Albany, NY Today, Senator Jessica Ramos and Assemblywoman Nily Rozic announced that the New York State Legislature passed a budget that includes their legislation to legalize the operation of electric bicycles and scooters across New York. They issued the following statement:
Delivery workers are risking their lives to deliver food and supplies during the current pandemic. Legalizing electric bikes could not come at a more critical time to make their heroism possible without criminalization. Our goal has always been to provide overdue clarity in the law to deliver economic justice for delivery workers and introducing safe, new transit options that could improve connectivity to existing transit networks. This new law honors the original intent and addresses local safety protections and concerns.
For the past year we have worked with a broad coalition of advocates to protect immigrant workers, provide a sustainable alternative mode of transportation, and bring viable micromobility options to transit starved neighborhoods across New York. We are grateful to the dedicated advocates and Governor Cuomo who remained committed to this cause.
Among the provisions that would address safety concerns is language that would require the use of helmets for 16 to 18-year-olds operating electric scooters and for those operating class three electric bicycles, which have a maximum speed of 25mph. The budget also updates language on safety equipment affixed to both electric bicycles and scooters, and includes provisions that would establish DWI penalties only in the event of a collision. The provisions maintain local authority of municipalities over their own streets and sidewalks as proposed in the Ramos-Rozic legislation which passed with overwhelming bipartisan support last June.