State Senator Jessica Ramos has been rallying and working for legalization of E-bikes and E-scooters for a long time now. She believes legalizing e-bikes and e- scooters will provide New Yorkers with alternative means of transport which will not only be affordable but also environment-friendly.
According to the data, most of the immigrants who work in food delivery feel more comfortable and safer on e-bikes. It is just unfair how the workers or the food delivery guys are harassed for doing their jobs. They have long complained about the actions of the police department against them which includes confiscation of their bikes and being forced to pay quite a large sum of fines.
Also, it is needless to mention the traffic in New York. Ramos stated that they aim to reduce carbon emissions and traffic congestion that is caused by heaps of vehicles increasing every day in New York. With more people on e-bikes and e- scooters, not only with the traffic will decrease proportionally but also the pollution that comes along with it. She also said that as the population of different cities differs, the local municipalities should be one who is empowered and in the responsibility of making rules and guidelines. Surely New York soon is going to be out of the picture of cities that causes a considerable amount of pollution.
Although, some counsels believe that the authority taken in the hands of the state is unnecessary. E-bikes and e-scooters already come under the state vehicle and traffic law’s definition of “limited use vehicles”. They are defined as vehicles that cannot travel at a speed which is more than 40 mph.
The new bill proposed by Ramos’s creates electric bikes of 3 new classes:
- Pedal- assist bikes – the bikes which cannot travel over 20 miles per hour,
- Throttle- controlled bikes – the bikes which cannot travel over 20 miles per hour,
- Throttle- controlled bikes – the bikes that can travel up to 25 miles per hour
The new version of the bill stated that except the third class of e-bike that can go up to 25 miles per hour are legal in New York.
According to the latest news, the original bill that was proposed by Ramos included electric bikes that operate with throttle control and scooters that were not covered by the state law. So they have been subject of crackdowns by the NYPD because they cannot be controlled by the state law as they do not carry license plates even though they are motorized vehicles.
The new bill although adds a list of requirements that are to be followed by the scooter operators which includes that they must have one hand on the handlebar always, cannot ride on the sidewalk and cannot cling to other vehicles as some of the major requirements.
This overall was a good initiative considering the problems of the delivery people and of people who are not comfortable using public transport. It sort of eliminates the boundary that the people of New York were caged in.