Jan. 24, 2023 By Michael Dorgan
Council Member Robert Holden, who represents the Queens neighborhoods of Ridgewood and Glendale, says that electric scooters and electric bikes are putting New Yorkers in danger and has introduced legislation that would ban them until they can be properly policed.
Holden introduced a bill last week that would repeal city regulations that allow e-bikes and e-scooters to be driven throughout the five boroughs.
The lawmaker says that some riders are ignoring traffic laws — since they are not required to have a license to ride their bikes – which is leading to crashes. In addition, he said, there have been instances where the batteries in e-bikes and e-scooters have sparked fires.
Holden wants the ban imposed until state lawmakers pass legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured.
The legislation that would require the vehicles to be registered, licensed and insured, can only be enacted at state level since state lawmakers legalized the vehicles in the first place in 2020, Holden said. The state law gave municipalities the ability to legalize e-bikes and e-scooters.
“The scourge of these devices throughout our city has led to people disregarding traffic laws resulting in injuries or death, lithium ion-based fires that killed several people and injured hundreds, and a feeling of disorder on our streets and sidewalks as well as a diminished quality of life,” Holden said.
“We must ensure that these vehicles are operated safely before allowing them back on our streets.”
Holden’s bill, if passed, would effectively ban e-scooters and e-bikes from being operated in the city.
A $500 fine would be imposed on riders caught breaking the law.