (32 km/h), e-bikes that travel up to 25 mph (40 km/h) and e-scooters with speeds up to 15 mph (25 km/h). 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 (D-NY) revoked the provision as he was reportedly worried about the lack of helmet laws and other related safety measures.

Food and other delivery drivers, who are said to have become critical during the current COVID-19 lockdown in New York, will reportedly 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 provided for media outlet Electrek, Lime’s Senior Director for Government Relations, Phil Jones, commented: “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.”